I hate the whole idea of trying to hack and game-ify life, including dating.
Lack and Fear, Fear and Lack
Usually the tricks and tips suggested by those who approach the world this way are based on the belief in LACK. That is, they begin with the notion that we ourselves are lacking in some way (too shy, too short, too talkative, too needy), or that the opposite sex is lacking (too short of an attention span, too easily scared away, too jaded), or that the number of suitable partners out there are lacking (and so we must compete like animals, and then make sure not to mess up and allow the mate get away before you’ve hooked him/her).
When we see ourselves and other people through the lens of lack, this naturally generates feelings of fear and insecurity. Rather than exploring the source of this fear and insecurity (which is nothing more than our own conditioned BELIEFS), those who create and follow dating games and guidelines attempt to use manipulation and deception to “win”.
The World of Mind Games
I once had a client who told me she read a book that taught her how to be a bitch while dating in order to get the guy. I felt so sad upon hearing this, realizing that thousands (millions?) of intelligent women were buying into this game.
There is just so much that is inherently painful about this way of connecting with people – in fact, it doesn’t nurture true connection at all, not connection with the other and definitely not connection with the self.
If from the start you present to your date a false self, how can you expect to be truly seen and loved? If you feel the need to present a false self in the first place, what does this say about the amount of love and respect you have for yourself? And if this bitch tactic works (which I’m sure it often does, temporarily), would you really like to be in a relationship with a man who is attracted to this kind of cat-and-mouse, catch-me-if-you-can, no-means-yes kind of energy?
My husband once told me about another dating mind game he overheard a guy boasting about at the gym: The guy looks around the bar, targets, and then gives all his attention to the most insecure looking woman in there.
Why? the guy explained, Because she’ll be so surprised and flattered by the unexpected attention, it will be easy to take her home that night. Moreover, he’ll most likely be able to do whatever he wants with her in bed because she thinks too lowly of herself to speak up (this will probably be the girl who buys the bitch book a few months later).
Just writing this makes me sick to my stomach – not just from feeling disgust towards the guy, but from feeling the PAIN, loneliness, and lasting wounds this kind of behavior carves out for both parties involved.
There is a better way
For those who are fed up with the inauthenticity and suffering inherent in dating mind games and want a better, more loving way, I suggest a MIND PRACTICE.
This practice involves only you and your OWN mind, and can be used in any situation, including dating.
This practice respects other people’s minds as THEIR sovereign territory, with no intention or desire to invade it and manipulate it to satisfy one’s own lack-based aims.
This practice promotes self-awareness, self-empowerment, and self-love, which are the foundation for lasting and fulfilling relationships.
Simple Steps for a Dating Mind Practice
- PAUSE. When you feel bad, contracted, or fearful, get quiet and ask yourself: What is the thought I’m choosing to BELIEVE in this moment that is making me feel this way?
- LOOK. Identify the thought, and then see it as out of alignment with the Truth of who you are. From the perspective of your soul, that thought is bullshit. Which is why it feels so . . . shitty.
- CHANGE. Then, use your brilliant, powerful mind to CHOOSE a better-feeling thought —> preferably one that makes you feel great, expanded, and full of the Love that you are. (If you feel really low, it can take a while to get there, but music, meditation, friends, and writing can help.)
- REPEAT. Practice thinking this thought (and others like it) in your mind. By doing so consistently and often, you are literally re-wiring your brain with these new thoughts. These are the positive, loving thoughts that will support you as you open your heart to a positive, loving relationship.
If you’re a single woman and want to learn in detail how to use your mind to make dating an experience that is full of excitement instead of full of frustration and game-playing, check out my one-day retreat happening on Saturday January 21st! (3 spots left).
About Me: I’m a Certified Life Coach, meditation and workshop teacher, and Reiki practitioner with over ten years of practice and study of Buddhism and other spiritual traditions. Orginally from NYC, I now live in Israel with my husband and cat.