Last night I got into a heated discussion with a friend of mine who happens to be a relationship expert. We were discussing the “person with a lot of options” dating type. This type has the package of looks, success, personality and appeal that makes him or her desirable to a lot of people. Often, the “person with a lot of options” resists settling down and uses having lots of options as a reason to not commit to any one person (they are having too much fun enjoying not having to choose just one person). But my friend asserted that it is possible to convince the “person with a lot of options” type to pick you. He went on to say that if someone is really wowed by someone and “played” correctly, they can be convinced to change their willingness to commit.
Whether that is true or not true is irrelevant to me. The bigger question is why in the world would you try and convince someone to be with you? Granted, at the beginning of any relationship there is some wooing that goes on. When we first start dating someone, it’s natural to put a little more effort in so the other person knows that you like him/her. But there is a line between wooing someone because you are mutually interested in relationship and convincing someone to be in a relationship with you when they are not looking for one.
Have you crossed the line? Here’s how you know: when someone is clear that they are not looking for a commitment and you are, do you hear that information and know that is your time to opt out because your values don’t align? Or do you start to think of ways that you could possibly convince this person to pick you?
If you choose the latter, then you are entering into what I call relationship gaming. It starts when we start to ignore our top values and our ego comes in and says, “I want what I want and I’m going after it.” You then start thinking of ways to manipulate, convince and strategize your actions to get what you want. There is nothing wrong with relationship gaming if you want to build a relationship based on strategy rather than authenticity. But if you want an authentic, intimate, spiritual partnership, get out of the game.
I also challenge you to be honest about how much you truly value commitment. If you are chasing after someone who does not want to commit and judging that the other person has fear of commitment, look in the mirror. If you truly value commitment, why are you going after someone who doesn’t? The truth is that you may fear commitment also. As much as you say you want someone to be in a loving, intimate and committed relationship with you, part of you may not think it’s possible. Maybe you’ve been hurt in the past by a committed relationship and unconsciously you are putting effort into a relationship that will never become committed as a way to protect yourself. Or perhaps you have some limiting beliefs about your worthiness, which are fueling your pattern of chasing after crumbs. And as much as you want to receive love, there is something about it that scares you.
Now back to my friend’s point of being able to convince someone that doesn’t want a commitment to commit to you. As great as the “person with a lot of options” type may seem, if they do not value commitment and you do, then is the person really that great? We often get so mesmerized with the attributes of a person (i.e. what they look like, their personality, what they do in the world, etc.) that we overlook their values and what they are actually telling us they want! And when you do “get” them, you may not even want them because you’re probably more in love with the fantasy than the actual person. Furthermore, don’t you want the experience of choosing AND being chosen? Are convincing and chasing really part of the love story that you want to tell?
We’ve all heard stories about serial daters and commitment phobes who finally change when they meet their “match.” But here is what I have observed about this phenomenon: it is true that we can be catalysts for another person’s change, but in most cases in order to be that catalyst we have to be totally unattached to being it. Let’s go back to the “person with a lot of options” type. Even those types fall in love and settle down, but usually not with someone who went into the relationship tolerating his/her lack of commitment and with a motive to change him/her. It is detachment, acceptance and honoring our own truth that often creates the inspiration for someone to find the truth within his/herself. That said, don’t try to strategize about how to be unattached about changing someone, hoping they will change — that is still attachment!
My encouragement to you is to be ruthlessly honest with yourself about whether or not you are dating or chasing. You are worthy of a relationship that you do not have to chase after. You deserve feeling peace in your relationship. You are deserving of someone who shares your values. You have a huge heart with so much love to give and if someone isn’t “choosing” you, why do you keep choosing him/her?!?!?
Take back your power and pursue a relationship with wooing but not chasing. Choose wisely someone who will choose you back. Most importantly, choose to honor and respect yourself first. Trust that we all have a lot of options when it comes to relationships, but that the one relationship we MUST have is the one with ourselves. If you want to attract a wonderful, loving partner who treats you the way you want to be treated, you will do that when you love yourself and treat yourself with respect, kindness and love. So stop running after someone else. Choose you. Pick you. Chase you.
P.S. The Choosing Me Before We 40-days to creating the most loving and happiest relationships – starting with the one with you – starts TODAY. I’d love for you to join us. Details here.
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Christine Hassler is an author, speaker, life coach and spiritual counselor dedicated to helping people answer the questions who am I, what do I want and how do I get it? You can check out her website here: http://www.christinehassler.com/