dating + being loved

I was having a chat with a single girlfriend the other day. Naturally the conversation led to her love life and her latest and greatest dating adventures.

Her most recent date was over a green juice and coconut water. How very 2014.

To her dismay, the gent proceeded to point out the high price of said green juice and coconut water. Several times. She just sort of smiled, hoping he would move on.

(While talking about about money is probably a no-no on a first date, an $8 coconut water IS pricey.)

However, my girlfriend, who has experienced a good amount of professional and financial accomplishments, said that it brought up a sense of insecurity about her own success.

While this guy worried about $8 coconut water, she truly began to fear that her own success would be intimidating, therefore making it harder to find someone.

Her fear struck a chord with me as I remembered several years before having a similar conversation with another girlfriend of mine.

Only it was for the exact opposite reason!

I was just starting my business and entering into the dating world after ending a long-term relationship.

I had not yet experienced the success I knew I was capable of and I was concerned that my LACK of success would make it hard to meet someone.

My fear was, “Who is going to love me if I have nothing to show for myself?”

While it may seem like we were on opposites of the fear fence, I detect an unlikely common culprit here.

Let me paint the picture with one more colorful stroke.

I’m hanging out with a few girlfriends last week, one of whom is single. As the conversation turned to dating, her eyes welled up with tears.

She has been in the dating world for a while. She hasn’t had a long-term relationship in quite some time. A la Charlotte’s famous line in Sex and The City, “I’ve been dating since I was fifteen. I’m exhausted, where IS he!?” My friend was starting to lose hope.

She said, “The guys here don’t want someone my age. I just don’t know if I believe that someone could actually love me the way I see my friends’ partners love them.”

Of course, my heart broke for her.

But between these examples, something became very clear to me.

Although these are wildly different scenarios, they all have the same root.

I doubt I am lovable as I am.

You can attach whatever you wish to your fear; I won’t have success at the thing I want (dating, weight loss, career) because I am _____ (too successful, not successful enough, not pretty enough, not as thin as, not as young as, old as, etc.)

All of these are “reasons” the ego constructs in order to keep you in a busy state of constantly trying to fix yourself.

In doing so, our egos are also trying to protect us from the deeper fear, which is insanely uncomfortable to sit with if we stopped the doing, the worrying, the crazy making. The fear is the notion that I am unlovable. Just because. For no good fixable reason at all.

Strangely, I find this whole realization comforting, and let me tell you why: It is a reminder that perhaps we don’t have to run around trying to fix or change things. What a relief.

We can simply start at the very base.

I am enough. As I am. Today. Worthy of love. Worthy of success. Worthy of happiness. Just because. End of story.

It makes me laugh at the fact that our minds will play funny tricks on us to get us to buy into the illusion that we are lacking in some way.

And of course, it is just that: a total and utter illusion.

With this notion at the forefront of our consciousness, we can begin to see it differently. We can begin to change our story and association we have about ourselves.

We can stop running around trying to change our weight, our appearance or any other outside factors in hopes of it making ourselves more lovable.

This is not to say there is not work to be done.

But the work can be about digging in deeper to our sense of self worth and value, the value we bring to the world by simply being alive, regardless of our success (or lack there of.)

If you can relate to this feeling of not enoughness here is a great mantra to incorporate. I made a pretty picture for you. Click display images if you aren’t seeing it.

I have come to realize that this feeling and belief that we are unlovable or unworthy is an epidemic that keeps weight on our bodies, keeps us in debt and keeps us from finding soulful relationships.

And I am committed to helping change that.

I’m really excited about sharing the new goods I have for you in the next few weeks.

It will address and help transform some of these very issues.

And of course, it is going to be done is a fun, SOULful (that’s a hint), invigorating way.

Stay tuned! It’s almost here.

If this topic resonates with you, you have had your own ‘version’ of why you thought you are unlovable (or are still working through it), come on over to the BLOG. I always love learning more about you and of course love hearing from you.

As always, I appreciate you making space for me in your inbox. It’s a real pleasure.

With love,
Erin

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26 Responses to dating + being loved

  1. Carol says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear today, and most all days:) I am beginning to date again after several years. It is intimidating, and scary, and I am filled with thoughts and feelings of I’ve gained too much weight, I’m too old, my little business is not making money, I’m not successful enough…….However, I am going to meet someone new today. Just a cup of coffee. I will keep your words in mind. I am enough. Thank you Erin.

