Steve and I are so meant to be. But two years ago, we didn’t know each other, and dating was a lot more of a struggle. It wasn’t just that “I met the right person” and it all worked out. I actually BECAME the right person ahead of time. Put differently: I completely changed my approach and began dating on purpose. And that’s how I met Steve.
Dating on purpose is like anything else in life, you have the power to create the result you want, and when you realize this, the things you desire no longer seem so unattainable. Your worth is not wrapped up in your relationship status, and when you start taking responsibility for your emotions, you’ll be amazed at what you’ll attract into your life.
In this episode, I’m talking all about relationships and why in order to get exactly what you want, you must be willing to admit what you want. I explain why changing the way you think about dating will help you attract the type of relationship you desire, and show you how to be so energized with your own life that you can’t help but attract somebody else into it.
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life Podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hey, friend, how you doing? I could not be more overjoyed to talk with you today about today’s topic, dating on purpose. I decided to create this podcast because I’m doing so much coaching in Grow You on dating and relationships and getting married and marriage and getting divorced. I think it’s a reflection of my own growth in my life and where Grow You is headed.
So, relationships is one of the main pillars in Grow You and we spend a lot of time on it. If you’re in there you know there is a bonus course on relationships and marriage and a whole toolkit in there where I teach on boundaries and your desires and all sorts of things.
I thought, “You know what, I haven’t talked about this on the podcast yet,” so we’re going to do that today. As you already know a lot about my past with dating, I’ve had boyfriends, I’ve dated guys probably starting since I was about 16 and a lot of them were great guys. Some of them not so great, but most of them generally great. But if I’m honest with myself and thinking back to those relationships, I knew long before I ever ended those relationships that the relationship I was in was not going to be one that ended in marriage.
I don’t like to think about those relationships as a waste of time because I don’t think that thought serves me, but I do think that staying in those relationships longer than I would have wanted to at the time created a lot more suffering than was ever necessary meaning, I saw the writing on the wall and I just came with excuses to stay so that I didn’t have to do the hard thing of ending the relationship which is ultimately what happened anyway.
So, in that in-between time there was just so much unnecessary suffering. My goal with this episode is to show you a different perspective on dating if you want to get married and are currently single. By single I just mean tax return single, so you might me in and out of relationships or dating or you might even be in a long-term relationship, but you know in your heart that you want to get married and you’re not married. That’s who this podcast is for.
I’m going to talk about it in traditional female/male relationships in this episode, but it could apply as well to same sex gender. I just typically do more coaching on that and for the sake of ease with recording this we’re just going to do male/female, but you can apply it to any relationship that you are in.
I’ve also read a lot of books on dating and love and on marriage. I don’t think that this is something that ever ends. Something that I like to say in Grow You is that when you get married you are just trading your single people problems for married people problems. If you ask anyone who is married they will totally agree with this.
Part of my role as the coach is to show you that you can love your current life as it is and want to create this marriage or this partnership in the future without having to suffer and hate where you’re at and think that as soon as you get married all of your problems go away. Especially if you are someone who is in the habit of feeling a particular emotion like worry or frustration or anxiety, those are emotions caused by your thoughts.
If you get married and you’re feeling worried as a single person you will just worry about something different in your marriage. Your brain will just find something else to worry about because it loves the emotion of worry. That’s kind of an aside, but I just want you to think about why you want to get married in the first place.
I think that women, in particular, have been so socialized to define our worth by our romantic partners. So, this is not necessarily a problem. It doesn’t mean that you should change your desire to get married, but it’s really helpful to notice that you may be wanting from lack because you think you’re less than simply because you haven’t brought it to your awareness that you are complete without another person.
If you want to get married because you will think more highly of yourself then you’re chasing your self-worth and you think that that self-worth is outside of you and it never, ever works. You just end up in a marriage feeling bad about yourself in the marriage.
What I teach is to think highly of yourself now and then choose to be with someone just because you want to, because that’s what you want to do with your life and that’s how you want to spend your life and because love is amazing and you want to love and grow with someone. When you really get clear about this that your worth is not wrapped up in your relationship status it helps you calm the F down.
So, if you are anything like me and you are someone who has dated or is dating now you have gone through periods where you felt really anxious about it like it wasn’t going to happen for you. Then, there’s this urgency and any time I’m coaching someone and I notice an urgency to get to the goal faster, to get the thing that they want.
