You’re getting ready for your first date with that hot guy you met the other day. You have to look your best so when he sees you his eyes pop out of his head and he’s literally speechless, leaving you giddy with laughter flipping your hair, awww how we love the validation. The same goes for him although we act like we don’t know or recognize that men crave validation (just not as often and in a different way, clearly).
We start the very beginning phases of dating by looking at how our needs will be met, our needs, not theirs. So the checklist in most women’s mind goes something like this: did he compliment my looks, did he hold my hand, did I want him to hold my hand, did he open the car door, did he choose the right restaurant, can he hold a conversation, was he into me, how about the kiss? Me, me and me. How does this make me feel? Are my conditions being met yet? Is he good looking enough? Does he have a good job? Can I see myself marrying him? It’s the first date but yeah….you’ve pulled out your checklist to see if he is marriage material, yet you know very, very little about him. Sounds confusing.
What’s missing here? Oh how he feels! Do we consider how he feels when we go on a date? Does he consider how you feel? Obviously men have their own conditions, usually plenty of them as well. Is she pretty enough? Is she funny? Can she hold a conversation? Does she come from a good family? Am I attracted to her? That’s the biggest clearly but it’s not enough. Then what are her flaws? I know she isn’t perfect. Is she going to go crazy on me like my ex. Conditions. I’m really picky because I’m fabulous? (Insecure perhaps too) Conditions. Me, me, me…me. me.
Now, what if we were to date like this. We get ready and instead of thinking about what he or she can give you, maybe we can learn about each other – taking the conditions out so we can get to know each other, authentically. What if we learned to unlearn all the things we think are important and get to the core of what the potential is. To fall in love. Not with the person who matches your checklist, but with the person who warms your heart, holds you hand, makes you laugh, gives you butterflies, tells you their secrets and wants to know yours, who has your back, as you have theirs. It usually takes a while to get here, to this point where we know each other and accept each other. We jump through hurdles to get here, to gain trust that your lovers intentions are pure, leaving you free to be truly vulnerable.
So we’ve got it all wrong. We’re dating and painting a picture of a life we envision. If the picture doesn’t look like the one in our head we make way for a lot of excuses. There are some who overcome those and others that will stay single. Think about that picture…it ruins everything because that picture is supposed to come last, after you’ve fallen in love and built your life, that’s real life. The rest is the condition, the pretty picture that you’re standing in wondering what the fuck you’re doing. Think about it before your next date.
Written by: Toni Bergquist