How to be emotionally available when dating
Hey, hopeful romantic!
You haven’t heard from me for a few weeks because I’ve been on vacation in Europe. My boyfriend and I attended a wedding in Poland, and we’re lucky enough to be able to extend our trip into more venturing.
But now I’m back, and I want to talk about a question I always get: how can someone become more emotionally available?
Let’s talk about it!
If you missed the newsletter where I wrote about how to tell if you’re emotionally unavailable, you can read it here.
As I said in that post, being emotionally available isn’t a death sentence— nor does it mean you’re a terrible person!
You may have grown up in an environment that didn’t teach you to tap into your emotions. Perhaps you dated someone who hurt you so bad that you’re scared to be vulnerable with new people.
If you’re at the point where you realize you’re not as emotionally available as you’d like, I have some tips to help you become more vulnerable in your dating life:
Talk about emotions on a more regular basis.
Instead of answering, “I’m fine,” when someone asks how you are, dig a bit deeper. Are you stressed because your boss was being a prick again? Are you worried about something going on in your family?
Or maybe you’re ecstatic about starting a new hobby. Perhaps you’re feeling excited about a trip coming up.
Whatever may be going on in your life, open up about it (as long as you feel comfortable). We often think people don’t want to hear about our big emotions, but that’s far from true when you’re connecting with someone.
Share more about yourself.
Instead of deflecting questions back to your date, linger a bit when it comes to sharing parts of yourself. Elaborate on your stories, and don’t shy away from the parts you think aren’t “picture perfect.”
Just like you want to know more about the person you’re dating, they also want to know more about you. Don’t deny them that pleasure.
Communicate what’s going on in your head.
If you withdraw whenever there’s a slight disagreement or a full-on argument, know that you’re not alone! Plenty of people struggle with retreating into their minds when conversations get serious.
But you don’t have to struggle in silence. Try letting the other person know that you’re struggling. Even a simple “I’m feeling overwhelmed right now, and when I do, I tend to go silent and need some time to process things” will help the other person understand you more.
Name your feelings throughout the day.
If you struggle with putting words to your emotions, work on this even when you’re by yourself. If you feel uncomfortable or have any sensation in your body, name the emotion you’re experiencing.
Over time, you’ll become more attuned to your body and feelings.
Be willing to compromise.
If you want a relationship, you have to be willing to make space for another person in your life. That includes their opinions, ideas, and ways they were raised.
This means that compromise isn’t just necessary. It’s inevitable.
Listen to the other person, admit when you’re having trouble seeing things their way, and talk about solutions that meet in the middle. Having no wiggle room for another person will only push people out of your life.
Stop testing the people you date.
Asking trick questions won’t ensure you avoid getting hurt; it’ll just annoy the other person. They’ll feel like you don’t trust them.
So when you feel the urge to play games to see if someone likes you, ask yourself what you really want. Is it reassurance? Connection? A conversation about why you’re having trouble trusting them?
Once you pinpoint the reason, you can choose a route that may be harder but leads to vulnerability and a deeper connection.
Listen and communicate more.
It’s not enough to hear someone; people want to feel understood. So when someone is telling you about a story or experience they had, ask them questions, especially if you don’t understand.
By asking more questions, you can start to imagine what the other person is feeling and experiencing. When you’re able to do that, you’re not only empathizing with the other person but also experiencing more of your own emotions.
Emotional availability isn’t a muscle you’ll strengthen overnight, but it’s something you can make strides on with a little effort every day.
Reply to this email and let me know which tips you found most helpful! Also, let me know what other topics you’d love to read about.
Until next week!
All the love,
P.S. Now that I’m back from vacation, I’ve re-opened my 1:1 dating coaching!
My 8-week coaching program is for the person who knows they’re anxious when it comes to dating, keeps having less-than-spectacular dating experiences, and wants to work on themselves because they know that a better dating life starts with them.
We’ll work on:
Pinpointing your unhelpful dating patterns.
Creating new habits that support finding the relationship you want.
Empowering you to ask for your needs to be met.
Understanding your core values and creating green and red flags based on them.
Differentiating between anxious thoughts and your intuition.
And a lot more!
I have 3 spots open so if this sounds like something you want to work on, book a free call with me to chat more about my program and see if we’re a good fit for each other!
If you want to feel more secure in your love life, check out my Anxious Attachment Workshop.
Did you know I wrote a book about love? Grab your copy here.
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Hi! I’m Kirstie
I help anxious people who don’t feel good enough for love understand their worth and find fulfilling love.
For over a decade, I was in one relationship after another with people who mistreated me or were emotionally unavailable. All of that ended when I took a year break from dating and read a book called Attached.
Learning about attachment styles changed my life. It opened doors like discovering my lack of boundaries and inability to ask for my needs to be met.
Today, I write and coach to help people through the same journey. You don’t have to feel so anxious, insecure, and uncertain when it comes to love.
I want to help you feel confident and find the love you deserve.
Want to work together? Book a video call here to chat and see if we’d be a good fit!