I always know that they’re thinking that their emotions are coming from this external circumstance. So, you’re thinking, “If I could just ‘fill in the blank’ I would be happy.” That’s where we get into trouble because we think that he’s going to make me happy. So, when you say, “He makes me happy,” he doesn’t actually make you happy. You’re thinking the thought, “He makes me happy,” and that feels happy to you.
You just want to be careful that you take responsibility for your emotions knowing that if you feel a certain emotion around someone it’s because of your thoughts. I think sometimes we can take this too far, too. We’ve learned this, if you’ve been around for a while, you might take it too far where you think, “Okay, well then, if I can feel happy and love and love anyone then how do I choose?”
The answer is that you will find it easier to choose thoughts that feel really good for you around different people. So, some people it’s just easier for you to love. Now, you want to be careful that you’re talking about actual love and connection and not attachment and desperation. One feels like you’re torturing yourself and the other feels calm and home. This was a big thing for me because I spend a lot of time attaching to guys instead of attaching to the result that I wanted for my own life.
It really stems from scarcity thinking. It’s being attached to the guy that you’re dating who isn’t sure that he wants to get married ever or isn’t sure that he wants to have kids and you know for sure that you want those things. You become so attached to this guy and you think that your results are dependent on him. Anytime that you think your results are dependent on something external to you it creates such attachment because you can’t control another person and so you think that your destiny is in someone else’s hands.
It’s actually just confusion about where results come from. So, your results always come from your mind. So, what I teach is for you to get attached to the belief that you will be married and that you will have kids, if those are your goals, if that’s what you want, and having the courage to speak that out loud.
So often we are willing to say we want to go back to school or we want to get a different job or we want to move to a different city or buy a house and we have these things that have been really ingrained as socially acceptable to have as a goal. But dating is one of those taboo subjects that you can’t feel comfortable saying out loud without questioning yourself on default.
Of course, what I want you to do is the opposite. I want you to feel so comfortable articulating your desires. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to go around and tell everyone that you’re dating on purpose and that you’re dating to marry and that this is something you want, but it’s so hard to attract the result that you want if you’re unwilling to admit that’s what you want to yourself because you’ll push it away.
What I want you to do is be willing to admit the very thing that you deeply want and just admit it yourself. “Yes, I want this. Yes, I want to get married. Yes, I want to have kids.” Notice that those are thoughts and they’re totally available to you.
Often, what I see is that before you get any coaching on dating you will have thoughts that seem like facts. So, you’ll say things like, “It’s so hard to date in ‘fill in the blank’ city. It’s so hard to date in Chicago, the guys just aren’t that serious.” Or, “It’s so hard to date in Ohio, there just aren’t enough single guys in my age range.” It feels like these thoughts are true.
It almost feels like you’re telling someone the truth and you’re kind of venting from a really genuine place, but what’s happening is that those thoughts are going create feelings of doubt and hopelessness. Those feelings will not create the results that you want.
What happens when you feel doubt and hopelessness is that you dabble. So, you’ll go on a few dates and then you’ll stop or you’ll attach to a guy. It’s so interesting how this work applies to so many different areas. I just started looking at houses with Steve and we looked at about three houses and I found myself thinking thoughts like, “These houses are not what they looked like in the pictures. These houses are not what we want. I’m so disappointed. There aren’t any other houses out there for us, we might as well not even keep looking right now and just take a break.”
It’s fascinating to me because those are the exact thoughts that I coach on with dating if you’re just starting to date again. I saw my brain doing this and it’s really just a protective mechanism. My brain is just taking the experiences that we had at these homes and trying to make sense of them in a way that helps me feel better. In so doing, what happens is I stop looking at homes and I make sure that I fail and don’t get the result that I want.
Just like looking for a house, just like creating a business, just like wanting to read faster, whatever it is, dating is the same where you actually have to take massive action to get that result that you want. Again, it’s being willing to admit that that’s what you want to yourself. Now, if you don’t want that that’s fine, but get really clear on it.
The whole, “I’m not sure. I’m going to let it happen. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t,” is fine if that’s what you really mean. What I find most is that people say that, but deep down they actually really want to get married. So, if you’re willing to admit that to yourself then you, at least, can bring that out into the universe. You can speak those words and then you can take massive action knowing just like looking at those three houses that were duds that you’re going to fail forward.
