Which of the following best describes your love life?
a. Witchy: You don’t whistle while you work, you snicker as you swipe
b. Ghosted: You’re still BOO hooing over the one that got away… in high school
c. Ghoulish: You tell your friends you can’t go out as you already have plans (uh, with your old friends, Ben and Jerry).
Thankfully, I have some good-ish news that starts with this realization: maybe it’s you.
You say you want love. You swear you are searching hard for it. You’re on all the sites (or, at least, you’ve tried all the free trials for all of the sites). Your friends and even most people at work “kinda sorta” know that you are looking for the one. Heck, you (of all people) even wrote out your love dream.
But, alas, it’s to no avail. Not only have you not met him/her yet, you’ve got nothing but a truckload of evidence that there IS indeed a drought out there. And what’s left is a shortage of great and available prospects, where the only scraps that seem to be left for you are liars, texters, and bunny-boilers. Oh my. Can I get an “amen” or a Facebook thumb?!
NO MAYBE ABOUT IT. IT’S YOU.
But what if the truth is that you are so much more mischievous in this scenario than victimized? And so much more the Don Corleone of the dramatic comedy that is your love life than the damsel/dude (for lack of a better masculine “d”) in distress? What if you found out that you haven’t actually been looking for love at all, but playing another sport altogether? And, what if seeing and admitting this is actually good news?
It would free you up to play in a better and braver sport. One that proves love easy to find and the quest for it, a deeper, more spiritual one than uh, a number’s game.
If you have always attracted or been attracted to the sub-marrying-kind and/or are only getting “interesting” people responding to your dating profile, best to suspect something in your own formula than simply blaming the dating pool. Just like with Pandora Radio, if you don’t like the songs you keep getting on your personally-designed radio station, start suspecting it’s not Pandora that’s the problem; it’s you. Whoops and whew!
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR
Yes, you are the only common denominator in all the men/women YOU’ve dated. You pick them. You attract and are attracted to them. You date them. And, hell, many of you even keep and marry them. There is a reason those particular crappy songs keep playing on YOUR “station.” Best to stop looking so doe-eyed. Your fingerprints are indeed everywhere. And, once you fully buy the realization that you are your problem, you can do something about you.
In order to figure out what’s in your particular formula, make a list of all the women/men you’ve dated over the last ten-plus years (depending on how old you are). Once you’ve finished listing them all out, go through them. What’s in common with all of them (besides you)? What must your theories be about love, about yourself, about relationships, about all men or women, about marriage and monogamy … that would have you date, keep dating, crush on and/or suffer over this particular “playlist?”
Truly, you wouldn’t date a jerk, tolerate a temper, flirt (or worse) with someone who is unavailable, and ignore so many red flags if you didn’t have something you were invested in proving, right? In other words, I’m making the case that you’re way more sneaky than stupid when it comes to love. Nice try.
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PROVING BAD THEORIES
Let me give you an example of one of my own favorite crap theories about love. Back in the dark ages (my dating days), one of my favorite lousy, highly original theories (cough, cough) for which I gathered years of evidence was “people don’t appreciate me.” Well, what kind of man do you think I dated, coveted and was attracted to? Someone who liked me and thought me great? Nah. Surprisingly (not), I called those guys “friends.” Magically, I wasn’t attracted to anyone who really liked me. The man I wanted was the one who didn’t turn around when I walked into the room. The one who, no kidding, washed his privates after we had sex (can’t make that stuff up). Yep. That was my type. Sneakily, my heart pitter pattered for that kind of man and stayed comfortably dumb as to why I was not finding lasting love. Certainly, it was California’s issue (where I happened to live) and not mine, right?! Mwah ha ha! (mad scientist laugh).
Another great place to see what sport you’ve really been in regarding love, besides your relationship history, is your dating profile (even if you’ve retired it). Look at your profile and see if you managed to slip in any of the following words (meaning you’re pretending the sites are your problem and not your own sneaky sport and theories that are the real issue):
Trustworthy, does not cheat, loyal, makes ME happy, takes risks, edgy, sarcastic, finds me attractive, mentally stable, emotionally available, not an x or a y, accepts me for me, sex does not get boring, unconditional, mutual, when things get tough he/she will go to counseling with me, no matter how often we fight, when times get hard, sticks with me through and through, ever-lasting, loyal, loyal, loyal and, what the hell, unconditional again.
In your profile, I promise you, YOU are fixing what didn’t work in your last twenty seemingly real but not “attempts” at love. Sneakily, you are invoking your favorite theories, pretending you are not. Go investigate it for yourself; hungrily and happily find your theories hiding within it; and, yes, rewrite it.
PROVE A NEW THEORY RIGHT
Truth is, the only way to truly change your tune when it comes to love is to see what’s in your current formula, go head on with it and be willing to prove something much braver than drought. Dare yourself to invent a NEW sport altogether when it comes to finding love.
P.S. Learn to Human Better with Inner.U, our online coaching course that gives you the tools to do this life thing a little better. Inner.U is 12 virtual sessions with Lauren Zander which includes 1 free private coaching session with an HG coach, a Promise Tracker, and a Buddy System to keep you accountable. You in?