We all have relationships that don’t work out – there’s no way around it. Unfortunately, when finding love is taking forever it can start to feel like it’s somehow our fault.
I don’t know about you, but I beat myself up over relationship fails for years. Any time a guy disappeared or didn’t want to commit, I'd blame myself for not being able to make things work.
A sample of my brain crack: If only I’d been more together, that addict would’ve reformed into the best boyfriend ever. If only I had better boundaries, that hot and cold jerk would’ve been begging for time with me. If only I’d been stronger, better, wiser, or more “chill” … oh man, all the energy I spent trying to change ME!
All so some guy would magically transform into Prince Charming.
What the actual heck!
If you’ve had thoughts like that, please take it from me, it was never your fault things didn’t work out. It was just the wrong guy.
You don't have to change a single thing for the right guy to stick around.
Fortunately, you don’t have to fly blind in your search for the right guy this year, either. And you don’t have to listen to a whole lotta conflicting dating advice. There's something very simple you can do. You can turn inward, and check your intuition.
Now, you may fear your intuition has let you down in the past. You’ve gotten caught up in the rush of a crush, or stayed too long with a so-so guy because you thought it made sense. Well good news! There’s a tool you can use to help your intuition’s truth ring louder than your logical mind or raging hormones.
My favorite tool for checking my intuition is adapted from Martha Beck’s “Body Compass”. Just a few steps, but it’s literally life changing. Here’s how it works.
First determine what your question is, in relation to whatever guy you’re dealing with. For example, “Should I keep hanging out with (insert name here)?” You’re going to check your body’s physical reaction to A. making the decision yes, and B. deciding no.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Then say to yourself, “Keep hanging out with him”. Now tune in to your body… What reactions happen in response to that decision? Do you feel expansive, warm, maybe a big exhale? Or do you maybe feel a tightening, or upset, or even like crying?
Once you’ve identified your body’s reaction, shake it off and take another deep breath. Then say to yourself, “Stop hanging out with him.” What response does your body have when you decide that way?
Isn’t it amazing how your body speaks??
Listen to what your body has to say -- she knows what’s up. Following your intuition will guide you gracefully past the wrong men and toward the right ones. AND, I guarantee it’ll make you feel like you just discovered your very own super power!
Here’s some homework to try in the next couple weeks -
Invite your intuition along the next time you go out. Kind of like a chaperone, but more like a sweet fairy godmother, or a best girlfriend.
On an upcoming date, or the next time you’re out interacting with guys, plan a little “girls’ trip” to the restroom. The “girls” involved will be you and your intuition.
Go through the steps I outlined above and listen to what your body compass has to say. Then consider following her sweet wisdom. And remember, if the response is neutral, take that as a sign to keep moving forward with getting to know the guy until the message is clear.
I hope you’ll drop me a line and let me know what you’re discovering!
This is your year...I know it can be hard to believe, especially when you’ve spent months or even years in unwanted single-dom, but your great guy is out there.
If you're feeling skeptical, believe me, I understand. I spent many years trying my hardest to be all positive and hopeful and open to meeting new guys, all the while feeling more and more discouraged every freaking day.
Here's another thing I did you may relate to... in an attempt to avoid the wrong guys, I ended up developing a whole set of rules about who I would date. Here are a few of them: He needed to be close to my age, have at least a 4-year college degree, and he could NOT be a Pisces! LOL.
These rules were an attempt to avoid past situations that had made me miserable, that I’d stayed stuck in for way too long.
The thing is, I had to throw them all out the window when I met my love (although he’s a Capricorn not a Pisces, thank God!).
Because here’s the truth. We don’t yet know what your guy looks like, how tall he is, or what he does for a living. We can’t predict how many exes he’ll have, how much money he makes, or his age (trust me on this one).
But I can say, with absolute certainty, that if you decide to focus on how you’re treated, you will get really good at identifying GREAT GUYS. Which will magically bring them clamoring to your door!
Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page and define a truly great guy together, so we can know what to be on the lookout for in 2018.
A GREAT GUY is someone you totally dig and find super attractive (yes, please!). He's a guy you have fun talking to and spending time with. He shares your values, and has some awesome life goals.
He’s also a man you feel like you can be yourself around (no more anxious guy-pleasing, HELL no). He doesn’t shut down or act controlling or disappear when you tell him what’s true for you. He wants a commitment, and puts your relationship first in his life. Above all, his goal is to make you happy.
OMG, that is a great guy, am I right?? Consider making this your new standard for who you're willing to date.
Focusing on how guys treat you more than their external traits is one big way to make sure you’re noticing the right ones. In my next article we’re going to talk about another way to recognize your man when he appears.
In the meantime, here's a fun little exercise I invite you to try over the next couple weeks.
Before bed each night, think about your encounters throughout the day, whether with a co-worker, on a date, at a holiday party, or wherever. Think of any time you interacted with a man and he did something for you, however small.
Did a guy open a door for you, offer you a Christmas cookie, or ask how your day was going? Write down anything you can think of. Then look over your list and soak in the feeling of having been given to. This is the art of receiving.
Doing this exercise regularly will keep you focused in the right direction, toward what guys are DOING for you. AND, it will increase your receiving skills!
I hope you consider trying this out. I promise it will transform your dating experience.
I would love to hear what you receive from guys this holiday season. Hit reply and share the gifts!
Xoxo, Adorables! Dreaming of big love for you in the new year.
P.S. Inspiring pop song alert! If you’re looking for some girl-power inspiration, check out this awesome song I’ve been obsessed with lately by Hailee Steinfeld, Most Girls. It’s all about being whoever and however you wanna be. She’s soooo good at standing up for self-love and sisterhood! Plus, hello, Pitch Perfect 3 is almost HEEEERRE!!
P.P.S. If you missed it, check out this speech by my favorite girl crush, Tracee Ellis Ross, where she confronts the view that a woman's life is a failure if she isn't married with kids. "MY LIFE IS MINE". Amen, Tracee, I love you!
Jen Mallinger is a trained Martha Beck Life Coach. A former boy chaser, hopeless romantic, survivor of the dating desert, and highly sensitive intimacy avoider, she is now married to the greatest guy ever. She loves sharing insights and action-steps for those looking for love and reciprocity in relationships.