If you’re like most of my clients, what you find attractive is: self-awareness, boundaries, values, respect, safety, honesty, clear communication, vulnerability, authenticity, compassion.
Yet, what makes you go home happy after a date is: flow, sparks, being seen, being met, the world falling away, being uplifted to a higher version of yourself.
So our goal is to have this highly attractive, self-aware, safe, respectful chunk with clear boundaries on a date and then, together, enter this flow state of heightened connection and presence.
And to all those who preach “lower your expectations,” I say “discover the chat.”
Being a life and dating coach, I am passionate about supporting women to have bigger goals—not smaller—and go manifest them.
That’s how we discover our insane feminine power and get to have the life and love we desire.
How a date happens is determined mainly by what happened before.
Do I come in excited, spacious, and groomed because I am feeling this could be the one? Or did I leave the office too late, still phoning as I walked in, and holding a grudge that my last chat wasn’t answered?
And what about them?
Our brain can decide to “give them a chance,” but what really determines the flow, connection, and energy is our polyvagal and theirs.
Quick recap here on polyvagal. It’s our autonomous nervous system (meaning it doesn’t listen to your brain). Like a horse can run in three modes—walk, trot, and gallop—the polyvagal can function in three modes:
>> low safety and no perception of solving that: shutdown and prep for death
>> low safety and perception that it’s solvable: fight and flight
>> high safety: expand and connect
There’s been a lot of incredibly supportive work done to apply these insights on polyvagal states to healing for trauma survivors. If you haven’t heard about it yet, do look it up.
But when I was introduced to polyvagal, I was struck by its implications for dating.
To go back to the situation of walking into a date, how often did you tell yourself you needed to leave the office early, needed to do a meditation on the way in, and needed to be open-minded but you didn’t?
This is where the polyvagal has its say, and remember, it’s autonomous; it does not listen to our brain. It will have its own way, period.
And if our polyvagal made a decision that the situation with this date was unsafe in any way (again, not our brain—our polyvagal), it will retreat into fight and flight or even into shutdown and prep for death. Goodbye connection, flow states, and sparks.
That’s our polyvagal’s way of protecting us.
Having this protection is great when our brain is wandering off into wishful thinking (for example: he treats me like sh*t, but surely this will change once he loves me).
But the polyvagal can have its own bias. For instance, when the whole day, the whole month, and the whole year we are needing to keep the upper hand in meetings and drive through deals, fight and flight is going to be the go-to state, even if it’s actually safe.
This is where the chat comes in.
The role of the chat then is to determine, first of all, whether they’re actually safe, and if that’s a yes, to create connection and expansion.
Because nothing beats connection and expansion to feel safe. (I won’t go on a whole rant about how the polyvagal “thinks,” but basically, get that it’s two-way—expand and connect is the result of safety, and safety is the result of expand and connect.)
So forget all the “hellos,” “how is your day,” and “what’s your hobby?” They create cringing, not expansion—nor connection.
Honest, authentic feelings are the doorway to expansion and connection, so share honest, authentic feelings in the chat, and the closer you get to hitting what is actually in the space between you, the safer both of you will feel.
Safety comes from connecting with what is.
And the polyvagal needs time to overcome its bias, so if you decide they’re worth it, chat as many hours or days or weeks as is needed to feel that safety.
Trust that when you feel it, so do they.
Then you both will be prioritizing the date, be fully present, and the doors will be open to see how much expansion and connection is in store for you two.
Magnetize your chat with honest, authentic feelings, name what is between the two of you, and have insane levels of flow and connection on your dates.
You are worth it.
Never underestimate the chat!