Hyper anxiousness and fixation in dating is something that so many of us suffer through these days, we seem to live in a culture of dangerous over-thinking, yet where do we turn for good advice and coping techniques ? for most of us our only teachers are TV Shows, movies or our single friends, where anxiety and urgency in dating are glamorised as romantic. fixation about a connection to the point of obsession is normalised.
Then when we find ourselves living through this we can feel how unhealthy it really is, it leaves us exhausted.
But dating, relationships and attraction are something we are never really taught about, if we are lucky we might get a few gems of wisdom from an older woman in our family, but most of us find ourselves thrown out there in the dating world, unprepared and scrambling to understand the so called "hidden rules" that will lead us to happiness and security.
It is this desire to problem solve and find answers that leaves many of us in mental fixation and yet rather than being able to solve the issue at hand, we end up in a mind loop that serves to solve nothing but leaves us with a whole ton of negative emotions, it drains our life force and makes us doubt ourselves completely.
The real stinger here is that over-attachment never leads to a positive outcome, over thinking drives us further away from authentically embracing the beautiful person we are inside and has us second guessing our every word and action, even potentially changing who we are to feel like we can be accepted or worthy of love, obsessive thinking and fixating in dating robs us of our happy outcome, it removes our sparkle and f*cks with our confidence.
Whether you are newly dating, dealing with a hot and cold man or even hoping to reconcile with your ex, it can be difficult to stop the obsessive patterns of the mind, and allowing your thoughts to centre around the guy can make you feel anxious, helpless or pessimistic, changing your energy so that your actions are less effective in building attraction with him.
Feeling mentally fixated is not a nice place to be for you either, it becomes difficult to concentrate on daily tasks, to feel good about ourselves, and we may lose quality sleep or withdraw from the people around us, or become less present. It is actually a real barrier to happiness. It can be such a lonely, helpless feeling, it's time to take your power back and free up your energy to be at the optimal level to attract what you truly wish for.
If you are going through this now, don’t beat yourself up or berate yourself, we have all been there at some point.
So, let us look at some practical yet powerful tips on how you can break free from mental fixation and stop thinking so much about that man. Interestingly this often sets us free so that we can heighten our intuition, make our moves with precision and succeed in any way we want to in dating...
Accepting that this is where you are.
One of the main reasons that we struggle so much to get over someone or to stop thinking about them constantly, is because we try to resist our current position. When we tell ourselves things like "I shouldn't be so hung up on him we barely even dated!" or "I need to be over this now, I don't want to feel this way" or "I'm sick of not knowing where I stand, I need certainty" we give more power to those negative feelings and then we become further trapped by them, it's ok to feel the way you feel, and acceptance is so important so that you can begin to neutralise the hold this situation has on you. So stop berating yourself for having human emotions, it will only cause you to suffer twice and for longer. If need be say to yourself "This is just where I am right now and that's ok" this is a much stronger position to find solutions or insight than when we are battling with ourselves. Acceptance removes resistance so we can start working through our feelings effectively as long as we also work to raise our awareness.
Understanding why we get stuck in a mental loop.
Generally this doesn’t happen to us in a long term, secure relationship where we return to our partner every night and wake up beside them every morning, fixation occurs when we do not feel secure, when the person we like or love, is illusive or more distant from us than we would perhaps like. Either because it is early days, where a degree of uncertainty is natural, or because we are in a situation where our needs are not being met consistently and we are not receiving the reassurance that we need. It happens because we do not feel in control.
As women when we have a unmet goal or desire, it is normal for us to go shift into a “problem solving mode” where we analyse and search for solutions, the undesirable side of this is when we get stuck in mental obsession, unable to get our mind off the problem or the person for extended periods of time.
This is truly exhausting and it diminishes our vitality quickly if it goes unchecked. It also means that a ton of our energy is focused on the guy, so that we relate to him in a way that causes him to gradually shy away from such a disproportionate level of attention and admiration that he never even qualified for, or it changes our behaviour so that we over think every interaction which strips us of our ability to have a natural and carefree interaction with him, we are more likely to take things personally or read too deeply into the things he says. We then end up burnt out, as well as further away from our desired outcome. Even if we think we are doing a good job of hiding our fixation, people pick up on our energy, it's impossible to let our personality truly shine when we are weighed down by uncertainty and obsessive thoughts.
Never let the man you like become more important to you than you are to you, this is where we are at risk of neediness, co-dependency, it even makes us more susceptible to toxic or abusive relationships.
