Fear seems to be one of the most prevalent issues with many of my dating coach clients.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of feeling they are not worthy of love.
As a dating coach there are lots of ways I can help clients get over being so fearful that they live in a state of perpetual dating purgatory. I've found that clients tend to be the most successful when they are seeing a therapist at the same time they are seeking dating coach services. Let's face it, I am not a therapist. I also do not pretend to be something I am not. Fear of rejection is something almost all dating coaches deal with. Fear of truly feeling like you are not worthy of love is something best left to a trained professional.
Here's the thing about having fear of rejection--everyone has gone through it. Everyone! I'm happy to report that the world is filled with those of us (yes, even me) who have been rejected and have managed to move on. Rejection tends to feel so, so personal even in the event that is not the case. Rather, rejection usually has more to do with the person doing the rejecting (them) than the person getting rejected (you).
Think about it. I'm sure most of you can recall a time in which you rejected someone based on YOUR initial impression of someone, because they reminded YOU of someone you don't care for, or YOU were in a shitty mood. Everyone does this to some extent, and most of the time we are not even aware that it is going on. In these cases, there is little that can be done because it is not about you.
It is helpful to keep in mind that rejection happens to everyone, and the more "no's" you get can mean you are getting closer to a "yes".
People who know me well already know that I initially rejected my husband. Yep, it's true. It's also true that we have been together for 20 years. I pursued him and basically asked him to talk with me at a party. At the time, I thought he was absolutely attractive, but a tad boring. I left my future husband to go flirt with someone else who wanted nothing sexual to do with me. What turned it around for me was that this guy (who I thought was so boring) actually remembered what we talked about and approached me the next time we were in the same room. Remembering what we talked about and continuing the conversation even after I ditched him made me realize that I had greatly mis-judged this hot guy. What I read as boring was really more about him being shy, not having "game", and being a little awkward.
Fear is not just limited to being rejected if you approach someone. I've had numerous clients stay in relationships they admit were un-fulfilling because they were at least certain that the person they were currently dating likes them. I've even had a client who stayed in a 2 year relationship even though she knew FROM THE SECOND DATE that this person was not a great match.
Many people stay in bad relationships because they don't believe they can do any better. Sometimes they believe that their partner will grow to love them in time. Sometimes people wish upon a star that their regular booty call will turn into a real relationship. What I tend to see is lots of people who end up de-valuing their worth for the sake of not being alone. Men and women are usually shocked to realize that their partner is not making them a priority in their life. Instead of being number 1 or 2, they are often 3 or 4 or even 5 on the list of priorities.
When I ask my clients to prioritize their partner's responsibilities, it often looks like this:
Clearly this situation is not great.
There are many times when my clients will say that they completely ignored red flags near the beginning of their relationships. As a dating coach I believe that more people would benefit from accepting what others tell them. If someone says they are not ready for a relationship, that they aren't looking for anything serious, are a bad boy/girl friend, etc. then, for the love of god, believe them.
This is not to say that I am someone who has no fear. I fear many things: fear that my career has peaked, fear that my loved ones will not truly know just how much I love and adore them, fear that people think I'm not a LGTBQIQ ally, fear that people will publicly call me out on aspects of my personality that I am all too familiar with. I have never been someone who had a fear of rejection when it comes to dating. I mean, really. The worst thing someone can say is "no", and I can live with that.