  2. lora says:

    Love this post. Perfectly put and thank you. It’s SUCH a waste of time to feel unlovable, unworthy, large, etc etc… bleh –

  3. Tracy says:

    What a beautiful & thoughtful post, as always Erin! I’m trying to make sense of why it reminds me of this epiphany I had during my weight watchers meeting this week. Someone made a comment about how we put too much value on what the scale tells us each week. He said placing this much value on a number that the scale gives us is like allowing this simple machine to determine our feelings of self worth for the week. Yes, it is useful data to take into account, but really we should be praising ourselves for a million other great choices we are making for our health every day- the choice to drink more water, move our bodies, eat more fruits & veggies- these are the things that should be determining our feelings of self worth! Ok, so a date goes badly, or a guy doesn’t see our amazing qualities- move on! (Clearly their loss!) We should have a million ways in which we see and value our own self worth – and we should be deciding if they are good enough for US, if they interest us, and if whether WE want to go on a second date with them. Maybe it’s about saying yes I am enough, I recognize these wonderful qualities that are my own, and I will decide who is worthy of being in my life! And finally, I have to share- one of my favorite things about my fiancé is, whenever I compliment him and tell him, “Honey, you look so handsome,” he says, “Of course!” Hahaha….we should all learn from him!

  4. Mary says:

    Oh my. I am smack in the middle of this. I struggle with being “enough”. Good enough, smart enough, lovable enough.
    The old suspicion that if I’d been “enough”, my parents would not have had another baby. It rears its ugly head at times-like when I’m laid up with this broken ankle, feeling very unproductive, broken in a sense. Thank you for sending this mantra. It is just what I need today.

  5. Dina says:

    Thank you for this Erin, I have been battling with ending a long term relationship that has become toxic for my spirit and body…and I constantly kick myself for staying in it…but I’ve done so for so long because I have played in my mind over and over that I’m not good enough and who will love me more than this person who gives me the bare minimal of themselves. Today I take these words that you have written with me and I will begin to see myself in a better place so that I can change my life and attract the best that life has to offer.

    • Jana says:

      Dina I am so with you on this. 27 year friendship that turned into lovers then into “friends” then nothing then coupledom for a short 5 mmonths (he got scared) and now nothing but an occasional e-mail.
      SO tired of it all. Yes I do love myself as well, and being in this roller-coaster actually helped me to learn, seek and find out what I needed for ME.
      I learned to LOVE ME in this relationship- so for that I am grateful. My options are very limited where I live but being alone is better then barely breadcrumbs leaving me hungry for more. Now I am fulfilled full of love for me and who ever wants some!

  6. Very wise, and pwerfully expressed, Erin. I wish the schools would teach useful things like this that can make real difference in people,s lives.

    Whenever I set any goal, I add the affirmation “i am fine just as I am, and this will only make things better.” I find that helps dissolve those “not good enough” feelings. It also helps release any anxiety over the outcome.

  7. Jamie Askew says:

    YES. Thank you Erin for bringing this up. I deal with this everyday in my own life and I witness it in epidemic proportions in my New York surroundings. Time to start saying some mantras!

  8. Linda says:

    Thank you so much for this, Erin. I’ve been dealing with overcoming this way of thinking for my entire life, and 55 years is a long time, so it’s hard to undo. But it’s a start!

  9. Julie says:

    I never cease needing to hear this message. I was convinced that weight would make me unlovable, and it’s become this litmus test or “dare” to people to see who will love and accept me despite my weight. It was revolutionary for me to realize that my weight doesn’t define me, and that my husband loves me – ALL of me – no matter what size I am. But it’s still a shield from the world in a lot of ways, and I do need to hear this message over and over again. Thanks, Erin.

  10. Shelby says:

    THANK YOU! This message came at the most perfect time. Although my struggles have nothing to do with the dating world, they come from beginning a fairly new job and trying to overcome all of the obstacles that come with it. For the past couple of weeks I have beat myself up and felt like I was not good enhough for the job – I was almost to my breaking point this morning and this has helped me stay focus and keep moving forward! I am enough! I am worthy of success! If not, they would have never hired me in the first place. Thank you!

  11. Frances says:

    Thank you, Erin! This was just what I needed to hear today. I have been struggling with this for awhile and last night I realized that always striving for perfection or the idea that I needed to be perfect to be loved was really holding me back. In my head, I know it’s not true, but for some reason I have had that belief for a really long time. This mantra will help me get over that limiting belief. I am posting it to my bathroom mirror and my vision board.

  12. Keesha says:

    Hi Erin,
    Thank you for this post. I have been struggling with this same feeling. Although you used dating as a metaphor. My struggle this week and I mean this week is at work feeling like I am not capable and was lost. I thank you for helping me put my thoughts and feelings into perspective. Nothing can hold me back but those thoughts. I never commented before but am always reading. Thanks again

  13. Renee says:

    It’s ironic that you wrote this post today… After a 20 year relationship, I am now a separated mother of two teens. Today, I worked up the courage to create a profile with an online dating site. I am not looking for true love anytime soon, but I am looking to meet new people and am unsure of how to start; this seemed to be my first step. I have no expectations, but just creating the profile brought me to another level of acceptance. I may end up completely dismayed or thrilled; it’s a 50-50 toss-up. I am in no way entirely confident, but after reading your post, I realized I have started loving myself again and living for myself. So, thank you; your post just confirmed that no matter what age, what I look like, I must love myself first. The rest will follow.

  14. David August says:

    Thank you for this.

