I Was Literally Going Insane in the Dating World...
Here's my story...
I grew up in a small town on the East Coast. My childhood was great in many ways and difficult in others and when I went off to college at age 18, I began to experience some of the consequences of the unresolved things from my upbringing.
When I met my first boyfriend at college I was young, emotionally immature and fixated on finding love. I was also drinking too much to deal with my anxiety. I developed a cycle of dating and relationships that would go something like this:
Someone new comes along I meet while out at a loud bar, party or from online.
We date, I like him A LOT and I try everything to get him to like me back even though he’s massively unavailable to me.
I change my clothes, my interests and sometimes my personality to try and lock him into a relationship with me.
He's unavailable so he ends the relationship.
I’m emotionally shattered and replay everything about the relationship back over in my head.
I wait for the sting to wear off, pump myself back up, get back on the horse and find myself at a loud bar again or back on OKCupid and the cycle would start all over again...
I was so confused. I thought I was a good looking, smart, successful, high achieving woman in her 30s so my troubles in dating and relationships baffled me.
I had a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
I had a Masters of Science in Education
I had a successful career
I was a popular DJ in New York City
I had friends to go out with every weekend
I had my own beautifully decorated apartment in Brooklyn
Despite my frustrations, I was determined to fix what I thought was broken in my love life. So I took to dating guides to study and learn how to master finding a boyfriend. By age 32, I had read countless blog posts, magazine articles and books. I was also trying out all my tips and trick on new men I'd meet.
Here was my iBooks Library in 2013.
Have you read any of these?
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex by John Gray
Are All Guys Assholes? by Amer Madison
It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Breakup Buddy by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Rutola-Behrendt
Date Like a Man by Myreah Moore
Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl by Sherry Argov
Why Men Marry Bitches: A Woman's Guide to Winning Her Man's Heart by Serry Argov
All The Rules: Time Tested Secrets for Caputuring the Heart of Mr. Right by Ellen Fein and Sherri Schneider
The Rules for Online Dating: Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right in Cyberspace by by Ellen Fein and Sherri Schneider
Text. Love. Power. The Ultimate Girl's Guide to Dating in the New Millennium by Vanessa Taylor
Spoiler alert. None of it worked.
After devouring all the manuals, I managed to date guys for a couple months at a time but the relationships always ended the same three ways:
1. He would slowly would disappear.
2. He would tell me he wasn't ready for a relationship.
3. He would say he met someone else.
I watched my girlfriends evolve, get married and go deeper in their committed relationships. Lemme tell you, it hurt. All this time I was hiding that fact that I was desperate to find a boyfriend behind my busy social life, material success and "all the good ones are taken" attitude.
Behind the closed doors of my beautifully decorated apartment, I was home alone binging Netflix, drinking too much wine and quietly wondering if there was something wrong with me.
To make matters worse, I hooked up my old flames from time to time when the loneliness and fear of ending up alone became too much. I was unhappy and moving from city to city looking for answers. In each new city, I recreated the same scenarios in dating and relationships that left me feeling angry, sad, emotionally exhausted and spiritually defeated. I was reaching a breaking point but I didn't know what to do about it.
In 2016, in a moment of clarity, I decided to take a break from dating and start down a path of getting to know myself.
It was also when the real work began.
Here is the most important thing I've learned along the way. I couldn't have a happy healthy relationship if I wasn't able to approach my love life as an integrated adult. I realized that my emotional age was not in alignment with my physical age. I began to see my self-sabotaging patterns in dating and relationship covered up the truth that I needed emotional healing and emotional training to develop my emotional maturity before any relationship was possible for me. I learned that my emotional immaturity is reflected in everything. In my dating profile, what I write in messages to potentials, who I choose to go out with, what I will tolerate in dating, how I show up on dates and in partnership and ultimately how I show up in my whole life.
But how did I actually find my person?
Well, I had to stop trying to figure it out myself with all my dating manuals and get some real help with growing myself emotionally.
In doing so, learned I needed help to heal
a) the pain from all the past relationships that didn't work out and
b) the unhealthy patterns of love I developed in my early years
In addition to healing, I also discovered that my thinking about romantic interests, about myself, about dating and relationships was faulty and kept me approaching love from an emotionally immature consciousness.
I set out on the difficult yet rewarding task of becoming an integrated adult who could finally be ready for a mature relationship.
During this process, I felt like I came home and reconciled with myself.
I experienced real emotional healing and lasting transformation.
I felt alive and excited about what was possible for me. My purpose and direction in life became clear and I started running toward it. I was happy and vibrating high again. Of course I still dealt with challenges in my life but I felt sad, frustrated or forgot the path I was on, I had tools to work through it and find my way back home again.
Finding my person became easier at this point and at age 34 I landed in a committed relationship with the person I am still with today. It's a relationship I have fun in and feel challenged everyday to keep growing emotionally. When it's very challenging I have the roadmap to guide me back home. Most importantly, I feel full permission to love without fear and bring all of myself out each day because I did that work for myself first.
My person! Together since July 2016!
So how can you find your person?
If you're struggling to find your person there's hope. You can overcome your emotional blocks to finding love so the next time you're on a date you can be clear, feel secure and have some fun in your search for a deep meaningful relationship.
It feels important to say that finding my person was not the end of this story. We did not ride off into the sunset together and live happily ever after. While we enjoyed a long honeymoon period soaking in all that new relationship energy, a deeper level of emotional growth work was and continues to be required to keep our relationship happy, healthy and sustainable.
If you're struggling with your emotions in your current partnership there's hope for you too. You can use your partnership to heal, grow and become an emotionally free woman who will have her partner love her with all their heart because you did the work for yourself first. If you're interested in learning more or working together I invite you to explore my offerings here.
You got this,
Go here to learn more about my background, my credentials and my method of transformation.
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The Empowered Emotions Guidebook: An Exploration Into 5 Difficult Emotions ...and How to Use Them Instead to Empower You and Your Love Life