Today I want to share some of the sources of pressure that can lead us to end up in the wrong relationship, and some ideas for how to deal with them.
Family, friends, and community.
It’s really common for my clients to feel pressure to get married by a certain age.
You might hear little comments subtly implying that something is wrong with you because you are not in a relationship.
It can show up in statements from your friends or family, such as “You’re being too picky.”
Most people don’t even realize they are doing it.
If you sense that a specific person is asking you about dating to hear how you’re doing it wrong, remember it’s definitely within your rights to set a boundary.
If they ask whether you’ve been on any dates recently, you can say "no" or “Actually, I’d rather not talk about that.” You have permission to not open up to people who don’t hold space for you.
Biology and the desire to have kids.
The key here is to stay grounded in terms of not selecting a subpar partner to have kids with.
Keep in mind your high standard for the quality of parent you would want your child to have.
If for any reason the two of you broke up, is this somebody you respect, trust, and would want to be connected to for the rest of your child’s life?
There are some ways you can relieve some of the pressure and give yourself more space, such as choosing to freeze your eggs.
But also it’s important to come to a place internally where you value your long-term happiness over the specific way that it may show up.
On one hand, if having a child is something you want, you will be consistently showing up to do that in the best way you can. On the other hand you won’t allow the pressure to influence you along the way out of fear that it might not happen.
A coaching program.
Any dating coaching program, even mine, could add some pressure.
If you have done a coaching program, notice if thoughts like “I need to get it done within the timeframe” or “I need to do this to prove something” are coming up.
These thoughts are harsh and unkind to yourself. They don’t take into account the full spectrum of the human experience.
The truth is, no matter how effective a process is, you want to allow space for everything you’re coming into the program with.
There’s a big difference between someone whose first step is creating friendships and going to social events and someone whose first step in the program is having the exclusivity conversation with the person they’re dating.
They have different backgrounds, different histories, and different areas of growth.
Dating somebody who really wants to be with you.
This person might be doing all the right things, but you just don’t see yourself with them.
For whatever reason they are not what you want from a long-term partner.
It’s easy to go along with that out of a people-pleasing habit.
While it’s important to explore connections and see how they feel, if you notice it doesn’t feel like what you’re looking for, it’s ok to let it go. Even if it’s basically good enough.
It’s ok to say no to something that is convenient but not really what you’re looking for.
Personally, I have had to reject the pressure of my job dictating what phase of my life I’m in, in terms of dating and relationships.
I began this career working for someone else, and then started my own company... all in my 20s.
It was not always the phase of my life to be with my life partner.
I felt guilt about wanting to do certain things, such as wanting to travel and be single, or wanting to end a relationship that wasn’t right for me.
I would have thoughts like “If I was doing it right I would be in a relationship now.”
But then I realized that I had been on dates, I had connected with various people, and if I was in a relationship now, I would be with the wrong person.
Being single was a sign that I did not say yes to the wrong connection.
It would be like if your goal was to get to Sunday, and then by Thursday you thought “I must be doing this wrong because It’s not Sunday.” You will get there.
To resist pressure, keep the bigger picture in mind.
What kind of partner would you need to create that relationship that you want?
If you wanted to be a millionaire in your lifetime, would it make sense to start a business with someone who is lazy and always in debt?
And lastly, love being single. Be fulfilled on your own. Be complete and whole. You can feel that way even if you have the ultimate goal of being in a relationship.
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