GUEST POST: Here is a post written by fellow dating coach, Ashley Phillips, who has great tips for how to overcome those blocks and fears so you can find true love.
My dad, a gruff biker dude who has a way with words, once said: “Don’t half ass it. If you are going to do it, use your whole damn ass!” Of course, everyone in the room broke out into a wild laughter. It was funny to hear but the insight was ingenious: if you are going to do something put your whole self into it. This funny saying stuck with me so well that I turned it into an affirmation I’ve used in 2017 and 2018: “I whole ass everything, with joy.” It’s a good affirmation because it is relevant and sticks with me—there is emotion behind it. I utilized this affirmation with my dating life.
In 2017 I decided, after a torturous relationship, to do the Rules 100% to the letter. I decided it would be like a religion to me because I was sick of either being hurt or spinning my wheels. A journal-junkie by nature, I took out my trusty Moleskine and pen and noted EVERY rule I’ve broken with this last relationship. I was ruthless. I wanted it to really sink in that my “half assing” the Rules led to a preventable pain-fest. I needed to FEEL it in my bones. Why did I feel so compelled to break so many rules? Why was I not, as my dad would say, using my “whole ass?”
I told myself that I had an abundance mindset and that I didn’t care if I was single or not but I kept making excuses and breaking rules. Turns out I, deep down, still had lingering fear that this was as good as it gets and that I don’t deserve more. That The Rules only worked for other girls, not me. That I would be alone if I was super strict.
Because it was hard for me to realize this I went with more subversive tactics over the years: sabotaging by being picky, breaking little rules, or throwing them out completely due to reason X, Y, or Z. I was making my fears come true—I was getting crumby dating outcomes because I thought I deserved crumby dating outcomes. Of course, because I thought I deserved it I acted like it and men picked up on it. Yikes!
So, how do you wade through the subconscious muck to fix the issue?
I’ve developed the Three “Is” system for overcoming blocks to “whole-assing” dating.
Write down your last few dating experiences and every rule you broke. Be ruthless. Even if it is that you didn’t brush your hair on a first date or have unflattering pictures on your Facebook. Leave nothing out. I know it is painful but this step is crucial.
Overcoming the block of fear can be pretty epic. However, it can be done! It starts with confronting your worst fears.
I suggest writing your answer down in your journal so you can track your progress. Really go into detail about your deepest fears regarding The Rules. Are you afraid that if you are too strict you’ll weed out every man in existence? That it is only for thinner/younger/taller/shorter/older women? That there are no good men left out there so you’ll just waste your time and be single forever?
For example: I was afraid that if I did The Rules too strictly I will face a never-ending series of rejections and men making fun of me because I had no right to act like I deserved that treatment. I feared that the series of rejections would be painful and I’d just be tortured endlessly until I was alone and miserable.
When I took a hard look at my fear it dawned on me that the worst thing that could happen was that I ended up single. Maybe a bunch of strangers making rude comments or not texting back was bad but I really didn’t care that much. Turns out my worst fear was being single—yet I was single at the time and doing just fine. My actual worst fear was ending up with a terror of man and that didn’t even factor into my Rules compliance. The fear suddenly dropped and I was able to allow myself to take more risks. Remember: you are strong and have been through a lot worse. You can survive your worst-case scenario.
I highly suggest the use of affirmations to build up your new Rules story. Affirmations can subtly change your thinking so that eventually you replace old thought patterns with better thought patterns. I used Rules-oriented affirmations every morning for two years and it was really helpful. I found myself saying it to myself in dressing room mirrors when trying on a daring black skirt hand-picked by Karenna! It works!
I also suggest you take one area of The Rules you’ve been holding back on: online dating, wearing hotter clothing, or not texting back and take massive inspirational action in a Rules-direction. If you have been rejecting every guy who asks you out on three dates you may challenge yourself to date every (safe) guy who asks you out within three messages. Barring safety red-flags, go no matter what. Force yourself to enjoy the occasion. That doesn’t mean fall in love, be his best friend, or date him again. Just go and enjoy connecting with another human being.
Just pick one area and face your fears.
Things are scary until you do them and then they are not.
Traveling alone to Europe is scary until you do it and survive. Starting graduate school was scary for me until about a semester in when I realized I survived. Trying a new exercise can be daunting until it isn’t.
Taking action can change your life. Want proof? Here is how my 3-steps ended:
I chronically fell off the map with many guys who asked me out within three messages. I decided that I was going to say “yes” to any guy who asked me out respectfully within three messages no matter what. Also, I decided to be a complete babe (carefree and sweet) and totally Rules-y so that I could enjoy myself no matter what happened.
I agreed to a drink date with a guy who had one old picture on his profile and wrote me a novel the first two messages. He asked me out in the second and third messages. At first he asked me for lunch on a weekday (no, I’m busy) and then weekend. I was weary because he had one old picture and wrote novels for messages. I decided to “whole-ass” it and go. I wore a fitted knee-length black tank dress under a fitted denim jacket and knee-high boots with hoop earrings and a big gold watch. I was going all-in so I decided to look like I was all-in for a casual drink-date.
I went, had a good time though he seemed shy and nervous, and thought he’d never message me again. It was a great time but he seemed really uncomfortable (turns out it was nerves). He asked me out again the next day. I was hesitant but went.
I’m glad I did because I ended up marrying him.
If you'd like to try out some well-tested affirmations that will help you go all in with dating sign up for Ashley’s mailing list and receive a free pdf.