Earlier in the year, I found myself back in the throws of the dating game. After a long term relationship ended – and I needed taking several months off to hibernate and heal – I decided it was time to embrace my single status and begin navigating the journey of opening up to new men and getting back out in to the world.
I love relationships, whatever shape or form they come in, as they are incredible opportunities for you to learn about yourself, break down the walls around your heart and truly embrace vulnerability.
They are powerful teachers and platforms to experience deep self awareness and express yourself with another.
The Dating Game
Dating is no different. It is vulnerability central.
After all, there is nothing more petrifying than that first meeting. Fumbling with initial small talk, sizing up this newbie while knowing they are doing the exact same thing to you, and trying to remain calm and together while the eyes of a complete stranger bear down on you.
Sometimes you have to play the dating game for a while before you find someone where something clicks.
As you meet a stream of strangers, you secretly hope that he will be the one which sparks that feeling of excitement in your belly, makes you giggle nervously and has you struggling to maintain eye contact because all you can think of is kissing him.
It is the feeling we all long for. It is why we endure the journey of dating.
My click moment came relatively early in the piece. I had only been back on the scene for a few short weeks before I met him. The beginning of our time together felt like an intense whirlwind that I found myself swept up in. Work fell by the wayside, I walked around in a lust-filled daze and thoughts of him consumed my mind endlessly.
And while most of the time things felt rosy, beautiful and effortless, at times I noticed a new energy start to creep in.
It is the energy that transforms you from that glowing goddess that he cannot get enough of, to the clingy, needy girl that makes him want to run in the other direction.
Fear, Need & Attachment
Attachment stems from a place of fear and overflows with the repelling energy of need. And it is a sure fire way to ruin a relationship.
It begins with that dull ache of anxiety. Feelings of insecurity niggle within you. There is a knot in your belly and tightness in your chest.
Over-analysis creeps in. You find yourself searching for signs to validate their feelings for you. You are unsettled, worried and scared that they will lose interest, grow bored and the glow will wear off.
It plays out as Facebook stalking, constant phone checking “Have they texted back yet?”. Instagram stalking. Checking your phone again “How long since they last replied?” More social media stalking.
How you feel seems to rest delicately on their actions. Your feelings oscillate between excitement and disappointment, lust and fear, peace and anxiety, ease and chaos. And the like…
I could go on, but I know you can already relate.
When we become attached (whether it be to a person, a job, money or an outcome) our energy shrinks and contracts. We become clingy and needy as we are relying upon this external situation to make us feel a certain way. We are constantly scared of losing this situation out of fear of what it will mean about us.
So pay close attention to how you are feeling. The minute you start to get that niggle of insecurity, that bubble of anxiety, that frenetic thought pattern around them, you know you’ve fallen in. Your attention has drifted from yourself and is now solely on them, wanting and needing them.
Love Without Attachment
To create true, deep, lasting loving relationships, you need to know that you are the source of the love that you seek. For as long as you see that person as the one who has to validate you, make you feel enough, and fill up the emptiness within you, you will be caught in a cycle of fear and need.
Love without attachment feels light, expansive, free and soft. Love without attachment is playful. Detached love allows each person to be who they are. It is free from expectations. It is the absence of need.
It doesn’t mean you let someone walk all over you, or treat you in a way that is any less than you deserve. In fact, it is the opposite.
You are so attentive to your own needs, so supporting of yourself and so loving that you know what is and isn’t right for you. And when you show up from this beautiful space, you can then share that incredible feeling with another.
This is not about trying to be perfect, but rather being conscious and aware of your inner reserves, and knowing how to top them up when they are running low, rather than expecting another to do it for you.
The relationship simply becomes a dance. An opportunity to express the love you feel within you.
You overflow on to one another. You both bring love to the table. There is a life force between you.
To Create Love, Without Need:
+ Notice when the niggling patterns of anxiety and insecurity arise. In those moments stop. Don’t text, call or reach out. Instead check in with yourself and ask yourself what you need right now. Learn how to fill yourself up with the feelings you desire to feel in the relationship.
+ Approach relationships with the desire to share, play and express who you are with another, rather than from a space of need.
+ Let them be who they are and appreciate them wherever you can, rather than criticising when they don’t meet your expectations.
+ Have a life outside of the relationship and stay connected your friendships to avoid placing too much pressure on this new love.
+ Let there be space. Be comfortable being on your own without them, and let them have a life outside of you.
+ Love yourself enough so that you will still be ok if the relationship ends.
+ Practise communicating your feelings from a calm space rather than when you are feeling reactive or needy.
+ Check in with yourself regularly and learn how to support yourself when you are feeling the need for some love, care and affection.
+ Have interests, hobbies or things you love to do that bring passion and excitement to your life outside of the relationship.
+ Own your crap, be aware of any baggage you are bringing to a relationship and take responsibility for it, rather than projecting it on to another.
I would love to know your thoughts on the practise of love and detachment. Have you fallen in to that needy, fearful, attached space before? Share your experiences with me in the comments.