Getting hurt feelings, being frustrated or confused, and becoming angry seem to be part of most of our dating experiences, as well as our short – and long-term relationships.
Learning how to effectively deal with these goes a long way to improving our dating experiences and being happier in our relationships.
(Although everyone is invited to read this post, I am currently working with women on their dating and relationship issues with men, and this post is aimed at those women. However, if you stumble upon it … welcome?. Much of this is basic, general, good advice for all types of relationships).
Whenever we are disappointed, frustrated, or get hurt feelings because of what the other did – or didn’t do, our tendency as women is usually to either bury our feelings and turn them inwards, or, to react outwardly. Although these ways of dealing with hurts, disappointments, frustrations, etc. may feel good and appropriate in the moment, neither of them is effective at ultimately getting us what we want.
This is because these types of responses are unnatural. They are simply automatic responses we developed at one time or another to deal with life and/or others to protect our hearts and hide or defend our true feelings. They do not come from a place of empowerment.
This blog article is based on my published – and upcoming books
Your Journey to Peace … (2016)
Why We Are the Way We Are (2018)
Overcoming: Anger, Neediness, Hurt Feelings, Frustrations,
Blaming Others for Our Unhappiness (Dec 2020)
Relationships in an Evolving World (March 2021)
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Whether we want our man to give us more attention, listen to us better, keep his word, or do more for us – more of what we expect, we must approach him in a way that encourages him to engage with us, listen to us – and hear us – not in a way that repels him, causing him to tune out, get his back up, pull away, get defensive, or even angry.
To help in our dating and relationships, as women we must understand both how we deal with hurts, stressors, disappointments, etc. and how men deal with theirs. This empowers us!
When stressed, hurt, disappointed,
confused, angry etc., women usually turn to their emotions;
men tend to withdraw.
Understanding our self, and understanding the other in our dating or relationship scenarios is empowering.
Being empowered is what ensures we are effective in ensuring that OUR goals in our dating and relationships are met.
To Date Effectively: We Must COME FROM A PLACE of Empowerment
To Have/Create/Maintain Harmonious Relationships: We Must FEEL Empowered
When we come from a place of empowerment and feel empowered, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE OTHER SAYS OR DOES. We know what we want/need to be happy and feel loved, and what will make us feel secure in our dating and our relationships. We act accordingly.
Some of the ways that help you feel and be empowered when dating and in your relationships:
- Know – Understand Yourself: Your needs. Your fears. Your motivations. Your deal breakers. Your default positions – your habitual ways of dealing with hurts, frustrations, disappointment, etc.
- Understand Your Reactionary States: Do you bury your feelings? Do you react aggressively? Do you become passive? Are you passive because you are shy, easy to get along with, lack confidence, want to please, or are you passive aggressive and fume secretly?
- Acknowledge – and Voice Your Expectations. Be honest with your self about your expectations. Write them out if it helps. And even though it seems our partner should know what we think and expect, they cannot read our minds. We must voice, and/or discuss our expectations.
- Find out their Expectations. Discuss this – at an appropriate time – making it light and fun.
- Have Good, Effective, and Respectful Communication Skills. Respectful communication, where we speak, address, or say our peace or express our needs in a calm way, while picking a good time to do so, goes a long way in the other actually understanding us, hearing us, and/or agreeing to what we want.
- Check Your Listening Skills. Ensure you give him the time to express what he needs to or explain – without interruption. Allow him to fully say what he wants to say – even if it takes time or seems awkward. Many of us do not articulating that well. Finding words for feelings is not always easy.
- Attempt to Understand the Other. Try and understand where he coming from. We all have different focuses and navigate life differently. Don’t expect the other to see or navigate life as you do.
- Check your – and his Boundaries. Although we never want to block ourselves off from others and the world, we do need to ensure that we have healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries allow us to communicate and even be intimate with others, while feeling emotionally safe. We know where we begin and the other ends. They know where we begin, and where they should end. There are no blurred lines between what we feel comfortable with – physically and emotionally around another. We let people in only as far as we are comfortable with. When someone attempts to cross that border when we are not yet ready – or may never be – this is an infringement on our personal space. (I will continue with this in the next relationship post.
We all want to feel loved – be loved. Feel appreciated – be appreciated. Be listened to – be heard. And we all want to have our needs met. And although our personalities do come into play, generally, men and women see and navigate life, dating, and relationships differently.
Our desire for companionship is instinctive.
For most of us, this doesn’t come with instinctive know-how.
As a woman, you may ask “Why should I do all the understanding?” This is a valid question! The answer is simply that it is you who is hurt, angry, disappointed, or whatever brought you here. It is you who wants to have a better experience than you are having.
We cannot make another change. No amount of begging, whining, cajoling, crying, manipulating, etc. will make the other change – in fact it usually backfires on us when we do it, at least in the long run. However, it is possible to inspire someone we are dating or our partner to be more loving, attentive, and show up more for us.
We do this by ensuring we are coming from a loving, inviting place – not from a judging, demanding, you-were-wrong, or needy place. There is a difference between asking for something – to have our needs met, or addressing something agreed upon, or expected within the context of you as a couple, and being needy. Remember, the good communication and listening skills I mentioned above. (I will discuss this further in other posts).
We all bring something different to the table. Understanding this helps alleviate the frustration we feel when the differences play out in our life. In fact, our differences have value and rounds out a couple. (This too, I will discuss further in Part 2).
Next week, I will post Part 2 of this article on Healthy Boundaries You can read my companion article “Understanding Our Emotional Links With Others” HERE. that may also interest you. Link to my full blog page is below.
– © Rosemary McCarthy, November 4, 2020
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Copyright © November 4, 2020 by Rosemary McCarthy. All rights Reserved. To copy, share, or distribute this article simply ensure the content is copied in its entirety, is unaltered, and is distributed freely and for no monetary or personal gain, and that this copyright notice and the link for the article and the website www.spiritedfawnpublications.com are included. You can contact me email@example.com Blessings, and thank you kindly. Rosemary