By: Julie Phillips, Guest Blogger
After my divorce I didn’t seriously try dating for about 3 years. I was hurt, I was angry, and I had wounds to heal before I could even fathom the idea of opening the door to a potential relationship. I knew that if I didn’t work on loving myself first, practicing forgiveness, and being sure of what I wanted, the likelihood of repeating the same relationship over again was inevitable; I did not want to do that. I also knew that as a mother I wanted to make sure to set a good example for the daughter I was raising. With the hope that through my missteps I could teach her, guide her, and show her how to be in a positive relationship, whether it’s with yourself or another person, love yourself first so you can love others. This is what I concentrated on; this was how I healed my heart and soul and nurtured my mind with positivity.
Once I did finally feel ready to embark on the rollercoaster of dating it had seriously changed, and everyone had their own advice to give about it. What I found the most peculiar is the comment, “You’ve got to play the game!” What’s the game? The thought that dating was a “game” was perplexing to me. In a game like baseball or chess there is a clear winner and loser; there shouldn’t be a loser in dating. As I went out more I felt additional pressure with this concept of the “dating game.” I constantly questioned myself: How long should I wait to call or text? Why hasn’t he called or text me back? What’s appropriate to do on a date? How far should I go? And on, and on, and on…torturing myself by playing the “game.”
I truly believe our brains can get in the way of what really drives us. In this “game” we are forced to create plays and design strategies for an emotion that comes so naturally to humans, LOVE. By over analyzing a situation, trying to anticipate or interpret another’s actions, you have lost the joy and excitement of dating to the point of driving yourself insane. I believed and stayed true to myself and what I wanted, confident in the belief that it was this attitude that would help attract the right person for me. I chose to take care of me, focus on my actions and not on how my actions were perceived by others, and to have fun.
While I didn’t find my true love on date 1, 2 or 3, these dates were leading me to the right person. Sometimes it is true that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. But each date taught me something about myself- what I was really looking for and the compromises I wasn’t willing to make anymore. I chose not to play the “game” because I felt I would be defeating the purpose of finding the right person for me. Instead, I chose to be myself through and through, take it or leave it, love it or don’t, because this is me.
Tools you’ll need for finding love, just one: your heart; it will point you in the right direction. Listen to your heart; don’t let the brain take over. When it comes to love do what you feel, not what play you should be making in the “game.” Being true to yourself will bring you someone who is true to you. Love is NOT a game and if we look at dating as a game we are setting ourselves up for failure. Playing a game involves strategy and skill. What strategy or skill do you need to love? The answer is none; it’s a human function to love and feel love. So simplify dating; listen to your heart, turn off your brain, and be yourself!
Are you getting "game" fatigue when it comes to dating? Give Julie's insight a try and tell us what you discover!
Julie is a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend to many. Julie has a passion for the culinary arts, and can often be found seeking out local farms with her daughter for farm fresh staples to cook and enjoy with friends and family. Raising her daughter with awareness, confidence and individuality is something she takes very seriously. Julie not only hopes to inspire other women with her submissions to IATG, but also to show her daughter the importance of unity among women and the significant impact we can have when we encourage women to dream! Julie tweets at @JulieSonoma.