“I will live in the past, the present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
It’s that time of year. The beginning. The do-over. The point of change, letting go and creating new habits. My question to you: Just How Scrooged Are You?
One of my favourite movies (second to Die Hard, of course) is “A Christmas Carol”, a Christmas ghost story. To recap Ebenezer Scrooge is the tight-fisted, grumpy, selfish Boss of Bob Cratchit (a happy, family man who focused on giving love to others). For Ebenezer to see his sabotaging behaviour, he is visited in the night by three ghosts: Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come. As a result, he saw the error of his ways and declared that he must change for the better to make his life more fulfilling. This got me thinking, how easy would it be if we were all visited by our own ‘Ghosts of Dating?’ How could their insights help us move one step closer to find that special someone? Let’s find out…
Ghost Of Dating Past
We all have a dating past. Some of it good, bad and at one phase probably ugly… How we relate to and understand our previous dating and relationship experiences influences our current dating behaviour. To figure out how your ex’s might have moulded your current feelings about dating I ask you to consider the answers to these questions:
What story are you telling yourself about dating?
Are you excited about who you might meet, or do you expect dating interactions to fail? Do you believe that online dating might work for you? Are you confident that there are “decent” people left out there for you? It’s important that you’re in the right dating mindset to help attract the right person for you.
Who were you in your last relationship before it ended?
Were you affectionate? loving? giving? assertive? curious? moody? suspicious? lazy? indifferent?
Try to remove blame from why things ended. Instead, try to identify why your past relationships made you feel a certain way; why you responded to different behaviours in different ways, positive or negative. Perhaps you were more of a ‘person pleaser’ or too ‘demanding’, did this behaviour benefit your relationship? How could you create more of a balance moving forward into your next relationship?
Both of these behaviour strategies come from fear of loss of a person or relationship. We either agree with everything they say to reduce any potential conflict, or we box the other person in with demands, rules or conditions to ensure we feel more ‘secure’ in our partnership. Have you been guilty of either strategy? I know I have. It’s so important to be comfortable and trusting in relationships to give them a chance to grow and strengthen.
Has your current dating strategy got you what you want?
Take a long hard look at where your current dating strategy has got you so far; are you moving in the right direction? No matter what part of the dating journey you’re on, from creating your profile, asking someone out, dating, snogging or even getting over rejection, there are probably parts of your dating strategy you could change or improve. Find out your dating strengths by looking at your dating history, and identify areas where you could focus on doing a little bit more, or further research on a topic.
Ghost Of Dating Present
Everything that has gone before is woven into the dating fabric of who you in this dating landscape.
What have you learnt about dating that you did not know in the past?
Perhaps you have learnt that you can’t handle the pressure of casual sex or that you are learning to ‘rejection proof’ yourself as you go on more first dates. Maybe you are getting better at enjoying meeting new people without ‘futurising’ what could become of the date or kiss.
All failure is feedback which can reliably inform you feel or think differently about improving the way you date.
Are your dating actions matching your dating goals?
Are you the man who claims you want a long term relationship and act 100% interested in a woman then ghosts her 3 dates in? Are you a woman who accepts late night booty calls, yet would love to call him your boyfriend? Do you bore your friends about wanting to find someone special, yet only go online once or twice a week? Do you admit to yourself that your default ‘type’ is not working time after time, but refuse to search outside your ‘dating box’?
Now is the time to create change, try new strategies and adopt new dating habits that can positively impact your future relationships. Make a list of things you could do to help yourself out.
What is your online profile saying about you right now?
Your online profile is your tool for self-promotion. It projects who you think you are in a relationship or while dating, promoting your thoughts and perspectives. Are you showcasing why it would be great to date you? Have you told your dating audience the type of person and relationship you want in a positive way? Tip: Read through your profile, is there anything negative? “No time wasters”, “I am cautious about dating”, “Back here again” – DELETE these phrases now. One of the best things to do is to get someone who knows you to have a look at your profile and give you some honest feedback.
Ghost Of Dating Yet To Come
Past + Present Ponderings = Future Dating Success. The only thing we can fully be sure of is this dating moment right now, however, we can take a breath to figure out what and who our future self could fall for.
What Is The Movie Scene Of Your Ideal Relationship Like? – See, Hear, feel It.
Picture a movie screen playing in front of you and there is your perfect relationship montage on loop What is happening on screen? How does that person make you feel – safe? desired? connected? carefree? fearless? energised? What do you see you two doing together? Netflix and couch cuddling? 24 hours in bed? learning a new skill? cooking together? gym sessions? How does your partner talk to you? A thousand compliments with the right amount of teasing banter and a bucket load of flirtation?
Knowing what words and actions give you the best chance at happiness in a relationship means you know what to do when this does not occur.
Do not Scrooge yourself over in love.