When it comes to being single, there are no days like Hallmark Holidays that can bring on feelings of dread, sadness, hopelessness, anger and good old disappointment. (I know this, as I was divorced and single for six years after my 19 year marriage to a man I met at 19 years old) What’s worse is that for most these women, it’s not just Valentine’s Day itself that makes them feel the ick.
The truth is, the dread can begin as soon as the third week of January approaches (that’s typically when the New Year “high” begins to fade, the guys at the gym aren’t really that interesting, and the few dates from your new membership on Match.com were less than thrilling) which results in a downward spiral that can be tough to endure. As a result, it’s important to have a plan; a blueprint of sorts that can enable you to master your happiness factor even when the crap feelings surface, despite your best intentions.
Introducing YOUR plan for Valentine’s Day – The Dating With Dignity C.A.L.M. Process. The C.A.L.M. Process is a Four-Step Plan to ensure that you are always able to be that CAUSE of your feelings, rather than the effect. Because it is when we allow ourselves to fall victim to the “inner critic” voice inside that whispers, “you are not good enough,” or “it will never happen for me,” that life gets tricky and sends your “attraction factor” plummeting. And when that happens, it doesn’t matter how much you “wish” for a date on February 14th.
So take a deep breath, realize that this Valentine’s Day Season does not have to be like any other you have ever had, and dig into how to stay CALM amidst the “red” holiday hooplah. There are four components to the C.A.L.M Process: C – CHANGE Your Mindset A – ADJUST it Always L – LOVE Yourself M – MASTER your SKILLS Today, we will dig into why it’s important to realize that the skills you need may be those you were never taught, get an insight into what skills will bring the fastest results, and provide three tips you can begin now to ensure that you have a C.AL.M. Valentine’s Day Season. To begin, what I am always most fascinated by is when I hear men and women tell me they are surprised or ashamed that they don’t know how to date with dignity in the 21st century.
Yep, that’s right. Even though they were never taught it in school, their parents probably didn’t teach it to them, and the technology alone didn’t even exist when most of us learn the “basics,” they still are baffled by how much there is to really learn. That said, it’s time to understand that as we grow and transform, shifting out of old behavior patterns and limiting though processes, most still do not know the NEW ways to be that are in alignment with our vision, and most importantly, support the ideal image of ourselves we are trying to build. What’s more, the old default patterns and tendencies consistently raise their stubborn heads, asking us to continually reach beyond the “old,” and stand in the power of something new. As a result, it’s critical to understand what skills you must develop, and then master them at the level which enables you to feel confident, self-assured, happy and free. While the skill set you may need to become an effective dignity dater are varied, there are FIVE main areas in which you could focus to flourish during the “Red” holiday season.
1. Mastering Your Emotional Intelligence – You must learn how to become acutely aware of your emotions, even those that are buried deep below the surface, express them appropriately (eye-rolling and door slamming are inappropriate, for example) and then master your ability to respond to others, rather than react.
2. Master Dynamic and Effective Communication – One of the most important skills for success in all areas of life, you must learn how to communicate effectively and state your needs while maintaining your feminine allure .
3. Master Problem Solving Whether you perceive them as problems, challenges or opportunities, it is imperative that you learn how to effectively manage life’s problems from an anabolic (or high energetic frequency) perspective.
4. Mastering High Energy Relationships Relationships of all types are an integral part of our lives, and identifying what a good or healthy relationship looks and feels like is essential. What’s more, you must have clear strategies for nurturing and/or changing relationships to ensure that the relationships you do cultivate grow and are mutually supportive.
5. Mastering Technology Integrating and understanding the appropriate use of technology into your life is essential to thriving in a changing world. From online dating and navigating through the ups and downs of private lives gone public on Facebook, to learning to get a man to call rather than text, mastering the use of technology is imperative today. In order to stay C.A.L.M. this Valentine’s Day Season, there are three skills you will want to master including:
1. Manage the Relationships that Are Bringing you Down Your man isn’t making plans for February 14th , there are five options to consider when determining how to effectively manage the relationships that at times seem more work than joy. You can:
- Be a victim and stay disempowered, sad or mad.
- Change the relationship – get coaching, counseling or engage in a problem solving process to move forward. Your man isn’t making plans for February 14th , do what you can to communicate your feelings and expectations in a way which is loving and positive.
- Change your perspective of it – How could you begin to see the other person in a different light. Ask yourself if you are attached to being “right” about this person being wrong.
- Accept it – Suspend your judgments, stress and burden associated with the relationship and accept it just as it is.
- Leave the relationship – If you are not satisfied in a relationship, choose to leave the relationship without judgment knowing that often as human beings sometimes our chemistry and connection is simply not a win-win for both parties.
2 . Master your Emotional Intelligence Use accountability to go through the C.A.L.M process and get a partner to make sure you are always adjusting when the old junk begins to bring you down. Practice mediation or centering to build a stronger tolerance to anxiety, stress and worry.
3. Communicating Your Feelings When you get the “What are you doing for Valentine’s Day” question, or your friends begin to trash Mr. Hallmark for creating such a horrific annual event, be honest and vulnerable in communicating your feelings. If you are experiencing sadness or fear, express this to people whom you can trust reminding them they do not need to “fix” it for you, only listen. If you are feeling confident and working through the C.A.L.M process, share your new progress and awareness. Celebrate your leaps and be bold in expressing your new confidence.
I wish for your Valentine’s Day Season to be one filled with calm, peace, confidence, hope and joy – the things that the men you want are looking for in a long-term partner!