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Change How You Date and Make it Stick 

by | Dec 28, 2023 | All, My Stories, Relationships, The Adventures of Dating

A new year reminds us of time’s passage, and for many of us brings with it the question: “What is it I plan to do with my one wild and precious life? While I’m not one to weigh too heavily on New Year’s resolutions, and prefer to work on my goals year round, the New Year can be a good time to evaluate, plan and yes, even change.

The flip of numbers on a calendar invites us to look at our mistakes, put our regrets behind us, and look forward to an opportunity to travel down a new path. For me, 2023 has been a year of focusing on my career, developing professionally, personally and physically, and I have been relearning how to date in what I can only describe as a very broken dating culture.

Dating can leave you feeling defeated on so many levels, and disappointment and rejection can take a toll on a person. But what’s the alternative? Dying alone? No thank you.

So us singles continue our quest to find a normal, healthy human with long term potential, despite the grueling process it takes to get there. And while it’s easy to blame our poor dating experiences on the men or women that have disappointed us, we also have a responsibility to take ownership of the driving factors inside ourselves that keep us in a place where we continuously pick the wrong people to invest our time into. For me, 2024 will be another year of growth and looking within myself to understand the part I play in my dating journey.

However, research shows that only 8 – 9% of New Year’s resolutions are actually achieved. So how do you make a change in the way you date and stick to it? For those who have been dating for a while, you probably realize on some level that you are repeating behaviors that are not returning your desired outcome. So how do you dissolve old patterns? How do you see yourself through the process of change, with all its ups and downs, so that you can get to a point where you can finally reap the benefits of your hard work?

While there are multiple approaches that a man, or woman can take to improve their romantic lives, I think that one of the most critical things to understand lies in strengthening our self-compassion. I have found this to be key to ‘staying in the game of change’ through the inevitable moments of discouragement, fear, and confusion. Showing myself some grace, has helped me better understand the forces that shape the patterns I am trying to change.

As a busy, career driven women, I have been selective about who I would date a second time. This is no easy task when you don’t like the process of dating and are impatient. Like can we just skip to the good part already…….

I have often caught myself making excuses for “wasting time” with men who aren’t right for me, am very aware that I have given the wrong men more than a fair chance too many times. And I am guilty of overlooking serious red flags and mismatches on the things I care about. I have a long list of exes that are proof that these compromises haven’t turned any dubious matches into good ones. Yet, I have still struggled to say “no” when a man shows interest. So I have to ask myself, why is this a pattern that keeps sticking? Especially when I recognize it’s limits and know that I’m selling myself short trying to make it work with unsuitable men.

What I have learned is that you can’t change a pattern until you understand why you keep repeating it. For me, this means spending less time weaving stories about who a man might be, and more time trying to understand the source of the problem. This requires an internal transition where I must focus my attention on a man’s behavior in the moment, instead of projecting what he might be capable of in the future.

I’m sure I will continue to experience setbacks and it will often still be hard for me to say “no” to a second date that I know won’t amount to anything. But change takes time, and through practice, falling short, correcting my course, and trying again, I will slowly strengthen this new skill.

Over time, you can change your sense of what’s possible, but you must keep circling back to check in with where you are in the process, and not be your own worst critic.

If like me, you find yourself on an admirable quest to improve your dating life, you are also likely to find yourself in the common, human place of needing time and practice to get it right. Sometimes we label this process as a “failure”. I think it’s more accurate to call it growth, and I believe that it’s possible to shift even the most stubborn of patterns.

Look at those hard-to-break habits as a life lesson and practice having compassion for yourself. Cutting yourself some slack will not only support your changes, but radiate outward to everyone you meet – including your future partner, who will be drawn to your capacity to love. A love that begins with yourself and will help you achieve the personal changes you want to make in the New Year.

XOXO Cheers to 2024,
Allison Rose

Allison Rose

Founder at Filter Free Bullsh!t Free

Entrepreneurship is my addiction, Sharing my story and empowering others is my passion. My girl gang, my family and tequila shots fuel my soul & calm my head. I’m here to inspire and to be inspired.

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