The Only Thing You Need to Check While Dating To Find the Right Partner — The Story of Beliefs
Dating can be challenging and unpredictable. We might meet people whose needs are different from ours. We might find people who we find boring, and we might meet many whose commitment phobia stops them from having a meaningful relationship. So many people, so many problems. This is all when I don’t even consider class, ethnicity, family background, and other such factors.
Most people generally find themselves dating someone for a few months before realizing they are not on the same page as the other person. After a few more encounters of this sort — they tend to give up on dating and may even become cynical.
So how can you know who is right for you? Frankly, you can’t, but there is one thing you can check, which ensures whether you use the best filtering mechanism.
What is it? Don’t be surprised when I tell you for Nth time — It is effective communication.
Now hear me out before you give up on this article. Most of us think we are great communicators when it comes to dating, and it is ‘the other’ person who is the problem. That’s not true. If you face issues in your dating life, then chances are you not as good of a communicator as you think. About 50% of us are likely to have communication problems due to our attachment style.
Whereas people with effective communication are bound to feel confident in their dating life whether or not they are in a relationship because they feel sure they can face any problem.
So, how do you effectively communicate?
- Understand yourself
There is a lot of shame attached to specific dating patterns of people. Romantic people are shamed for being clingy, while people with intimacy issues are shamed for being commitment-phobes. Although due to the focus on the individual in the western world, commitment-phobes are likely to face less shame.
Clinginess/Romantic is nothing but a need of closeness, and that is amazing. Somehow we have been made to believe that depending on another is a sign of weakness and that we all must at all times be responsible for our own wellbeing. Research has found that partners tend to feel stressed when their partner does, and so do they feel happy. When our emotions are intertwined this way — is it even possible to not depend on your partner? Accept yourself for who you are and be okay about asserting it.
Similarly, for people with intimacy issues, it is alright to want space. The only proper way to do this is to know that ‘Hey, I need space’ and not make it about the other person or their shortcomings. Once you start to own up your need for space, it is easier to navigate things.
2. Observe their reactions to your emotional needs.
Once we know what we want in a relationship, whether it is something casual we are looking for or marriage — the next thing is to observe how the person reacts to your emotional needs. This is not to say there is anyone out there who can meet every emotional need of yours, but a secure person will try and fulfill your emotional needs or at least hold the space for you instead of blaming you for it or running away from it by saying ‘I can’t help it.’
People who are secure in their dating life tend to see their partner’s wellbeing as their responsibility because they know it is impossible to be happy when your partner is not, which is totally different from the views of an insecure person who tend to see needs as a zero-sum game where only one person can be happy. It is a battle of who gets their way.
The former have the EQ to soothe their insecure partners when they need reassurance and do not take it personally when their partner needs a lot of space.
The only thing you need to check when going on a date is, do they care?
When you convey an emotional need, do they care? Do they make it their own problem? Do they try to soothe you? Do they try to solve it or at least hold space for you?
People who are not used to healthy relationships often feel it is too much to expect that another person will see our problem as theirs but trust me, this is more normal than we are led to believe. Most secure people tend to treat their partners like royalty.
3. Be okay with rejection
This is another major problem that tends to hold us back from effectively communicating.
People are often afraid to ask or point out bizarre behaviors because they feel the other person will reject them if they do so. They are just prolonging suffering.
First of all, a mixed-signal is a clear signal they are not interested. Waiting for a call after two days of a date literally means you don’t want to listen to the clear indication that they are not interested. No person who is genuinely interested in another will wait two days to call them. Listen and accept.
Second, you are not meant for everyone. So many of us have our self-worth attached to the acceptance we receive from our romantic partners that we feel our self-esteem will fall if we hear a rejection. This is probably an extensive exercise you need to do on your own on how to decouple this. Once you are okay with rejection, you can very openly ask people if they are interested. And quickly move on if they are not, saving you months if not years of agony. A relationship where you are constantly walking on eggshells can kill your self-esteem much faster than a small act of rejection after a second date if only you effectively communicate.
Sadly, effective communication comes much more easily to those who are confident in themselves because they know what they want. Whether it is cheesy dates or two months solo trip, they are very unafraid to ask for it and clearly signal these to their potential dates. Unlike insecure people who tend to not reveal their needs due to fear of rejection.
Second, they expect to be loved and cared for. They are wired to believe they deserve love all the time. Hence, one rejection does not shake their core. They easily focus on the nine other people who accept them, unlike insecure people whose mind tends to focus on the 1/10 people who rejected them because they just don’t expect to be loved and focused on negativity.
Even sadder is that this expectation comes from our life experiences, how loved we were as children and our adult romantic relationships.
The two ways to be better at communicating is
- Consciously choosing to communicate effectively until it starts coming to you naturally.
- Expecting to be loved and cared for. This expectation is much easier to develop if you carefully surround yourself with people who love and care for you unconditionally.
So yes, it all boils down to how you communicate, the beliefs you form about yourself, and the people you surround yourself with to reinforce positive thoughts.
P.S: If I were you, I would start with surrounding myself with good people.