Mr Right is out there, but you need to be ready to find him...
So you’ve tried every dating site, visited every bar within a radius of 100km and you’re over stalking every male with potential listed on your friends’ Facebook page? Having tried every tactic you can think of, all you seem to be left with is disappointment, empty pockets and a throbbing headache.
No closer to meeting the man of your dreams, you are now beginning to wonder; "Is the right man actually this hard to find?".
Having worked with more woman (and men) over the years than I can count, as a relationship coach and therapist I would have to answer with the affirmative, "the answer is yes!".
I guess my response has surprised you right? I say yes because I think that women focussed on finding a partner have lost some of their ability to stay centred, level-headed and calm throughout the dating process.
Make no mistake, dating is a challenging process and it requires what I call solid “smarts” to navigate the highs and lows, to maintain your focus and stay disciplined. Like all things in life, for some people these things come naturally and they seem to fly a smooth path to their true love while for others, it takes strategy to get across the line.
I often recommend people read Dr Stan Tatkin’s book, Wired for Dating because it is one way of helping you to build those solid smarts for dating. In his book, Dr Tatkin teaches readers how to understand the neurobiology of love and affection and he focuses on helping readers understand their particular attachment style.
Knowing your attachment style is a key tool in your dating arsenal because it helps you discover what type of man is going to complement you best.
Below are three important and useful tips that offer encouragement that the right man is actually out there.
1. Dr Tatkin explains there is a part of the brain that plays a role in scanning the environment for safety and security at all times. It is easily alerted by faces, voices and movement that feel less than safe.
On a date the need to feel “safe” is amplified. Given your senses are heightened, it can feel like one small move that says your partner may not find you funny, attractive or a potential lover can send you into an anxious state of fight and flight.
When we move into a stress response the true ‘us’ essentially leaves the room because our brains are in survival mode.
This experience is normal when dating and being aware of it can go a long way to helping you stay more centred.
2. Sherlock Holmes was known for his sharp use of deductive reasoning to make the most of his observations. Dr Tatkin says you too can put the information you gather from focusing on the other person to good use by applying “Sherlockian” logic.
Focusing on your partner saves you from looking self-obsessed - which can be a turn off, it also helps ease your own anxieties and therefore has a positive effect on your nervous system. Checking in with how you feel and what you observe is important.
3. Visualize a positive date. Imagine a good outcome. This will not only make you feel good but also regulate your nervous system so that you are calmer and more positive.
All of these suggestions are invaluable on the dating scene because it allows your potential mate to see the authentic you, but it also allows you to focus on seeing who they are without reading into things that may not be true.
It is the anxiety that runs out of control on dates that makes things complicated and difficult and ultimately it is this that makes us say the right man is not out there for me.
So take the time to get your smarts together and get out there knowing he is waiting!
Melissa Ferrari is a Relational Psychotherapist, Relationship Therapist and Dating Coach in Sydney. She has been a specialist in the field for over 18 years and has worked with many people to help them live more fulfilling, passionate and happy lives. She helps transform people by working with them individually in a private practice and in her one or two day workshops. Melissa works with both individuals and couples. She has a great passion in working with people who are looking for love with authenticity and mindfulness. Melissa’s curiosity, while asking way too many questions is often part of the mix that helps create change in the people she works with!