This week I finally went to wash my dirty car, covered over by ashy air from Oregon's summer forest fires. The truth was that the dirty inside of my car was bothering me way more than the outside, but when I got to the car wash they didn't have vacuums. So I gave up on cleaning the inside of my car, went through the car wash, and called it good.
I felt good, admiring the outside of my shiny car until I got inside and realized that my car smelled worse than I thought. My car wasn't a very pleasant place to hang out. I really needed to clean the inside!
I share this "dirty" secret with you (lol) because often we take a similar approach in our dating and romantic lives.
For example, Julie decides that enough time has passed (2 months) since her last relationship. After all, she knew for 3 months before she broke up that the relationship was over, so she's had time to get over things. She knew that she didn't like how her ex worked such long hours, and she hated how he criticized her flabby arms. So she decided to hit the weight room at the gym, that way she'd get more in shape and perhaps meet a guy that doesn't spend all his evenings working.
She meets Ray at the gym. He is attractive, funny and he asks her out. She can tell already that he doesn't work as much and her arms are starting to tone.
A few weeks into going out with Ray, she starts to feel anxious. It's a feeling she can't shake because he made a comment one night at the movie theater about how she looks like an old lady carrying your popcorn and purse across your arm. It's meant to be funny, but it feels bad. She lets it slide as she's about to go into the theater.
He sits down next to her in the theater and when he gives her an affectionate kiss the bad feeling seems to melt away. She keeps dating him for weeks until one day he lashes out at her for forgetting to lock the door behind her. It sends her system into shock because it's such a strong reaction for her simple oversight. That night in bed her anxiety increases, she has this sinking feeling that she's gone in deep with a man who, again makes her feel bad. Still her mind scrambles to think of reasons why he really is a good guy and that him snapping earlier wasn't a big deal. Deeper down she worries that if she breaks up with Ray, she'll have to start all over again. Or worse, what if there isn't a better guy out there?
Julie thinks that after her last breakup she can just clean the outside of her "car" and then she'll have a better relationship. But she is starting to sense that even after her outside efforts, that her car still smells bad inside.
Unlike so many marketing messages we hear - it doesn't just take one more smaller size of jeans to reel in the relationship of your dreams. Instead to create a better relationship, it takes the work of an inside job. So that, as you clean the inside of the car, you and a good partner will want to spend time there and ideally he'll want to help you to keep it clean too.
So what kind of inner work do you need to address before you can attract and keep a healthier partnership? Ask yourself these questions:
- Have you identified limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from being your healthiest self in a relationship? So often we need help to see what belief patterns may be causing us to push away a good partner.
- Do you need to learn more communication skills through taking a class, or webinars or having a mentor? Unfortunately many of us grow up without having had good role models with good communication skills.
- Have you taken sufficient time to process through a past break up--giving yourself time and investment to heal and change patterns? Time itself may not heal all wounds, but intentional efforts to heal over time definitely can heal.
Your dating experiences, often reflect the health of your inner world. So if you are having bad experiences, tolerating more than you want to or finding yourself in repeating patterns, reach out for support.
To see if you and I could be a fit to work together click here. I can help you to discover limiting beliefs and help free you from blocks so that you can get on a better path towards a great partnership!