When you are dating, are you unsure if and when you should call or text the person?
Is it hard for you to tell someone what your preferences are?
Do you struggle to know how much to reveal about yourself and how soon when you’re seeing someone new?
Dating in the modern world can certainly be a challenge, but one important factor to success is clear, effective communication, and setting boundaries early and often.
That’s exactly what I’m covering in today’s episode on boundaries and dating success!
Understanding Your Love Blueprint
The first step to mindful dating is to get clear on your downloaded love blueprint. If you have found yourself thinking things like, “Why is it so easy for other people?” or “I’m just unlucky in love” or “It’s just about being in the right place at the right time” … I have news for you.
It’s not magic. It’s psychology. As a psychotherapist and a relationship expert, I can say with confidence there is so much more to love and dating than fate or the stars aligning!
How we view romantic love and our own lovability has everything to do with what we learned and experienced growing up regarding love, marriage, and relationships. That collection of data and set of ingrained beliefs is what I call your downloaded love blueprint.
Your “downloaded blueprints” reside in your unconscious mind and can directly impact your ability to make connections, communicate, handle conflict, etc. It’s important to take a look at your history and figure out how your love blueprint might still be impacting the quality of people you are attracting and the success of your dating life.
Uncovering the modeled behaviors, beliefs, and stories around love and dating you experienced growing up is definitely a piece of the love and dating puzzle.
Inside this week’s guide, I’ve given you some questions to help you get more clarity around your relationship to romantic boundaries, communication, and your love blueprint. You can download your Boundaries and Dating Guide right here.
Identify Your Go-To Communication Style
There are really only 4 ways of communicating, and we each have a predominant style.
Passive: A passive communicator has a tendency to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves. They prefer to go along to get along and don’t want to rock the boat. Someone whose predominant communication style is passive might minimize their own needs and has difficulty saying no.
Real-world example: Your date asks where you want to have dinner and you respond with something like, “Oh, I’m easy. Whatever you want is great.”
The problem with passive communication in dating is it’s really difficult for someone to get to know you if what you’re communicating is coming from a place of people-pleasing or a fear of being too “demanding”. Long-term passive communicators often end up resentful of others.
Aggressive: This communication style is demanding and can come off as hostile or downright rude at times. An aggressive communicator is too assertive, hard bent on getting their way, can micromanage things, and feel compelled to control the outcomes of every situation.
Real-world example: Your date says, “Do you want to meet at 7:30?” and you say something like, “I already told you I don’t like to eat after 7 PM. I wish you would remember that.”
The issue with aggressive communication and dating is it pushes people away and can make others feel rejected, hurt, or humiliated. Overly aggressive communication can block real intimacy and connection.
Passive-Aggressive: Passive-aggressive communicators are indirect which can be confusing for others. They might agree to do something they actually don’t want to do in order to avoid conflict and rejection. This creates internal anger at themselves, which can often result in their not keeping their word. They’ll cancel at the last minute because it was never something they wanted to do in the first place. Sarcasm and double-talk can come into play when a passive-aggressive communicator expresses displeasure.
Real-world example: Saying “Oh, I’m fine,” when you are clearly NOT fine or “Don’t worry about me, I’ll figure out how to get myself home,” when what you’re really saying is: “I’m angry you’re not worrying about me and how I’m going to get home.”
In dating, the other person is likely confused about what is going on if your predominant communication style is passive-aggressive. They might feel hurt or angry, but they don’t know how you really feel or what you really want.
All 3 of the above styles are the foundation of disordered boundaries. They are too porous, too rigid, or too direct or indirect, none of which is a recipe for effective communication or for dating success.
Assertive: Assertive communication is the healthiest, most effective way of communicating when you’re dating or anywhere else in your life!
It’s the sweet spot between passive and aggressive communication. It’s clear, direct, and honest. An assertive communicator is respectful of others and takes full responsibility for themselves.
When you can communicate assertively, you can speak directly and appropriately about your preferences, your limits, your desires, your deal-breakers. You’re a good problem solver and you know how to actively listen to someone else. You can stand up for yourself without running other people over.
If you’re seeking a higher level of love and more success in the dating world, I hope this empowers you to shift your focus back to you. Commit to learning as much as you can about healthy communication and boundary setting! (and if you need some help in that department, I wrote an entire book about it! Check it out right here!)
If you loved this, please share it with the people in your life, and let’s raise the collective love vibe! Thank you, I hope you have an amazing week and as always, take care of you.