Few experiences are sweeter than the sense of possibility we feel when we meet someone special. Our heart softens and life begins to take on a magical glow. It may have been months, or even years, since we last felt so strongly about someone. And now that that “someone” is here, we are determined not to mess up.

Feeling excitement and possibility around love is the hallmark of a healthy individual. Feeling like you can’t risk “messing it up”’ is a sign that you are losing your center.

Jane* (Jane is a pseudonym) a coaching client of mine, is a divorced financial counselor from New Zealand and the mother of two young daughters. She and I were initially working together to transform a deeply rooted identity around feeling unsafe. As she began evolving her sense of self and safety, she felt an impulse to create a new love partnership. She set up an online profile and received an email from an attractive man named Matt. After exchanging a few emails and having a couple of exciting phone conversations, he asked her out on a date.

By the second date, Jane was totally in love. There was so much chemistry and “zing” when they were together, she couldn’t help but feel that he was “The One.” As her feelings grew, she began to experience a sense of inadequacy about her ability to fulfill Matt’s desires. She wondered how to demonstrate her value and make him realize that she was the one for him.

Are you worried that you are not enough?

Self-abandonment is never the way to get others to love us. In fact, showing up this way makes the dating process pure agony.

While out to dinner on their third date, Matt asked Jane what she wanted from him. She felt a jolt of electricity course through her body. After a pause, she decided to put her cards on the table. And even though she answered his question authentically, his reply was disappointing. He said, “I don’t think I can be that for you.”

As Jane sat at the table trying to comprehend this unexpected turn of events, she felt her countenance fall. Unable to contain her inner experience, the ensuing scene sealed Matt’s decision to stop seeing her.

When we spoke later, Jane admitted to me how scared she had been at the thought of losing this “relationship.” We discussed how she had completely self-abandoned by prematurely organizing around him without the proper agreements in place. Self-abandonment is never the way to get others to love us. In fact, showing up in this way makes the dating process pure agony.

Know that who you are is already enough.

When you stay centered in your authentic self, the dating process can be a rich experience that deepens your sense of worth and self-love.


Here are 3 signs that you are not in power center while dating:

  • You organize around trying to be “The One” for them.
  • You show great interest in their accomplishments while downplaying your own (i.e., you say, “I work in education” instead of “I am on the Board of Regents of a major academic institution.”)
  • You focus on what you need to do, be, or say, in order to get them to love you.

If you ever get a little off kilter, pull back until you can hold and contain your inner experience. Anchor into your deeper center where you are already enough and deeply loveable.

The next time you find yourself feeling excited about the possibility of love, become curious about the form fulfillment will take. Take your time finding out if the person across the table from you is available, and worthy of your attention and affection.