Sometimes mental fixation pops up because our hearts are opening and our feelings for someone are deepening, so we develop a need for certainty. The danger in this is that if we become too focused on the man in our lives, we end up heavily emotionally invested too quickly, meaning that we are waiting for the guy to "catch up" to our level of involvement, it is essential that we learn how to relax and not jump too far ahead of him.
Taking charge of our thoughts.
Denial is useless, the first important step is in acknowledging and accepting that we have become mentally fixated and in realising that this is like spinning on a sort of emotional hamster wheel that does not serve our highest good. Understand that you are expending a huge amount of mental energy for little or no benefit at all and that it simply is not efficient or realistic.
Now take control of your mind, observe how often your thoughts go to this guy, and allow yourself to become fully aware of how much space this is renting in your head. Try to notice which fears, memories or loops reoccur the most often.
When you catch yourself fixating and analysing, stop what you are doing and ask yourself "is this way of thinking useful?...is it solving anything?" most likely all it is serving to do is cause anxiety and disempowerment. When you make a point to notice and observe your thoughts, it's the first step in taking your power back.
Some women find it useful to wear a rubber band around their wrist and snap it every time they find themselves obsessing about him, in order to bring their awareness back to the current moment; you may be shocked at first by how often you snap that band.
Get into the habit of noticing your thoughts and gently shifting them back to the current now, at first this will feel daunting and perhaps a little silly, but after a few days it will get much easier as long as you stick with it. Understand that your mind is always running on the software that you program it to, if we don’t take charge of our minds, we end up running on autopilot or operating on programming that other people put there haphazardly, as well as negative coping mechanisms or pure reactiveness. To take responsibility for your thoughts, for your “operating system” is a major life hack that can help you to succeed in anything you choose.
Meditation is a huge help with this, if you find it difficult to focus, use a good guided meditation initially, its incredible but after even just a few weeks of consistent meditation you will notice that you have a much quieter mind and much more awareness of the thoughts that do try to "intrude" upon your peace.
It's been said that when we are depressed we are living in the past and when we are anxious we are living in the future, so the most powerful way to minimise suffering is to constantly bring ourselves back to the here and now. Instead of zoning out with your thoughts, try to become fully present in whatever activity, chore, conversation or task you are performing at any given moment, truly put your heart into it, if you are cleaning focus on the zesty scent of the lemon cleaner and the way the counters sparkle as you wipe them, if you are bathing enjoy the sensation of the water and how the bubbles feel between your fingers, if you are eating, savour every taste and allow yourself to feel gratitude for this delicious meal, if you are out walking notice how the light shines through the trees, take in the sound of the area, the birds, children playing in the distance or the hum of the vehicles passing, if you visit the market allow yourself to be immersed in the smells and colours of the pretty fruits and flowers on offer and to feel the breeze on your skin. Remaining in mindfulness certainly takes practice but once we start to master it, it becomes so beneficial to our mental health and well being. It gives us permission to deeply enjoy each moment of our lives instead of always racing to the next dopamine hit.
It can be helpful to let a good friend or loved one know what you are going through to talk things out and to distract you with other conversations and activities, try not to slip into using their support to talk solely about the guy, as you need an escape from that, but you do need an outlet so talk to them but put limits on how often and how long you will fixate about your situation.
Try to use journaling to let out all of your thoughts and feelings, it's essential to vent and release, by journaling you can reflect on your thoughts and track your progress. Put a little time aside each evening to write as much as you like about the situation. If you find your thoughts drifting towards him during the day you can say to yourself "I'll deal with this in my journal time later" and give yourself permission to let it go for now. You can also book a coaching session with me to vent in a safe space with someone impartial here .
Knocking him off the pedestal
Remind yourself that he is just a man! Just like the rest of us he has flaws and insecurities, imperfections and shortcomings. He burps sometimes, has a bad hair day or gets into an irritable mood, he is human.
Don't elevate him to the status of a God. You may have noticed that many men shy away from too much flattery or praise, they feel awkward about it, and this is because they know they are not perfect. When we put a guy on a pedestal it triggers his desire to pull away, he feels that this woman is projecting ideals on to him that he cannot live up to, as a result he comes to feel burdened and shy away from her potentially heavy expectations. Even if we are not making it obvious, our interactions feel like gold dust, so he will sense that you are highly attached already. This is damaging to attraction, ideally, he wants to put his woman on a pedestal, to cherish her, and there is no space for you on that pedestal if you have put him on it. Refuse to do this, instead work to ground yourself.
This sort of attachment can even lead to us becoming controlling, wanting to possess that person so that we feel secure, we must love people in such a way that they feel free, otherwise they will always flee from us.
