I don’t know about you, but often times I get caught up in the looking at the finish line that I don’t even notice anything else that’s going on around me. I’m like that a lot in everything I do, I just want to get to my goal as fast as I can. I’ve also noticed that in my personal life as well. I sometimes am so focused on the finish line, getting where I want to be that forget to stop and smell the roses and just “be” where I’m at. I’m not the only one. Most people are like that. It took me a while to realize that. It was one of the main reasons that I married the wrong person way back when. I was so focused on being “the bride” and fitting into the “box” that I turned a blind eye to many red flags. The past couple of years have taught me to JUST STOP. I’ve learned to focus on the process and NOT the dating outcomes.
Focusing on the Process NOT the Dating Outcomes
Many clients I work with either are experiencing the same thing themselves or with the people they’re meeting. A lot of women have their weddings and dream homes planned on Pinterest before they even meet someone worth considering marriage with. A first date is job interview for “husband”. They are looking for their happily ever after, but forgetting that they can’t get there if they don’t take a step back a survey the goods. I don’t blame them, I did the same thing as them. We’re pre-conditioned to think that we have to fit into a certain box. The “white picket fence” box and we need to get there by a certain age. That’s why people settle.
You need to focus on the process not the dating outcomes. What that means is that you need to know what sort of relationship you’re looking for but don’t dwell there for very long. When you meet someone new you need to enjoy the person, get to know them for who they REALLY are not for their potential. Learn about their likes, dislikes and discover their quirks. You need to really be sure that they are someone that you enjoy, someone who betters your life, not one who adds drama and/or negativity. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But, when you get so caught up in the outcome then you miss all the red flags and turn a blind eye to the reality of who this person is. You end up projecting your expectations on them which adds undue pressure on both you and them.
Take it Slow and Enjoy the Ride
Until I stopped focusing on the outcome I didn’t realize how fun the ride really was. Now, I prefer to take the scenic route on the way to my destination. What that means is that I take my sweet old time when I meet someone new. I get to know them. I mean REALLY get to know them. I give it a good few dates before I determine if this is someone I want to be exclusive with. They need to bring their A-game to every date and I do the same. As a result I am dating QUALITY and not just quantity. I feel more confident in what I want and won’t settle for less. I have met some great guys along the way that just weren’t a good fit and because I know what I want I don’t pursue it. These same guys I would have jumped at the chance to be with even just a couple of years back. But I want someone who fits into my lifestyle, who is the package … the real deal. The road has been bumpy at times, yes, I admit, but it’s been one that I’ve enjoyed immensely and because I’ve stopped to smell the roses I’ve learned so much about myself and others. Why deny yourself that experience?
Don’t rush into a relationship and don’t see every date as a potential long term partner or judge them on their “happily ever after” potential. You’re meeting someone new … a new person with a wealth of life experience that you can learn from. If you are attracted to them, their expectations and their values match yours then give it a go, but just take it slow and enjoy the process and NOT the dating outcomes. You never know, you might just make some great friends along the way! I know I have!
Do you find that you focus on the dating outcomes rather than the process? Have you ever been on a date where the girl talked marriage and long term plans before you even had your first sip of coffee? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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