YOUR DATING REQUIREMENTS Just the word sounds kind of intimidating, doesn't it? Especially when you attach it to dating?
In my Conscious Dating workshop, one of the most powerful evenings is the one in which we dig into each individuals "dating requirements." Or, in other words, their "deal-breakers, non-negotiables, bottom-liners!"
Funny thing is, after the painfully slow exercise of flushing out "Who are you and what do you truly want?" this initial list of requirements usually comes pouring out fast! They tend to be VERY long and consist of countless statements about what they will "never" do again.
"I will never be with someone again who is so damn tight with money!"
"I'm not going to ever be in a relationship again where my partner stuffs all his feelings and won't talk!"
"No partner of mine will ever have to be right about every single thing again!"
That's a good place to start. Along with looking hard at why your past relationships ended. I can assure you, most of the time they had to do with requirements not being met - yours - or your partners!
It's important then, to take this long list of "won'ts" and ask TWO IMPORTANT QUESTIONS:
1. How do I turn these into what I "do" want- what I actually will require from here on out and hold myself to?
2. How well am I meeting these kinds of requirements from my end? Where do I need to grow?
This is where the HEART comes in and I promise you, it will not only help you share your "deal-breakers" with potential dates in a softer, more organic way, it can be a wake-up call for some personal growth!
As an individual begins to shift from the negative, to writing down what positive qualities a potential partner now truly needs to embody, for them to stay in the game, I notice a radical change, not just in how much shorter the list gets, but in their own emotional state. My clients begin to think hard, not only about what they honestly value and require in a relationship, but where they have fallen short themselves in the past and why. Encouraging this kind of self-reflection means that judgments can soften. When that happens, I find the "harshness" of a black and white requirements list can be put down so that a good, open-hearted conversation can be picked up in it's place.
With the old version of using requirements to screen dates, a person can easily end up feeling like they are on the receiving end of being "grilled" or "interviewed." An individual has their "list" in their head and is asking questions related to their "non-negotiables" as swiftly as they can, so they don't waste time!
"Are you adventurous and open to new things or do you like routine and familiar places?"
"Do you consider yourself a negative or a positive person? Glass half full or half empty?"
"Is sex important to you or not?"
Can you see how this creates a sense of constriction that tends to set up an immediate disconnect between two people?
Bringing "heart" into the conversation, while still holding firmly to what is of the utmost importance to you, allows tension to ease and more to be shared. With an open heart, a person can both speak to their beliefs, values and passions along with their requirements, while offering up their own weak areas that call for attention and continued growth. This kind of date allows for deeper, warmer, less superficial interactions which may open the way to honestly getting to know someone on a different level.
It also may send someone running.
Dating is NOT a relationship. Dating is the period you spend determining whether you want to / can actually have the kind of relationship you desire with this person. If you weed out someone quickly (or they weed themselves out!) by using your requirements and doing it in a very warm, open-hearted way, then congratulations!
Success in dating is not just when you've found the right partner - it begins when you stop wasting time with the wrong people!
Here's to your success! Be bold, open your heart wide and do not settle for what does not bring you fully alive!