What if your “slump” is actually a “sabbatical”?
Modern life has become so mechanical and formulaic, Demetrius. Our homes have become grander, our language more expressive and our tools more complicated than they were a few centuries ago, and this has led us to forget who and what we are, at our core.
Just about every facet of modern life is divorced from this fundamental principle, so I appreciate how is easy it is to overlook (or more accurately, fight against) the natural rhythms of life. When faced with obstacles these days, we are taught to push harder, shout louder, adapt, change, pursue. “For God’s sake”, our modern psyche tells us, “just don’t ever stop trying. Cos, if you do, you’ll lose out. Miss your opportunity. Fail to move forward.”
I can appreciate how this principle applies to dating, Demetrius. Through trial and error, someone defines a method or a formula that kinda works for them. “This is how I approach someone. These are the behaviors that show me in my best light. These are the places and/or websites where I gain the most attention.”
And it works. For a while.
But then something happens, and the things that worked before don’t seem to pay dividends anymore. Your approaches are ignored; your funny anecdotes fall flat; your best version of you doesn’t seem as attractive to others anymore.
And, of course, because we have been taught this way, because we are totally divorced from our natural lifestyle, your immediate instinct is to doubt yourself and what it is you are doing. “Why isn’t the process working anymore? What am I doing wrong? How must I change to get things back on track?”
But, remember Demetrius. You are nature.
Everything in nature ebbs and flows, and yet in our busy lives most of us ignore these natural rhythms.
What if those “slumps” are actually natural periods of sabbatical in your dating life? What if, in a deep unconscious part of yourself, there is a primal need for isolation? Rest? Reflection? Self-nurturing? Hibernation?
And what if that deep, unconscious need is influencing you to make slightly different choices, or behave in slightly different ways, or view the world through slightly different eyes … effectively ensuring that you get what you really, truly need. Time with yourself.
I know I’m asking you to look deeply here, Demetrius, but I notice you encourage men to get real, and be real. So, I’m just asking you to take it one step further and allow yourself to be natural.
I used to be a doer. I, too, had bought into the mechanical version of life and the idea we can manipulate our way past any obstacle. But I have learned better. My experience tells me that, if we can have the courage to step back when life appears to be offering us a “lull” — if we use these times to just catch our breath, focus on ourselves and have some fun — the tide inevitably turns back to action.
So my advice — date when life says “date”. And when life appears to have other plans, surrender to that lack of momentum. Relax. Take a break. And be awesome on your own terms for a while. K x