It really takes being brave enough to take it seriously without putting pressure on yourself that this next date needs to be with the one. I can tell you speaking from experience that I invested in a life coach and she largely coached me on dating. I took out money from retirement at the time that I did this, so I was taking it very seriously. I remember in the very beginning of hiring her I said, “It feels like this is it. This is the chance I have. If this doesn’t work nothing else will.”
She said, in her brilliance, “This isn’t the last chance. If it’s not with me, it’s with another coach. If it’s not right now, it’s later. There is no last chance unless you give up. There’s always a way for you to keep going and keep trying.” When I realized that, really I just had an epiphany in that moment and it gave me so much courage to feel good about moving forward and less pressure in that coaching relationship, and less pressure in the current relationship I was in.
Knowing that I was the one who could attach to my desires and not to a particular guy so that I knew I was the one in charge of creating my results. So, think about what you are thinking, what you are feeling, and what you are doing with respect to dating. If you are dating and you want to get married, are you admitting that that’s what you want? And are you owning it? Are you taking massive action and failing forward? Are you getting coaching? Are you coaching yourself? And how do you feel about dating? Do you feel a little bit of pity? Do you feel a lack? Do you feel irritated? Or do you feel committed? Do you feel fun?
Think about the energy that’s going to attract what it is that you want. This was a huge epiphany for me. So, if you’re spending a lot of time around people who are also complaining about how hard dating is, and you’re complaining about that as well, that’s what you’re going to attract more of. So, think about the person who has the result that you want, think about you having that result. They’re not doing that.
It’s the difference between having that I don’t know how energy and it’s the it’s as good as done energy. When you’re in the I don’t know how energy you’re connecting with other people who also have that energy because we connect with people who have the same problems as we do. If you’re connecting about that and you’re complaining about that it’s going to be really hard for you to get in the energy of having done it, of creating that relationship.
What you want to notice is what are you thinking and feeling about dating and getting married? Honestly, if you just do this exercise, if you just write down what your thoughts are about dating and what your feelings are – the feelings should just be one word answers, and then you look at and read and reread what you wrote down that will help you so much because it’s going to bring awareness to the fact that you are not your thoughts.
Those thoughts that you wrote down are not facts. They are stories that your brain has made up based on trying to make sense of the world. We all make up different stories based on the neuropathways that our brain formed from growing up and our experiences. Really, it’s a protective mechanism.
Your brain can’t control everything external to you, what’s outside of you so it’s controlling what it can which is the stories about the circumstances. Some of those stories are really supportive. So, maybe you have a story like it’s really easy to make money and it’s really easy to lose weight. You do those things effortlessly, but maybe your story around dating is it’s really hard for me to date. Or it’s going to be really hard for me to find someone. Or there just aren’t enough guys out there for me to find one and get married. Or because of my past relationships I’m going to struggle with getting married.
It’s what I see a lot is taking the past relationships and projecting them into the future and it makes sense if you understand how the brain works. Knowing this, being aware of it, you can talk back to your brain and you can say, “It’s fine, brain, we’re not going to believe that story.” Instead, we’re going to come up with thoughts that serve us. Thoughts like, “I’m grateful for the relationships I’ve had in the past because I’ve learned so much. I’m open to love at any age and there is no age limit on getting married. I’m an energetic match for my partner. As long as there are men on this Earth I know I can create the relationship I want and get married.”
A lot of times people mistakenly think that because marriage by definition is with one other person that means that whether they get married is dependent on the guy. It’s just not true because when you think that way you end up giving them so much power and you end up attaching to the person. So, one of the biggest mistakes that I see a lot is staying with someone who doesn’t want what you want. I have been guilty of this as well.
Then, it’s like believing their reasons and thinking that that’s a good reason for you to stay in a relationship. I’ll give you an example. I dated someone once who was a great guy, great family, really no red flags on first sight, but he admitted to me on date one that I was his first girlfriend. We were not 16, we were older. So, that’s fine, but it’s curious, right? Little by little over the course of the relationship he would admit to me that he wasn’t really sure. He knew one day he wanted to get married, but not really sure right now, and he was very nervous about it.
I would believe his story and I would take it on as my own thinking that, “Oh, well, of course he’s not ready. I’m his first girlfriend. Of course.” Instead of attaching to the desire that I had to get married and have a family, I attached to this guy and so in my mind whether or not I got married was dependent on him.
We dated for a couple years and looking back, had I had these tools we probably would have dated for a couple months tops. Because it’s getting in the energy of loving yourself and loving your life so much that you are excited and energized by bringing someone else into that life and loving that other person. Instead of what I did, and what I see a lot is, thinking that your happiness comes from that other person and that the love that you’re seeking comes from that other person instead of knowing that you’re the creator of the love and you’re the creator of your emotions.
