Put your big girl panties on. It WILL absolutely be an emotional roller coaster. Not because online dating sucks. Not because people suck. Not because there are no more good ones left or all anyone wants to do is ‘hookup’. Not for any of the other myriad of reasons you conclude. It will be an emotional rollercoaster because of YOU.
Putting yourself out there to date (regardless of how you do it) puts you in a place of vulnerability. You are hoping that someone is going to like you, that you will like them, that there will be chemistry, compatibility, and trust. Those are no small desires and in order to find them in another, you must open up your own heart to share them as well. Therefore, dating is an act of vulnerability.
Although being vulnerable IS the ultimate demonstration of authentic power, it is also a place where you can get hurt. Which is why it is authentic power. Because it demonstrates that you are strong enough to risk it. If you are hoping to date and keep your armor up, you will simply attract people who have their armor up as well. Never allowing each other to be truly seen. If however, you have truly healed yourself, know what you have to offer and are in a healthy place able to be vulnerable, you will attract people who are the same.
This does not mean that you will not be hurt and it certainly does NOT mean you will not experience much discomfort. In fact, it assures you will. So, although there is no way around the roller coaster (if there were, it wouldn’t be any fun anyway) you can at least prepare yourself for the ride…
The Ten Commandments
- You will like and be attracted to some people that do not return your attraction. This will suck. It is inevitable. It will make you feel that you are not good enough. Trust that the universe knows better than you.
- You will be liked by MANY people whom you do not like back in the least. This will also suck. It will make you feel like something is wrong with you to attract such people. Paradoxically, this will also make you feel not good enough.
- Every wink, like, favorite and message will bring a hit of excitement. Most of that will end in a dash of disappointment. This will make you feel not good enough. Embrace the roller coaster.
- A date or phone call scheduled will also be exciting, as well as scary. This means interest on both sides. It also means more vulnerability and risk. “He may not like me” “What if I don’t like her?” What if? It will be good practice for you. Practice for how to process rejection and disappointment. Something uncomfortable but valuable. If it fizzles, it will make you feel not good enough.
- You may find yourself ‘talking’ to people whom you are not really interested in. Simply because it makes you feel wanted, keeps you from feeling alone and gives you attention. This will soothe the feeling of not good enough. Then it will make it worse. Don’t do it.
- You may feel a connection with someone, only to have it dashed by a lack of sexual compatibility, intellectual stimulation, life values or other reasons. That’s what dating is. It will make you feel not good enough. Embrace it.
- You will get exhausted, sick and tired and burned out on the process. It’s not the dating, it’s the constant vulnerability. As well as constantly facing your feelings of not being good enough. Know this. Take a break, fill yourself up and try again later.
- Feeling comfortable in discomfort is an essential life skill. It may be THE skill to create lasting happiness. It’s also a skill that many of us do not possess. Dating can be a window into your soul. Watch your reactions, your fears, your protective mechanisms. Look inward. Always inward. The process can be sued to heal and enlighten yourself.
- Above all else, KNOW that you do not attract what you want, you attract who you are. This is law. There is no debate about it. If you are continually attracting things and people you do not want, it means that you have inner work to do. Stop dating. Stop blaming. Stop looking for ‘it’ outside yourself, and turn inward. This is where you will find all the answers and healing you need. Not through another person. Once you have done this, your true partner will find you.
- Lastly, that ‘not good enough’ feeling is not CAUSED by dating. It is EXPOSED by dating. This can be a gift. Should you choose to see it that way.
PS- If you do not feel any of this… If you are dating one person after another after another and having the time of your life… you are in delusion. You are not dating. You are not being authentic or vulnerable. You are simply using attention and attraction from other people to soothe your insecurities. This is something that every human being does to one extent or another. In various ways. Some use ‘things’ to soothe their insecurities. Some use “activities’ and some use ‘people.’ You are using ‘people.’ Know that the attention will never fill your ‘not good enough’ hole. In fact, it will make it larger. But, for many of us, sometimes that hole must get very large indeed. So large it threatens to engulf us before we finally turn to look in the mirror. Before you finally understand that in order to feel genuinely loved by someone, the old cliché is absolutely true. You must learn to love yourself first.