It’s no secret that dating, while fun, can also be quite excruciating. Every relationship, big or small, long or short, comes into our lives to teach a lesson.
Last year, I dated one particular guy for two short months. He was sweet, fun and in no time at all, the relationship had me in an absolute headlock. This relationship, while short, was one of my greatest teachers.
Around him, I was afraid to be myself. I constantly worried about what he might think, whether I was coming across as smart enough, pretty enough, brave enough. I always felt the need to be “on.” My ego was thrown into overdrive. Rather than cut the ties in an uncomfortable relationship, or turn inward to take in what this was telling me, I wanted to win. To be the one he thought was special enough.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see all of the things that are wrong with this picture. But in it, I was blind. Rather than focusing on me, checking in with myself to see whether this relationship was serving me (which clearly, it was), I focused entirely on him and his experience. The truth is, if I had continued doing my own thing, if I had practiced radical self-love and allowed him to come to me, it may have gone differently. But this was a lesson I needed to learn.
If you’re finding yourself wrecked from anxiety around a new relationship, you are not alone. Here are some tried and true mantras and steps I learned the hard way to easy anxiety around a new guy or girl.
5. It’s this or something better
I repeated this mantra almost obsessively during difficult moments. This relationship has come in to teach you a lesson. Stay tuned in to yourself and if it “falls apart,” know that it’s because something else needs space in order to fall together.
4. If the train doesn’t stop at your station, it’s not your train. (Marianne Williamson)
You’d never want to get on a train that wasn’t headed where you wanted to go. If you’re feeling like you’re having to work too hard, or force something to fit, take a step back. It might not be meant for you.
3. Define what it is you’re seeking– and give it to yourself
Whether it’s attention, love, respect, understanding– figure out what it is that you are looking for from the other person, and give it to yourself. If it’s love, you might treat yourself to a hot, candlelit epsom salt bath while watching a guilty pleasure tv show. If it’s companionship, bring your attention to the enjoyment you get out of being in your own company. If it’s uncomfortable, even better– that means you’ve hit a sweet spot and there’s work to be done. In this case, meditate.
2. Allow it to unfold
Sometimes we focus more on the form of a relationship than the content. We want it to look a certain way, fit into a specific timeline and if it doesn’t, we think there must be something wrong. The truth is, none of those “form” ideas really matter. What is most important is the content of the relationship and what it has come to teach you. Allow it to unfold organically and trust your inner guide. The more you stay connected with yourself, the more space it will have to blossom into something truly substantial. Don’t stop it short by applying too much pressure before it has really begun.
Ahh the most important, and yet the most difficult. Surrender the relationship, repeatedly. Forever. Release attachment to the outcome and live only in the present moment of the relationship. Focus on what is right in front of your face, rather than the potential of what might be. This can be achieved most consistently through meditation and by connecting with your breath. The ego wants to latch on, to “own,” to future-trip. Surrender all of the silly ideas, all of the jumping-ahead, and allow your relationship to be exactly as perfect as it is.
I know that relationships are where we tend to get tripped up the most. If this is an area you’re struggling in, I’ve got you. You’re always welcome to contact me to book a session and receive further guidance.