  15. Jacquelyn says:

    Oh yes, if I had a penny for every time the “im not enough” thoughts entered my head I would be a millionaire, millions of times over. In fact, I just went on an Im not enough rant on facebook this afternoon. Then, I sat down and read The War of Art cover to cover. It’s a battle, everyday, to fight these beliefs. I just take one step at a time and keep plugging along. My other option is to wither and die and that definitely does not sound glamorous.

    The I’m not lovable because I’m not a successful, money making machine entrepreneur – that’s been one of the biggest battles of them all.

    Thank you so much for sharing this piece Erin and bringing some love back to my day. I love you.

    • cara says:

      The war of art and his second book..turning pro are amazing books.
      I am creative and I see the times in my life when I was happiest is when
      i was creating. I didnt doubt what my worth was. I met a man recently who
      professed to really like me but scoffed at the idea of me loving myself.
      He considered this vanity, and ego/arrogance. I told him I give myself lots of
      love so I can give it to others. Its hard to give what you dont have. Needless to say
      hr didnt have much to give me. Treat yourself so good…that you will never accept someone’s lesser treatment. After all if you dont treat yourself that way why the hell
      would you allow someone else to?

  16. Christina says:

    I entered into a relationship about a month ago, and I’ve been struggled with accepting my body. Six months ago, I was at the lowest and healthiest weight I have ever been at. I fit well into my clothes and I loved the energy. I then started pledging for a sorority and all the stress really caused me to emotionally eat. I ate out more often and eating became a social activity. I gained about 30 pounds, only 15 pounds less than my absolute heaviest. While I am slimmer than I was two years ago, I still loathe myself for losing control of my eating habits. I really needed to hear this today because I’m trying to accept that what’s done is done and I am continually working towards my goal. No weight is permanent weight if I don’t let it be but it’s discouraging because I see everyone who is healthier than I am and I just want a quick fix but that is not the right way to go about it. My current boyfriend and I are motivating each other to be healthier. Thanks Erin!

  17. Sara says:

    Erin —

    I’m sitting at work right now, reading your post, tears filling up my eyes. It always has been a tough road for me, weight and relationship wise. I just broke up with my first ‘adult’ boyfriend; we had only been going out for 4 months. It was an amicable break up, but still, it hurts like a knife stabbing me. I haven’t had a true boyfriend before(save for little high school ones), and those were now 8 years ago. I always thought that it must have something to do with me. I’ve always thought that I must love myself before I can have someone else love me. And I still struggle with that. I’ve tried dating sites, friend of friends, salsa clubs. I just don’t feel like I’m able to get recognized. I feel invisible. I have lost weight. All in all, I’ve lost about 50 pounds in the past 5 years (the bulk of which was lost in the beginning). Now, I’ve started to emotionally eat again – and the weight is slowly creeping back up.

    I’ve decided this week to start over: get back into my healthy nutrition and meal plans and get back into the gym on the days besides my sessions with my trainer. I’m seeing a therapist to work on my self-esteem/confidence/depression/lack of self-worth. It’s just hard to get into it and start believing it after 26 years of self doubt. That combined with all of my friends being in relationships, starting to get married, have kids, and then there’s me – the single girl with the cat. I’ve never thought that I am capable of finding someone who is going to love me – all of me, with all my quirks (being a sports and sci-fi nerd). I’m tearing up at my nurses station while typing this because it’s odd getting this out there.

    With all that being said — thank you. This mantra has entered my life at a very crucial point. This will be a turning point for me. I know it will. And I drew up my own version of the mantra to put up on my mirror.

    Thank you.

  18. Kathy says:

    Great insight to what I’m dealing with-how do you do that, lol

  19. Wow this really hit home for me, thank you for sharing this story and your insights!!

  20. Jamie says:

    Thanks for this blogpost! I’m finally getting around to catching up on blogs and such! I love that you wrote this and said all the things that I have been thinking in my head about dating. I’ve been having these same conversations with one of my guyfriends and he thinks that I’m so hilarious

  21. Amy says:

    Hi Erin, I find it strange sometimes how we are let to the exact words we need to read or hear in the exact moments. Your blog post was that for me today. Thank you for writing it. 🙂 Before embarking on my spiritual/personal growth path I never heard of words like worthiness and ego and mantras. Thank you for explaining in the best possible way what these words mean. I seem to question my worthiness in cycles. It’s like a worthiness wheel that is in my mind. I recently started dating a new person whom I’ve enjoyed getting to know and whom I met on line. He is very successful in his business and is wicked smart. I started to think recently about “what do I have to offer, what am I lacking?” Terrible thoughts, I know but they are still there! The fact is that I have plenty to offer and I really do see the value that I contribute and the wonderful soul that I know that I am. I am enough, I am worthy, I am love. Period. <3

  22. Judy says:

    Wonderful article. And, of course, love the reference to Sex and the City.
    Love your posts!!

  23. anna says:

    Love you, thank you!