You’re interested in them, they’re interested in you… if only the story ended there. Here’s how to handle not being the sole object of their affections.
Don’t worry be happy.
In today’s dating culture, don’t be afraid of the truth. When you’re dating someone and they’re also dating another, it has the potential to be unnerving. But the truth is, dating isn’t just a lead in to marriage and family anymore. Many people date for many reasons: some for companionship, connection, loneliness, networking, and sexual interest. However, the biggest unspoken reason to date is for self-realization.
Yes, that’s right. Self-realization.
People who are out there dating multiple people are often looking to find their own hidden truths mirrored in another. Looking to shut down that process for someone before they’re ready doesn’t ever work.
Commitment is cultivated in your relationship to yourself, not in a relationship to a partner. Those who are ready to commit to a monogamous relationship, do. Those who don’t, won’t. So it’s best to allow you and your companion the opportunity to be completely honest without emotional consequences. Otherwise, they will certainly rear their ugly heads down the line in the relationship. Take this opportunity to reset your view point and your purpose for dating with the following tidbits of perspective.
Truth #1: Nobody wants to get hurt.
It’s common for a person who’s been hurt before to easily attach to a partner in a dating relationship. But hoping it’s so, doesn’t make it so. If you’re in an emotional space where it’s difficult for you to date someone who is dating others, that’s okay. Don’t date them: be honest with yourself and truthful with them and if they’re valuable enough to you you’ll find a way to cultivate a friendship that can grow into a stronger romantic connection at a time where you both can get your needs met in the relationship.
Truth #2: The real power-struggle is within you.
Fear of rejection is what’s at play here. Don’t buy into it. A wise friend said to me when posed with the question, “Why is it dating can be so difficult?” Her response made me chuckle a bit. “Because people change their minds.” Bam! She said it. Folks can be fickle, superficial, self-centered, self-serving and flat-out fair-weathered.
And, when and if they are, it’s not about you. They aren’t rejecting you, they just have no need for your value. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have value. The more quickly you move on from someone who doesn’t need, appreciate, or want your value, the better for you.
Truth #3: Tell the truth and negotiate from there.
I’ve seen over and over in relationships with couples whom I have counseled: the less willing a partner is to knowing the truth, the easier it becomes for the other partner to lie. Many people aren’t self-governed, they rely on the boundaries set for them. When you set a boundary that things have to be a specific way and they are not that way for your date, it makes it easier for the person to lie—especially if they like you…and don’t know you well.
I even had a friend who was so stringent with her date in the first three months about everything from, “I only date Leos.” to “I won’t date a man who’s been married or has kids.” And yes, you guessed it. They were living together for four years before it all came crashing down. She found out he was really a Sagittarius and had an ex-wife and three children with whom he would visit daily from nine to five after he lost his job the first year, and those are just the highlights I remember.
Don’t get me wrong: his lies were not her fault. Clearly he had much deeper psychological issues at play. Make no mistake about it: when some people get forced into a corner, they feel ill-equipped to handle they also are ill-equipped to be honest.
Truth #4: Love yourself unconditionally and accept your needs.
When you enter into a new connection with someone, it’s okay to let yourself explore who they are rather than vet for who you want them to be. If you like or are attracted to someone, trust that. Allow the relationship to move at a pace that makes you comfortable.
What that looks like: when you learn something about someone that doesn’t make you comfortable, take some time on your own to process what and why that is. Don’t make a rash decision about inclusion or exclusion from your life. If you’ll allow yourself time and exposure to other people, everything will eventually be put in the needed prospective for you to make a solid informed choice for your highest good.
Truth #5: The grass is always greener until winter comes.
Life transforms through cycles and every relationship has them. You won’t ever be in a relationship with someone you like all of the time. Unless, of course, you like yourself all of the time; and, if that’s the case, I’m certain you don’t need relationship advice. So, please disregard the following: the way through an enduring relationship is to always choose your own goodness. Your love, your compassion, your integrity, your truth, and your honesty. If you will cultivate those five thing’s you will attract and promote them in others. They will be the green lens you’ll need in colder leaner times.
All in all, in spite of our immediate gratification dating culture, our one true goal is to learn to satisfy ourselves—first by what we give ourselves, second from what we receive from others, and ultimately what we give to others. Dating and the process of self-reflection that we experience in communing can give us enormous clarity on how we’re doing.
The rejection, jealousy, unconditional love, conflict, and joy that we feel in the face of dating someone with many love interests is certainly a path to an open heart and more generous spirit. For which, eventually, when you do find a partner that you connect with on many levels, you’re going to be prepared to do what it takes to endure in that relationship no matter the season.