Last week, I resumed coaching with my client Lian in Switzerland. We’d worked together for a few months, when she needed to take a breather to feel ready to date. Happens all the time. Detoxing is good.
Anyway, Lian came prepared on Wednesday a with three different stories of men who had disappointed her since our last coaching session. One man wanted a no-strings-attached relationship. One man was a close friend and a potential long-distance boyfriend, but he refused to make an effort to see her regularly. The last man offered some sparks, but was bad at follow-through, and never stepped up to become a boyfriend.
“Why does this keep happening to me?” Lian wanted to know. “How come I keep on meeting guys who aren’t ready for relationships?”
As a dating coach, author, and semi-professional know-it-all, I pride myself on being able to come up with answers to the toughest relationship questions. I love helping clients peer into their blind spots and come up with solutions to the very issues that have plagued them for decades. So believe me, I wanted nothing more than to tell Lian that, somehow, she was at the root of her own problems. Such revelations can be really powerful, because if you’re the common denominator in your problems, you have the ability to turn things around. If your problems have nothing to do with you, there’s really nothing to learn.
And that’s what I told Lian. It’s just the bad luck of the draw. She met three guys who weren’t willing to be the kind of boyfriend that she craved. That doesn’t mean she’s done something wrong, and it certainly doesn’t mean she should lose any sleep over them. You win some, you lose some. And freeing yourself up when you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong is essential when it comes to persevering during rough dating stretches.
I love to talk about how I had three of the worst dates of my life in November 2006. One was a set up, one was a pick up, one was an online date. All had some form of social autism where they said things that were astoundingly horrifying. I couldn’t have seen it coming – it was just an unfortunate coincidence. I could have turned it into a blanket statement about how terrible dating is, or how awful women are, or how strange Los Angeles can be when it comes to relationships. In fact, they were just three dates gone awry. Nothing more. Nothing less. I let go of my anger quickly and went back to the drawing board.
I met my wife two months later.
So today, I want you to let go of things that you haven’t done wrong and give yourself a break.
Sometimes, there’s nothing to learn.