Is that a hard question to ask yourself in any area of your life?
This morning I was in conversation with someone I won’t name just to protect his identify. I was asking him how his date went last night. He was pretty animated when he was talking about how there was no spark, how she didn’t look like her pictures and how he could see all the red flags as she discussed her relationship history. (Well, as animated as you can be at 9.30am after a bottle of wine the night before). But his behaviour, body language and tone suddenly changed when I asked him “what do you want?” He said to me… I don’t want to be over analysed at 9.30 in the morning. He was clearly uncomfortable with the question.
I’ve noticed this trend in him recently, he talks a lot about what he misses and what he can’t have. Here’s another example from this week…
Him: I miss exercise because of my back pain. The physio tells me I can’t lift heavy weights.
Me: What has she said you can do?
Him: She won’t be able to tell me that, she’s not a PT
Me: If she’s been a physio for a while I’m sure she will have come across this before?
Him: She’s only 24.
Me: Have you asked for a more experienced physio?
Him: Radio silence.
I noticed something similar triggered in me the other day when my coach asked me if I was dating at the moment. I’d had a pretty stressful week with property repairs and working out a lot of logistical challenges when she asked me what I wanted to have happen. I flippantly replied “I’d quite like a white knight to come and swoop me away. Sort all of this out for me and share the decision making and stress”. That prompted her question, which in turn prompted me to squirm like I had ants in my pants.
But I chose to lean into that question. Instead of ignoring it, I got curious. How come I was so triggered? What was so uncomfortable for me about it? How come I was finding excuses for why I wasn’t in a relationship, and where did my answer even come from?! I’ve never once consciously thought I wanted a white knight to solve my problems!
I got out my iPad and started making some notes. I realised I’d never really sat down and done that work on myself before. Sure, I’d done it a million times over (and consistently still do) in other areas of my life. But for reasons unbeknown to me before I started writing, I’d never done it around romantic relationships.
When I looked at it, it all made total sense. For example, I have such strong values around independence I never let men pay for a date and always insist on splitting the bill. But if I’m looking for an independent and strong guy, how does that insistence allow him to show that chivalrous side? I know because of this independence it took me a long time to accept that asking for help was a good thing and not a sign of weakness, it was only when I started studying the habits of ultra-successful people that I realised they ALL invite help in. It’s actually a really smart move to collaborate and welcome help. And so now I actively seek out all the help I can. I have a business partner, a cleaner, 2 mentors, 3 coaches. My network is ultra supportive and inspiring. Yet… I hadn’t translated this into the dating space. I still felt like I could take on the world solo and didn’t need anyone else, but I noticed I was looking at it from a needs perspective. Of course I don’t NEED anyone else, but now I realise it is less about what I need, and more about what I WANT.
So from this week on, I am now dropping my old story and creating my new one. I’m being more open and honest with myself about what I want. Because the truth is, we get what we focus on. If you’re consistently focusing on what you can’t have and what you don’t like or want or need. Guess what… you’ll be creating more of that in your life.
So I leave you with this thought and encourage you to lean into and explore it in depth…
What question do you not want me to ask you?