Because when you think that someone else determines whether you get married and you think that someone else determines whether you have the life that you want you will end up attached to them and end up pushing them away because you’re not attached to your own desire, so you’re not creating that and bringing that in and drawing that in.
So, think about the energy, the thoughts and the feelings of who you are as the person who has the result that you want. As someone who’s married, what are you thinking and feeling? As someone who’s engaged, what are you thinking and feeling? I can tell you you’re not complaining about how hard dating is and that low vibration feeling.
You’re really going to get stuck if you stay in that vibration because you won’t attract exactly what you’re looking for. The way that you can change your energy and get into that married energy is to bring awareness to the energy that you have now and to notice that your thoughts are optional, to bring awareness to those thoughts, and then to change those thoughts to create a story that serves you.
It doesn’t mean that you’re not a little bit disappointed when you want to be. There might be that dream guy who checks all the boxes, who you have a good connection with who doesn’t call you back. I just had this experience with a house. We loved this house. This is when I realized that the analogy worked so well. This house, the seller’s agent wasn’t calling us back and we looked into it a little bit more and he worked for the developer who flipped the house and it just seemed a little sketchy, but the house is perfect. Like, “Steve, this is the house.”
I was getting so attached to the house and it was actually creating so much more resistance and so much more lack. The way that I shifted my energy and got into a much cleaner place was that I noticed and I brought awareness to the fact that I was attaching to the house instead of attaching to my desire to buy a house, to have a house, to live in a house.
Now, I just think, “It’s as good as done.” I’m going to attract that, and from the place of, “It’s as good as done,” I take action. That’s the part you have to remember. I don’t just sit at my house and wait for some agent to knock on my door and say, “Hey, we have the perfect house for you.” I actually still take action, but it’s action from a place of clarity knowing exactly what I want and thinking, “It’s already mine. It already exists, I just have to draw it in.”
From there it’s so much calmer and it’s really attractive energy whether it’s a house, whether it’s money, whether it’s a man. When you have the energy that your life is complete and you’re having fun and you know what you want then you attract that into your life. It’s not the needy, graspy energy thinking that love comes from outside of you.
This is true regardless of if you’ve been married before or if you’re just starting dating for the first time. I think sometimes when you’re single and you’ve never been married you think that all of this goes away once you’re married. I can tell you from coaching in the last few years, I coach a lot of women who are divorced and getting back out there, who are dating again and who are maybe in marriages right now where they’re feeling emotions that they didn’t they’d be experiencing.
So, your emotional state, your experience of life is always dependent on your thoughts. It’s never dependent on your circumstances. If you’re single just know that happiness is not on the other side of a ring. Why want to get married? Why want that at all if happiness is not in that? Just because you want to. Just because that’s how you want to experience life from a place of loving your current life and wanting to grow and have someone to love.
You are the one who gives in a relationship and by give I don’t mean give to your own expense, I mean that you give from a place of generosity and love, from a place of completeness. You don’t enter into a relationship thinking that you’re there to get love and receive love. It’s just confusion and I did this a lot. My coach once said, “You were just confused at where love came from. You thought it came from something outside of you.”
It’s easy to see this because modern culture teaches us this, especially Western culture, dating culture. So, there’s no completing you with another person, you are complete right now. There was a point in my life where I didn’t love my own life that much. I would escape and date guys thinking that their life was better and I loved to be around their friends. It wasn’t until I created the life that I wanted and felt that way about my life, really energized by it and really present in my life and felt confident in myself in my life. It wasn’t until then that I attracted Steve and that I attracted love that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Dating on purpose is like anything else. It’s like losing weight, it’s like making more money, it’s like becoming a faster reader. The power to create the result that you want is not outside of you. It’s not in the guy you’re currently dating, it’s not in your ex, it’s not in your childhood that went totally wrong. The power to create the result that you want, which is getting married in this case, is up to you. You have that power within you.
When you realize that getting married is something available to you it’s not so urgent. It’s not so unobtainable. From there you can relax and enjoy the process knowing that over there on the other side of having a boyfriend, having a fiancé, having a husband isn’t better it’s just different.
Instead of having those single people problems you then have the married people problems. That’s life. That’s what we’ve signed up for. That, my friend, is a beautiful thing. All right, I will talk with you next week.
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