7 Relationship Tips on Dating For Men
When I semi-retired at 35 from the game of pro basketball, I had the financial security and the chance to question what I want to do next and why I do it — in dating, love, relationships, financial security, life purpose, and more.
As I transitioned into the next phase of my life after basketball, I realized much of what holds me back is, well, me.
My brain’s old patterns and short-sighted thinking aren’t always a productive way to handle stress, trauma, dating, or stimuli when wanting to exist happier and healthier.
So if you’re living without thriving relationships and finding ways to self-sabotage certain states of existence, maybe my experiences can help you.
1. For starters, what brain states of existence do we want to be in more?
Being in purposeful productivity.
Being in joy and gratitude.
Enjoying a thriving love or companionship.
Feeling more alive than the day before.
Being in the flow to be free to explore your life’s curiosities and purpose without negative judgment from the outside world is how we 10x our produtivity and engagement with those around us.
Throughout my life, I’ve learned important lessons about how the brain works from professional sports.
We fear what is uncomfortable, therefore we never confront our own growth.
We can control the internal spin we put on the stimuli happening in our environment. Self-talk (I call this spin) and self-awareness of my monkey mind change how I respond to adversity. What we say to ourselves and others, how often, and why we respond internally or externally paves the road to a happier, more grateful, and productive life.
This is not to say we shouldn’t call a bad habit or behavior as bad for ourselves. No, live honestly. Be harsh with the bad habits and behaviors that detract from your life.
We have to work constantly to get into a better state of existence, marriage, workflow, and to do this, we have to be honest with ourselves and challenge the behaviors that hold us back from getting into a higher state of consciousness.
This is especially true in relationships for me.
2. That said, I mess this up in dating and relationships all the time, which is what you want to become aware of as you do it.
We all go through trauma — past, present, and most likely, the future.
Yet, trauma isn’t something we can talk ourselves out of or just forget. It’s stored deep in the mind-body connection.
Relationships will bring this trauma to the surface and it’s up to us to heal them and work through them.
3. Dating and relationships are about the internal exploration in healing our past trauma patterns and being present in becoming the best version of ourselves through wise healing practices and self-awareness.
I truly believe when we heal (meditate, go to therapy, talk to friends about our blind spots, travel, reflect on our lives and what we want and are grateful for) and accept what is.
Without doing the work, we affect our present moment in a negative way. If we live in tilted mind spaces, we will never find the optimal balance to start thriving in our dating, work, and financial lives.
My father always said, “The teacher will appear when the student is ready to learn.”
4. Dating and relationships are the perfect teachers for understanding our baggage.
Our baggage is the work we have yet to do. Yet, when you go forward on your own self-exploration path, people will judge or observe or question you for dissimilar behaviors from their own.
Just focus on doing the internal work.
5. My current hypothesis is that residual effects of stressful, yet invisible societal stimuli can add up in negative ways in our dating and relationship behaviors (more on this later).
The TV, our peers, the computer screen, our parents, the polarizing news outlets, the smartphone, the relentlessness of social media, and new technologies we haven’t studied begin to take root in our physiology and psychology.
We begin to think there is always something better out there when in reality that’s the monkey mind telling us we aren’t good enough.
In life and dating, we’re capable of mindlessly gorging ourselves on the idea of an endless buffet of better possibilities instead of enjoying what we have. If we don’t engage and interact positively with the people, friends, and partners we love, we will end up losing them.
6. Here’s a great example of a negative pattern I figured out I do in dating and relationships:
When I first start to date or get into a relationship with a woman, I tend to over-explain my greatest fears, uncertainties, and negative feelings. I do this because, subconsciously, I fear being rejected or abandoned later due to my childhood of losing my father and mother to a nasty divorce.
I’ve always analyzed relationships with such a critical eye that it doesn’t allow me to fully begin to know someone.
Instead of realizing my past trauma presents this negative behavior loop, I’d just chalk up another failed dating and relationship experience as incompatibility.
Yet, is it?
No demonstration of fear or insecurity will help what will either become or not become naturally.
I keep telling myself to let it go. Breathe. Be grateful. I sit with my fears and breathe through them now. I remind myself that good things take time and work to develop, and mostly, to enjoy the process.
As the dating and relationships unfold, as they always do, my fears and insecurities rise and fall just as any thoughts and feelings do.
Yet, I know now that if I constantly undermine a budding relationship with my own trauma’s negative behavior patterns, nothing good will come of it. By becoming insecure, defensive, resentful, or sarcastically attacking their personality, I may not help secure a place of trust, loyalty, gratitude, and authenticity.
7. What do we truly need after food, shelter, enough money, and thriving friendships, and companionship?
There is no one way to become healthy or happy or heal trauma, yet our society tells or hints at us that there is.
Big bank accounts, status, grinding, owning luxurious things, finding purpose, being the best while burning a path of loneliness behind us aren’t the way for me anymore. Life is a puzzle that we, individually and collectively, must be willing to explore in the greater context of our place in society.
This is all starts by doing the uncomfortable self-awareness and healing work on the inside, and understanding what you up against.
Good luck out there,