So, you've met a guy that you are very interested in.
He has a lot of strong check marks in his favor. You both have a certain hobby in common. You vibe very well. Maybe you attend the same church, or enjoy the same podcasts and preachers. And, he is very handsome... like.... some might say "sexy af."
Your heart immediately comes alive, and fire courses through your veins. You want more of him. You can't wait to see him next, hear from him. You find yourself able to highlight and enjoy every detail of who he is: his walk, the tone of his voice, the way he thinks...
And your superpower of sensitivity works against you sometimes, too. You find yourself reading into everything he says, imagining what each response means. You feel anxious, out of control, insecure. You're worried that he isn't interested in you - so you try to do everything you can to prove that you're a great catch (because you are!). You go out of your way to show him that you care. You make nice gestures of affection or support. You try to entice him with your beauty, femininity or sexuality.
I get it. It hurts and is extremely disheartening to be in uncertainty. And you know that if you leave your mind on autopilot, it'll spiral in a very dangerous way. Negative self-talk. Beliefs that you are not enough - not pretty enough, not interesting enough..... or maybe too much? Too bold, too talkative, too needy... If you leave your mind on autopilot, you'll spiral like a tornado and lose yourself until.... *ding*.... relief. You get that text message or response back from him, and suddenly, you're calm again. You can breathe. You feel reassured.
Thing is, depending on his affirmation and validation is a temporary fix. It's a band-aid. One day, you will meet a person that you really enjoy - and he will really enjoy you, too. You'll decide you are also compatible in your values for life, your idea of family, your spirituality, your way of spending money... and you'll pursue a holistic marriage. And even then, his affirmation and validation won't be enough for you. It can't be. He's a human. He'll disappoint you, you'll disappoint him, and if you base your sense of "okay" on his approval, you'll be at high risk for the shock of bitterness and resentment.
The more you try to control the outcome of your dating life, the more you actually restrain its potential. You're putting it into the itty bitty box of what you can understand or guesstimate. I mean...look at the billions of people and cultures and foods and insects and animals that exist on this planet. You know little to nothing about most of it. And yet, without your control, it all continues to function.
Think of your body. You need a medical professional to help you understand why you're coughing weird or why your eye twitches...and even still, while you drink your tall latte or go for a morning jog, your body continues in orchestrated harmony without your interference or attention.
To put it plainly; your control will accomplish nothing.
I hope there is some peace and rest in this, though. Everything will move without your interference. This allows you more space to be pleasantly surprised and delighted. If you want to control what time he calls you, and you routinely check your phone for the awaited message, this leaves no room for you to actually receive his growing affection. Your mind is just too clouded with who you imagine him to be.
If you catch yourself wanting to talk to your friends and ask them to analyze his messages or a recent scenario... pause. What will this accomplish? You will only receive information about your friends' perspectives. You still have no information about him. So why go down that path?
Instead, it could be helpful to ask your friends' support to remain anchored in who you are. To redirect your thoughts to something constructive, something in the present. Or, maybe to help you root out some of the lies created in your mind due to overanalyzing. Focus on your experience; not on controlling his.
And, as you live in your experience, fully embodied and present, you'll be able to observe little surprises day by day. The kind stranger who waves. The sensual feeling of your body moving in rhythm down the grocery aisle. The giggle of a baby nearby. And yes, the unexpected way that your person of interest interacts with you. You'll become more aware of all the goodness that the universe has available.
Welcome in! I'm Sadé!
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist and a dating coach for singles impacted by Purity Culture.
If you'd like more intimacy and relationship content, subscribe to the My Intimacy Therapist Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.