Dating -- Your Head, Heart & Hormones!
At the tender age of 19 my hormones were raging -- but they had been since I was 13.
Through a combination of chance, luck or serendipity I suddenly found myself faced with the opportunity of dating a woman I found incredibly physically appealing. Her personality -- so-so!
We dated for about two months. The word ambivalent doesn't begin to describe the experience.
Did I enjoy the sex -- absolutely -- once I got the hang of it! Was it fun? You bet! Was I having a great time -- not really.
My companion was pleasant enough, smiled a lot and the dates weren't disagreeable. Yet despite the fulfillment of my carnal desires something just didn't feel right. Our interests were different and our taste in food and music were virtually incompatible.
It became clear to me that I didn't particularly feel good about myself when I was out with her. It wasn't from a sense of guilt because I was in essence dating for companionship and sex which she was as well.
After about 16 dates my college wallet weighed a lot less while a lot more weighed on my mind. When our dates ended I usually felt a bit relieved.
Much to my adolescent male surprise I found I wanted to end the relationship. Simply put -- other than the good sex we shared nothing in common.
Would I do the same thing again? Most likely as I was only 19.
As a mature adult my answer is a categorical no!
Each of us is different. My purpose in writing this article is to shed a bit of enlightenment that will assist in making dating decisions that work best for you.
Let's start with a unique affirmation -- to put us in a positive frame of mind.
If you're like most of us, dating although ultimately rewarding brings its share of stress, aggravation, disappointments, frustrations -- well you get the idea.
Virtually everyone I know has told me at one point or another that they are putting a 'moratorium' on their dating because they've got so much on their plate. Additional pressure is something they want to avoid.
What a shame that dating which is the potential preamble to mating should be such a source of agita. There're lots of reasons for this -- we'll just touch the surface for now.
Before we begin let's set a goal. How about reducing a bit of the stress associated with dating!
Deconstructing the dating process let's start with our heads. I'm referring to our conscious thoughts (that we often ignore) and those of which we are unaware -- perhaps lurking just beneath the surface.
Here's a Mind Acrobatics™ exercise. It's a bit longer than most so do it when you're feeling relaxed and not rushed. If you prefer simply skim it for now and you'll pick up the general ideas.
Mind Acrobatics Exercise: Head, Heart & Hormones
Time Needed: About 3O minutes
Clothing: Comfortable or optional
Materials: Journal, writing implement, music, candle, beverage -- whatever you like
Location: Anywhere you find peaceful
- Put a huge smile on your face and hold it for five seconds.
- Take 7 slow breaths and begin to relax and feel at peace.
- Start writing in stream of consciousness what you bring to a relationship specifically in terms of personality, sense of humor, humanity -- all the essential important qualities.
- Enjoy 7 more slow breaths then add a smile.
- Begin writing once again, now about the traits that are most important to you in a date. This may be for casual or more serious dating consideration.
- Create a list of what you will and won't accept in a date.
- List absolute 'musts' the individual has to possess to qualify for your valuable time. After all, it's a limited commodity!
- Now the deal breakers. Record qualities, behaviors, values and whatever you believe won't be acceptable at all. Call these individuals 'no starts.'
- When you're finished smile and take a short relaxing walk or any physical activity that feels good.
I make a point of saying 'for now' because life is organic, constantly changing and the most enlightened of us are continually evolving.
Shall we talk about the 'Heart' for a moment? What an important topic to which we're relegating a relatively short amount of words!
Your heart -- emotions -- that indescribable internal feeling that is elicited when sharing time with someone to whom you are attracted. Not enough can be said about the significance of how your heart swells when someone finds you desirable.
Mind Acrobatics: Head, Heart & Hormones (part 2)
- Return to your comfortable spot.
- Smile and think about the last time a date made your heart 'feel good.'
- Briefly write what you believe engendered this feeling.
- Visualize enjoying that sensation once again. Savor it.
- Now relax and take 7 more slow breaths ending with a smile.
Now -- 'Hormones'! We're not talking medically here. Simply raw chemical attraction.
If we are honest most of us will admit to having gone on ill advised dates but not caring. The guy or gal just turned us on.
Hormones are good! Imagine life without them. Boring is too weak a word.
I feel I would be remiss in not mentioning that there doesn't always have to be a chemical attraction. As your Mom might have told you, "she'll grow on you." Or perhaps your Dad said "he's a real nice guy, give him a chance."
For purposes of this article we're ignoring parents and the above paragraph. We aren't going to leave out the hormone component.
So, what's the next step in creating the quality of date that will bring you pleasure without stress?
This is the easiest part. You've laid the groundwork by recognizing all your strengths and what you bring to a potential relationship. You've identified the ideal qualities you'd like in a mate.
Your level of self-awareness has been raised. This is great because it allows for more mindfulness as you date. As a result all you experience is enhanced in 'the moment.' You're actually processing and responding to 'real time data' in a far more conscious and centered way.
Most importantly, you've established 'deal breakers.' These are the traits you believe won't be tolerated under any circumstances.
Which brings us back to hormones. While the success of a relationship is bound to fail if you go out with a 'no start' because of a chemical attraction, your needs may certainly be filled temporarily.
As long as you're willing to accept the other emotions and baggage that's dragged along with your decision then certainly go for it.
However, if you really want to enjoy dating in earnest then eventually you'll ditch the deal breaker, no start companions.
Now might be a good time to decide how you want your dating experiences to move forward.
Always remember you are the engine that drives the positive feelings about your inner-being. Never give that power to another! Consider it when making dating choices.
We've just touched the surface in this article. There are many complexities to dating and life that we haven't explored. And that of course includes -- "Now that I've identified what I want in a relationship, how and where do I find it?"
Until next time -- take the insight you've gleaned and put yourself out there. Life is way too short. Generate positive energy and have fun!
Find a date, make a new friend or both. It's all good!
Dave Kanegis is a Certified Professional Coach and works via telephone, Skype, FaceTime and in-person. He provides concierge coaching in NYC and Palm Beach.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org