Last month I wrote a blog entry entitled “Are You Dateable?”. After posting this, a few readers responded by saying (not verbatim, but close!), “I know I’m not open right now to many aspects of dating that you listed. Does that mean I’m not dateable? Should I not date if I know I’m not fully open?”
I felt this was an important concern to address… To re-iterate, in that blog entry I highlighted that having an open and positive attitude towards various aspects of dating and relationships makes you dateable.
I want to emphasize and add, that, the way I see it, dateability is not an all-or-nothing construct. It may be more helpful to think about your dateability (i.e. your openness) as a number on a scale from 1-10.
Right now, you may be open to putting yourself out there and meeting people, but not open to being vulnerable in a potential relationship- so you might put yourself at a 3 or a 4 on that scale.
That’s totally ok! Even if you feel you’re just *a little bit* dateable, it’s important to focus on what you’re able and willing to do, and not on what you aren’t.
Having the desire to date means that you absolutely should! You have to start somewhere, right? I’m a big advocate in the dating world, and in life, of taking baby steps- one step at a time, one day at a time. And, who knows what could happen- maybe you’ll meet someone with whom you’re able to be more open, even if you weren’t able to with others in the past.
Maybe you’ll just enjoy dating, slowly feel more comfortable, and ease into being increasingly open with time. Maybe you’ll date and decide that it isn’t for you at the moment, and you would prefer to work on improving yourself- what an important lesson to learn.
There are many possibilities of what could happen when you put yourself out there. SO, even if you’re just a little bit excited about the possibility of dating, then by all means go for it! Fully opening your heart (i.e. aiming for that 8, 9 or 10 on that scale), should you desire to do so, isn’t easy. It requires a great deal of courage, strength, resilience and confidence.
Getting to that place may be a life-long process. Those of you who are already married and long done with the dating world may still be working on opening your heart, and that’s ok. This process involves truly learning and understanding your various parts or different aspects of yourself that may be holding you back from opening up.
If you’re having a hard time doing this on your own, therapy can be helpful, as we can be a great resource to you during this process. No matter how you choose to go about it, being more open is hard work so please have patience and compassion for yourself.
In the end, this work will be worth it because having an open heart and being vulnerable is the path to love and joy.
Wishing you all well on your dating journey,
This Post Written By:
Rachel Freidus, LMFT, MS – Therapy With Heart
8737 E. Via De Commercio, Suite 200
Scottsdale, Arizona 85258
Phone: (480) 888-5380
Fax: (480) 203-2881