Hey hopeful romantics,
First things first, I'm always open to all of your dating and relationship questions. I write a column over at iris Dating, and I'd love to answer your question for my next piece.
Second, I had a roundabout genius idea the other day.
I needed to write an article for a client about crafting the best dating app profile. But, as many of you know, I'm not on the market. It's been a while since I've used dating apps.
I downloaded the three major ones—Hinge, Tinder, and Bumble— to remind myself how they work.
But instead of deleting them after, I decided to ask real daters questions about how their dating lives are going. I wrote in my bio that I'm not dating and that I'm a writer who wants to chat about people’s dating lives.
Surprisingly, my matches were down to talk.
I spoke with a guy who broke up with his fiance after ten years of dating. I talked to a man who called himself a "nice guy" but was clearly an asshole in denial. I spoke with a woman who was BRAND NEW to dating apps *gasp.*
And, one of my favorites, I spoke with a guy who wants a relationship but is scared another person will take away from his passions: snowboarding and surfing.
The last one intrigued me the most because I know this guy isn't alone. I hear all the time that people are "scared of commitment" and, since I'm a serial monogamist in recovery, I honestly don't know what that's like.
So I asked him to elaborate.
And so he did. Our conversation is still going on, but what I've pulled from it so far is this man's intense focus on fear. Something I think a lot of us can relate to.
Fear is a focus; a gripping, crippling focus.
Whatever your fear might look like— commitment, abandonment, pain, being alone— we can all agree it's pretty consuming. Fear holds us back from the things we want most in life.
For the guy I talked to, it was a fulfilling, romantic relationship.
While I'm far from a therapist and didn't hop on Hinge to give the single men of LA advice on their dating fears, I did notice one crucial way this guy depicted his concerns.
"You're focusing a lot on what you'll lose from getting into a relationship instead of focusing on what you could gain," I said.
Yes, even our fears come down to our mindset.
Take me, for instance; I have an intense fear of abandonment. I used to let it control my life, trying to please my boyfriends so they wouldn't want to break up.
But what that lead to was me being disingenuous to myself.
So instead of focusing on what can go wrong in my current relationship, I choose to focus on what's going right. I give love to my partner in a way that feels authentic. I bask in the love he gives me, rather than question it.
And this same re-focusing of energy applies to any fear, love-related or not.
When we give our fears energy, we give them life. When we focus on them so intently, we only look for the things that confirm our fears are true.
So when Mr. Hinge would become close with a girl, he told me, he wanted to pull away because his time had to be reallocated from the life he loved to her. He didn't think about the companionship and human connection he gained; he focused on what he lost.
Fear is like a house plant. Water it, give it sunshine, and it will grow. But ignore it, and it will die (notice I didn't say disappear). It’s all about the energy you give your fears.
And that's what I've got for you this week. Maybe I'll have more juicy content from my dating app interviewees.
In the meantime, have a great weekend and, as always, thank you for your support.
All the love,
I'm looking for beta readers!
If you want to be part of the process of creating my book, shoot me an email. You won't have to read the whole book, just a few chapters, so that you can give me feedback.
I'd be eternally grateful. 💕
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