“Even seasonal situations can bring with them lessons that last a lifetime. If the love doesn’t last, it prepares you for the one that will.”
― Mandy Hale
How many times have you been in that dating hole? You feel like you’ve lost your head, you’ve lost sense of who you are and you can’t seem to move your attention away from this person. We’re talking those early stages of dating, before any kind of commitment or conversation has taken place.
Often, it’s a situation where you know deep down this person does not deserve your time or head-space.
It’s just, it feels near impossible to stop. Right?
Each time it happens, you wonder how you got back here. To this hellish state of anxiety. And it’s not the fun, exciting kind that comes with meeting someone new. Nope, it’s the uncomfortable kind. The kind where every bone in your body tells you something is up.
I know it so well. I’ve been there more times than you can even imagine.
It’s been a gruelling journey getting away from it. Trials and a whole lotta errors.
But something magical has happened. Truly magical. I’ve hit the point I never thought would be possible and I couldn’t be prouder of myself…
I’ve found myself with the ability to acknowledge true colours before I have a chance to fall back down the same old hole. In the past I could sense it, but I made excuses for them (and me!). Let’s not make the excuses.
You Know THAT Feeling?
We all know how easy it seems when you are good, strong place. You know those times in your life where you have no one on your mind, no one you are checking your phone for and no one to fake a future with. It’s genuine bliss (If you ask me, this is when single life is at it’s very best).
I’ve been honest about my journey, I’ve always said, of course I am at risk of falling into old traps, anyone is. But with the work I have put in and my self-esteem at the level it is right now, it will take the real magic to sweep me off my feet.
That said…I’m not a robot. I had a wake up call recently when I met someone who gave me that other feeling. The fake magic feeling. You know THAT feeling? He reminded me of every guy I ever fancied. From conversation to the way he acted, it was oh so familiar. This was the feeling that I used to take as a sign; a sign that I must pursuit this person… Surely if I felt this way, it must mean something?
Luckily, that was the old me.
The fact is this; I don’t know this person. It doesn’t matter how much you think you do or how much it feels like you have known them your whole life, you don’t know them.
Yet, you long for this to be ‘it’, so you convince yourself it is. Slowly but surely, you begin to lose yourself. You spend your time waiting for a text, making up your future and being distracted by the thought of this person.
Whether you have already fallen into this trap and feel like you are losing your mind, or you just want to prevent it happening in the future – you have come to the right place.
You Must Take Responsibility
You have to stop looking at what the other person did or didn’t do. If this is early doors, the only person that requires your attention is you. You are allowing yourself to believe in a fairy-tale before anything has even begun.
If like me, this has happened to you several times, trust me I know how stressful it can be to feel like you are back at square one. But you’re not. It doesn’t matter that you are back here, it just matters that you know it. As soon as possible, you catch this. Only you can.
No matter what age you are, what he has been through or what you have been through; you deserve the best.
Now you have decided you want to break this cycle, you have to do something different. It’s going to take all of your strength and you will have moments of wanting to go back to your old ways, that’s part of it.
Let me talk you through the very steps I took recently when I came into contact with a man who previously, rather than write this, I would probably be chasing him and trying to convince him I’m good enough.
Below are 8 shifts that have kept me calm and happy during the early stages of dating/meeting someone new:
Seeing Each Situation as an Opportunity
When I dived back into the world of dating, I was slightly hesitant because I can’t say I missed the feeling of being in limbo that comes with liking someone in the early days. That might sound a bit farfetched but for a serial ‘faller in lover’ like me, it’s not hard for that to happen
So, what did I do when I met someone who I felt that old familiar attraction to? This time, I didn’t ignore what I knew. This feeling is the addiction. This is the drug. This is every person you ever dated (and liked) stood in front of you.
I knew it. I had the excited feeling that only comes from my Mr Wrongs. Rather than go with it. I took a step back and realised I had a perfect opportunity right in front of me. I could use this very situation to figure out what is so magnetic about them and most importantly, how I can go against all my natural instincts when it is actually happening.
Each person is an opportunity. An opportunity to make you stronger at walking away, an opportunity to see how far you have come, an opportunity to move closer to your magic person. One time, you will be doing this, and it will be the right person.
Acknowledge This Feeling
Like I said, this is the feeling I always thought I was looking for. That rush, the butterflies, the overthinking, the craving; I thought that was love. I’ve considered the reason I go for the wrong people is so that I can feel that feeling over and over again. It’s hard to let go of.
This feeling is now my warning sign. That feeling isn’t love, it’s familiarity. Feel like you have known this person forever? It’s because you have met them before. They are the last person you felt this for. They are a family member, or an old friend.
Let me tell you, I am not taking that feeling away from you or me. I love love. But that feeling alone is not enough, I need the rest too, and so do you.
Having that feeling alone, is not love. It is not real. Be patient.
Get Out of Your Head
Don’t run away into the future. Not this early. I can’t believe how quickly I can do this. In the past, I didn’t even realise I was doing it, the time I have wasted thinking about people who now have no place in my world blows my mind.
Picturing your future is going to make this all harder to get over. Not only will you have to let go of this person, you will also have to let go of the future you imagined. The future that was never real.
