April 6, 2021

The Mind Games we Play in Relationships (& Why we Need to Stop).

I’ve been around the block a time or two and let me tell you, the right guy or gal will come along when your house is in order.

You can’t attract something you haven’t got.

What do I mean by that? Well, when I felt desperate and empty, I attracted men who were sleazy, desperate, and lonely.

When I did the work and got my sh*t together, so to speak, I attracted men who saw their worth.

When we do that important soul work and deal with our own stuff, we can come together healthy, honest, and open.

Many people fall for each other out of desperation. This world can feel like a lonely place. Especially during a season of social restrictions.

We are all attracted to people who we think will make the “perfect partner,” but sometimes we do this by focusing on their outer appearance or the car they drive—we need to get deeper to find a true connection.

Case in point: I dated for many years online. I had been married and had an amicable divorce, but I hated the feeling of being alone. I had a child, a busy work life, and yoga. I worked at a church on the weekends and had an active prayer life. I was taking classes at a local college. I loved reading and shopping and working out. I had been in therapy and recovery, but when I would go home at night, I still wanted to search online for hotties.

I wanted to make a match or connection with someone to make my life feel more complete. Instead of embracing a candlelight yoga class on Valentine’s Day, I felt more lonely and sad that I didn’t have a date. Where that put me was in all kinds of relationships where I set my bar way too low.

I was sober and embraced my recovery from alcohol and drugs but would find myself dating guys who drank and smoked weed when it was on the opposite spectrum of my values.

I dated a guy who was a Mormon when I had no interest in becoming one. He would sleep with me and then have parties and not invite me. I was an “on the side girlfriend”—basically there for bootie calls.

I dated a guy who was really overweight when one of my values is working out and eating healthy. He lived at home with his parents after a divorce and drank on our “dates.” He was pessimistic and miserable, he was always high, and never once took me out to dinner or did anything nice for me—but I continued to show up happy and working on my appearance so that he would find me attractive and “change his ways.”

I drove him to Canada for a Tool concert while we kept having to stop at liquor stores so he could drink while I was driving. I was endangering my sobriety and lifestyle to hang out with this guy so that I didn’t have to feel alone.

I don’t know what clicked for me, but I just stopped dating these guys. It’s so hard looking for love online, feeling a mutual connection with someone virtually, and then showing up to a restaurant to either no one being there or having to sit through a monologue hearing about someone’s mission trip on a bicycle.

One day, I was just over it. I had said that many times before and canceled all dating platforms, but this time I was serious. I was on and off dating a couple of guys I had met, but it all felt empty and meaningless.

I got a message from a guy I had met a year before online and we decided to meet up.

We met at a Seattle beach on a Sunday evening and I literally had on a hoodie and jeans. I was done trying hard for these unfulfilling dates. I was casual and comfortable and not trying to be anyone I wasn’t. No facade—just authentic and real.

The conversation flowed organically and I felt myself laughing, feeling easy-going, and not planning my way out of the date. I didn’t care what kind of car he drove or what he had materialistically. I just wanted real. No more games. No more trying to polish a turd into a diamond.

The relationship just started and there was no weirdness—like who should text first? It was an instant connection and our souls were ready. It felt deep and engaging.

I lost connection with those other guys I had hanging on the back burner for a lonely night and this relationship just stuck. It was right. It was and still is love.

I don’t have a magic recipe…but maybe I do.

Continue to work on yourself. Find those flaws and bring them up and out into the light. Don’t try to mask your insecurities. Get real. What has happened in previous relationships that you don’t want to carry over again and again?

Jealousy? Inferiority? Materialism?

Really think and ponder on what you want in a relationship and I even encourage you to write it out. Cut out pictures from magazines and make a vision board of what you want your life to look like. This may sound crazy, but I had done that and one of my photos had a woman holding a baby, and a year after I started dating my now-husband, we had a baby boy.

Be extremely clear. Is your religion or spirituality important to you? Don’t settle. Veganism and sobriety for me would be deal-breakers where I am now. I wouldn’t be able to settle for someone who drank or ate animals.

Make sure you have similar interests and some individually. Make sure he or she makes you chuckle and doesn’t have anger issues. Get honest with your prospective partner. Get clear on your ideals, together.

Don’t be afraid to talk about the hard stuff upfront. Find out if there are any deal-breakers right away so there aren’t any big surprises.

It takes two to play mind games—so set your expectations for the relationship and be forthcoming. It’s so much easier to be true to yourself versus trying to be someone you think your partner wants. Authenticity is key—authenticity to yourself first, and then, hopefully, it will flow more freely with your partner.

I wish you the best in finding a life partner who meets you where you are.

Remember it’s no one’s job to complete us. We need to complete ourselves first.


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