Someone once asked me why I chose to be a dating coach instead of a relationship coach; doesn’t the latter make more sense, since a relationship is about two people? My answer was simple: broken people break things. I cannot find any person who has captured the essence of what I am about to discuss better than Ayn Rand when she said:
Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person’s sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves.
I remember the first time I went to see the woman who trained me, another dating coach. I was excited as I thought I would finally get this dating thing right and find myself a man.
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After a year of coaching and training, I realized that I came to see a dating coach to find a man and instead, I found myself. My dating coach, as it should be with all proper dating coaches, challenged my beliefs about self, love and men. I soon realized that my past relationships had turned out so, because of the convictions I held about myself. Thoughts become actions and actions become habits and habits eventually become you.
I find that when our relationships hit rough waters, we are very quick to put blame on our partners.
They are not attentive enough, they don’t respect us, they don’t value us; and the list goes on and on.
When we can’t get to a resolution by ourselves, we drag these poor souls to therapy, in hopes that maybe the intervention of another will help us resolve our issues. Very seldom do we reflect and ask how we are contributing to this situation.
By the time two people find each other and decide to enter a relationship, they come with years and years of social conditioning, past hurts and a history that has shaped them into who they are today. So it is fair to say that some of the baggage and attitudes we bring into the relationship might just be the core of the issue, and what we feel towards our partners has nothing to do with their actions.
Thus, my question is, why is it that when a relationship goes through a tough time, we think counseling instead of individual therapy?
In order to help illustrate what I am alluding to, let’s break Ayn Rand‘s quote down into lament terms:
A person’s sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions.
They say in life you don’t get what you want, but rather you get what you deserve. Now turn and look at the person you sleep next to every night, or some nights or once in a blue moon, in the case of others. You deserve to have them in your life, regardless of whether they are bringing you joy or misery.
Our choice of partner is a reflection of what we believe of ourselves to be. The relationship you have with another is a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself. So if there is no love, respect, honesty and all the other qualities you would like to associate with a happy and healthy relationship, this means those qualities are also lacking in you. People treat you the way you allow them to, and if you allow others to treat you badly, this simply means you are not honoring yourself. What you expect, you allow, and what you allow persists.
Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves.
When I was still single, I once had a random guy take me on the most boring date in the world. As with all boring dates, I came home and saved his number as “only when bored”. Two months went by without a word from me. I ignored all calls and texts and then one sunny Sunday morning, this man sent me this text:
“You are evil and God is going to punish you for your sins.”
I looked at this ridiculousness in front of me and thought: first, what the hell? Then secondly, what have I done that is so great that this man would be so fixated on me?
The point I am getting to is that this man measured his worthiness based on my actions. He needed me to validate to him that he is wanted, attractive and Lord knows what else. Thus when I failed to respond to his advances, instead of moving on to more responsive prospects, this man kept chasing after me.
Thus in conclusion, I find that many people have no independent valuation of self and measure their worthiness based on the actions of others. Look at your current relationship and ask yourself this; are you looking for something, which you should be looking for within yourself, in your partner? That which you require your partner to be, is it reasonable to ask of this from another human being? Does your relationship need counseling or maybe you just need to work on yourself becoming a better partner?
A wise guy once said, “Go and find you before you can find me”.
Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know about your experience, and if you agree or disagree with me.