I’m sorry to say it, but in the early days, it is on you. If you start picturing your next dates and future conversations, you are going to convince yourself this is more than what it is, that is going to make this more tempting to cling on to. Judge this by the facts and by the person’s behaviours. If they are ‘future faking’ with you in the early days, that’s a red flag, not something to get excited about. How can they promise you a future when they don’t know you?
Look at Their Behaviours (and be careful with their words)
Get real with how they are actually showing up. If they are being flaky, barely calling you and only interested in one thing; it’s time to quit making excuses for them. Look at their behaviours from the very start and keep an eye on them.
I know, their behaviours at the beginning might be everything you dreamed of, but if and when you feel THAT shift, take that as truth. You’ve done this enough times, you don’t need to go through more than one cycle of hot and cold.
By now you know your standards (if you don’t, it’s time to book a clarity call with me and get those clear in your mind). Are their behaviours matching your standards? Are their behaviours matching their words? How much effort in this relationship is coming from them?
If their actions are not matching their words; always…ALWAYS (sorry to shout) trust their behaviours over what they say.
I mentioned it above and I will say it again, if in the early days, they promise you the world or text you 24/7 – be careful.
List Your Weaknesses
If you are in the early stages of dating and you are convinced this person is the one for you (even if they are not investing at all) then this person must possess your weaknesses.
The parts of them that have led to you putting them on a pedestal. What are the traits that create this obsession in you? Note those babies down, because they are getting in your way of a happy single life and a healthy relationship.
When it happened to me recently, I came up with ‘Confident, independent, tall, charming & funny’. Note I only laughed a couple times, but it was the belly laughing that’s hard to come by. Now, some of those, obviously are not on my non-negotiable list of standards, whilst others are. The point isn’t that – whether these traits are important or not, the fact is, they are my weaknesses. When I meet a guy with those qualities, I melt a little. You know?
Here is what’s great about knowing my weaknesses – they stand as a red flag for me. They make me take note that I am at risk of chucking my rose-tinted glasses on and throwing my self-worth to the wolves.
So rather than get lost in 1 or more traits, you need to look at the bigger picture. Does this person have all the other standards you hold? Do they respect your time? Do they make the effort you deserve? Do they make room for you?
Don’t let your weakness be the end of your relationship with yourself. The truth is, there are plenty of people that poses your weaknesses and SO much more.
Yes, this person might make you excited, but that’s not the magic. The magic is the person who sees you too.
Use Them as a Trigger
Ok, when I decided it was time to move away from dating, I had some concerns about becoming cynical or fearful of dating; that didn’t happen.
However, a fear did develop. I now fear someone coming into my life and taking my time away from the happy, satisfying life I have created for myself.
THAT feeling I described above, with the wrong or right person, is so distracting and all consuming. So I developed a strategy; I made the person my trigger. When I caught myself thinking about them, rather than going along with whatever story I was making up or memory I was recalling, I forced myself to focus on the tasks that needed my attention.
It worked. I would focus on the task, and then realise I hadn’t thought about the person for an hour. SO satisfying and a clear sign that this person cannot take my happiness, business, social life or head-space.
Put Your Phone Down
Argh, there is nothing worse is there? Checking your phone? Not wanting to check it at the same time as being nervous about checking it. Convincing yourself there will be nothing there when you look at the same time as secretly hoping there is.
FYI, I find it much easier just to admit the truth; it would be nice if they text. Not having this distraction really is one of the things I have enjoyed most about not fancying anyone.
So my first bit of advice is to just put your phone down and get on with your life. Let it be. Don’t get in the habit now of checking your phone, their social media and whatever else it is that you find yourself doing. It’s going to be easier for you to resist now than it will be to stop later.
Secondly, the right person is not going to leave you hanging. You know when they are busy and when there has been a shift. We all know it. It really sends you in a spin once you have felt the shift, and that is their behaviour.
My friends and I joke about whether we would rather be left in the grey tick zone or the blue tick zone! These days, neither zone is ok with the wrong person.
Take Your Expectations Off Them
Let this person be who they are and live the life they want to live. If it is not in line with who you are, how you want to date or what you value, walk away.
If you are trying to tell them how you wish to be treated this early on, it’s a good indication of what you can expect; besides, they don’t want to be told what to do by someone they don’t know.
This person is not necessarily a bad person, they are on their own journey. They are also destined for magic love with the right person.
What really helps me is to just surrender. What this person feels and does is out of my control. I surrender to this experience being what it is.
These are my top tips – I have actively put all of these steps into practice and it made a world of difference to my peace of mind. Yes, I had my moments, but nowhere near like it has been in the past. The most recent time I met someone that had the potential for me to lose myself, was the strongest I have ever been. If it is going to get easier than this, then I really think dating can be as fun as some say it is.
If it seems impossible to you; please know it’s not. I have been that girl. It has taken many Mr Unavailables, many mini heartbreaks (brought on by myself), a dating hiatus and a whole lotta self-love work to get me here.
If you’re willing to put in the work, you can get here. You must rise above what you are used to. You must change your image of who you are in love. Book a Clarity Call with me and we can get you on the right track and in a position to know your worth, enjoy single life and hold out for REAL magic.
Let me know which tip resonates the most with you in the comments below.
Carly Ann xx