Dear Soft Hearts,
Okay so what do we do if we’re interested in someone and we want to know if they’re going to meet us where we’re at? If you’ve done the healing work and want to dodge the “f$ck boy” and people who may be hot and cold out there then I think there’s some pre-work folks can do from the jump. I talk with patients interested in new partners about not interviewing, but also not painting yellow flags green. Some patients even write down the stuff that does not work for them. Having clarity on paper or on their device can help them when hormones like oxytocin tell us we’re in love. From the beginning we can remind ourselves of what doesn’t work for us and be clear to hear someone when they tell us who they are. If someone says they tend to lose interest quickly and my patient tends to be broken hearted by avoidantly attached folks I’m going to ask them about their perspective of a warning that this person loses interest quickly. I explore with them what comes up for them around holding onto this interest when they asserted they’ll be gone soon. If all they want is a quick interaction with the person then it matches up, but if they’re looking for more then I’m hearing them know what this person is and go against their goal to break the cycle and do something different.
I also explore with people about the messages they heard from society and family. I want them to have clarity and discernment. We especially want to give lots of room to folks from marginalized communities because we know they have less access to care, and for some people such as LGBTQ people they may not be able to go to their family of origin for relational support or models. Some people who may be able to look to partnerships in their communities and families may not want what they see as their models. Say for example someone is able to get support or advice from peers or family, but maybe they don’t want that because their models argue or withhold love or simply don’t connect in the ways they desire.
Lastly, there are a couple of concrete tools I direct folks to.
- I suggest taking the quiz for attachment styles for yourself and your prospective partners (you can take it on a first date, without even telling them). These quizzes can be found in this amazing book called Attached.
- I also want people to be expansive in what they do want. We talked about wounds and what you want to dodge this time, but I also encourage people to dream big and write it out. You can learn more about creating this list here.
Thanks folks and more next time for loving on ourselves by choosing differently and with more discernment this time.