Forget the tips, tricks and the you-should-do-this-not-that mentality that leaves us feeling anything but authentic. It’s time to date like a goddess.
—This article was originally published by our friends at elephant journal; we’re republishing (with permission!) because we love it… and them. Enjoy.—
The mere thought of dating again after the breakup of my three-year relationship is crushing—to put it mildly.
Will anyone like me? Will I scare men away? Will they find me too overwhelming to bear—too intense, too loud, too opinionated, too emotional?
Dating is inherently insecurity-provoking. It’s a little fun, and a lot terrifying. But it doesn’t have to be so terrifying. I’ve decided to do it differently this time around.
I’ve decided to date like a goddess.
In the past, I’ve measured my sexiness and desirability by how cool I could play it around men. How much I wouldn’t say. How distant I could be. How mysterious I could appear. How little of my heart I could reveal. Maybe, I thought, if they rejected me, at least they weren’t rejecting the “real” me. But is that really any better? In the end, it just feels like a cowardly cop out.
To be honest, I wanted so badly to be that mythical creature we always hear about: the cool girlfriend. The effortlessly elegant girl who doesn’t have any big needs or wants, who never gets pissed off and always goes with the flow. The girl who doesn’t have any baggage or broken bits and who also happens to have a cellulite-free a** and abs flatter than a tabletop.
But the problem is, that’s impossible. It’s not real. The super cool, perfect girlfriend is as real as calorie-free chocolate layer cake and dogs that don’t bark.
She doesn’t exist.
I am not her. Neither are you. And that’s a beautiful thing.
And yet, we try so hard to be her. We dilute our emotions and memorize dating tips from magazines that somehow drill themselves into our brains like infectious pop songs. And these rules, as harmless as they might seem, are poison:
- Don’t say too much. Don’t scare him away.
- Don’t call him first.
- Don’t act like you like him too much.
- Play it cool.
- Don’t be too emotional.
- Don’t chase him.
Has any of that ever worked for any of us?
Not really. Because it’s complete and utter bullsh*t. Because rules like these encourage us to shrink, to be ghosts, to hold back, to play games.
How small will we make ourselves? How far will we stretch ourselves? How voiceless will we become?
How long will we second-guess our every word and map out complicated mind game strategies to “keep him hooked?”
By doing this, we strip ourselves of the raw beauty that makes us alive. We strip ourselves of the brilliant sparkle that lights up our eyes. We strip ourselves of our humanity.
Besides, how could we possibly attract the right partner if we’re not being true to ourselves?
We can’t. It’s not possible. There are so many wonderful humans out there who would love to get to know the real us. And you know what? They don’t want to play games. So let’s say a swift goodnight to all those exhausting rules and games; they don’t serve anyone.
Because finding love doesn’t happen when we’re mentally choreographing our words, buying internet e-books about how to keep a man, or not calling him because the rules say not to. Love happens when we are being real. It happens when we are brave enough to be ourselves.
So be as big and loud and beautiful as your soul tells you to be. Be present. Let your heart be your dating rule book guide. Approach finding love in the same way you’d approach dancing naked in a thunderstorm—with ripe enthusiasm, with openness, with raw, dripping curiosity. Approach it with the precious wonder of picking wildflowers in the summertime.
And if someone doesn’t like the masterpiece of your heart, if they’re scared away, that’s cool—they’re not the person for you. And hey, we just saved ourselves the trouble of a three-month bullsh*t relationship that would ultimately be revealed to be a lie.
We need to take more pride in who we are. We will never be voiceless cardboard cut-outs or flawless Barbie dolls.
We are human f***ing women with dripping hearts and big needs and wants and real emotions—and no, this does not make us crazy. Or “too much.” It makes us beautiful.
About the Author
Sarah Harvey is a contributor with elephant journal. She is a life coach, dancer, and enthusiastic truth-seeker who loves chocolate and tea. She believes that every day is art, and that each breath is magic. She believes in creativity, passion, and self-expression above all else. She believes in the beauty of a broken heart. She believes that we all have something downright extraordinary to offer to the world. Follow Sarah on Facebook and her website!