Finding your own security
We all have to learn to find our own happiness and sense of security in a way that is not dependent on a man, this is true even in a long-term relationship, although a good man will become a strong addition to your security and fulfilment, we must be able to do this for ourselves first.
No matter how good our relationship is we can still find ourselves alone again one day. Shift your focus to creating more security in your own life, whether this is by putting more effort into your career so you can feel more financially secure, or by nurturing your other relationships to create a stronger support network. It may be that some daily positive affirmations help you to feel more secure in your confidence.
Be honest with yourself about the areas of life that you are perhaps lacking a strong sense of security so that you can strengthen those areas. Looking for it all in one man is simply a recipe for failure and heartache, let him step up to be the icing on the cake, but don’t make him the full dessert.
The only constant in the universe is change, and everything we lose is replaced with a new experience that is more in alignment to our stage of growth, try to learn to embrace the uncertainty of your life as an adventure rather than fearing the unknown, often the unknown is where the most wonderful new beginnings come into creation.
Please note that if mental fixation has become distressing, life consuming or is causing depression, or if it's a pattern you notice reoccurring in all your relationships then it's important to speak to a doctor to rule out ROCD or Relationship obsessive compulsive disorder or ADHD.
Oxytocin and serotonin are often referred to as our “happy hormones.” When you're attracted to another person, your brain releases dopamine, your serotonin levels increase, and oxytocin is produced. This causes you to feel a surge of positive emotion. This is why our attraction to someone can feel so addictive. With this in mind we can choose daily activities that regularly build our oxytocin and serotonin levels so that we naturally feel less ”needy” with our partner, some wonderful activities to try are:
-Long conversations with other women
-Listening to music
-Getting a massage or a facial
-Spending time with good friends
-Shopping or browsing the mall
-Cooking or eating with someone you love
-Doing kind things to help others
-Watching chick flicks or TV shows with strong female leads
-Doing our hair and makeup or trying on new clothes
-Spending time with children
-Hugging people we love
-Exercise that we find exhilarating
By choosing daily activities that stimulate the same brain chemicals and hormones as romantic love does we get to feel good every day without it being dependent on how the man in our life is behaving, how much attention he is or isn’t giving us, or how much he makes us feel valued and appreciated, therefore we always have a “full cup” to pour from emotionally, and whatever he does give is a happy addition to an already fulfilling life. It is so much easier to keep our balance in love when we operate from this mindset.
Throwing yourself into something exciting
Of course distraction without emotional processing is a recipe for disaster, so you must be making sure that you are taking time out each day for self care and to deal with your feelings, but shifting your focus towards new things can also be a huge confidence booster that helps to put things back into perspective.
Years ago I went through a painful breakup, I did actually manage to attract the guy back into my life and one of the reasons was that rather than obsessing about the relationship, I made a choice to throw myself into my passions, back then my full time job was in community development, providing counselling and resources, but my true passion has always been coaching women, so I decided to set up a blog and start writing articles and guides to help women with their self-esteem and with their love lives. It was called “The art of the feminine goddess” this led to me getting my coaching certification and eventually this idea transformed into Goddess Vibes and I now have a thriving coaching business that I feel proud of every day, because of that decision not to obsess, but to throw that energy into creating something to enhance my own self esteem, I now have a job that makes me happy, where I meet wonderful women and get to feel truly accomplished in helping others. A few weeks into my grind that man hit me up and told me he couldn't stop thinking about me and could we please try again.
That's what it really started to dawn on me that non-attachment was the secret to attracting everything I wanted and I have used this technique in my life ever since with great success.
Use this time now to figure out what you are deeply passionate about, to dust off ideas that you “put off until later” or just didn’t have the time for, use the time that you are spending to obsess instead to build something wonderful for yourself and others. You may be amazed by how far this takes you. Maybe for you it won’t be a business, but it could be volunteering with the less advantaged, writing a book, taking a course or starting a new creative hobby. Transmute this anxious energy into a beautiful new future that makes you happy. You may end up so busy that you barely have time to think about the guy in your life, as a result he will have to earn your attention and secure a place in your busy life, which creates a natural sense of challenge for him.
Changing your routine
Changing your routine is a fabulous way to change your mindset and improve your life, get outside into the sunshine, take a long walk in nature, or get out with your camera and take some beautiful pictures to frame in your house. Make plans to meet up with an old friend that always keeps you laughing, or treat yourself to a new book. It doesn’t really matter what you do, breaking the routine sends a signal to your brain that you are breaking the habit of obsessing about that man.
Obsessional thinking happens when we are frustrated because we cannot act on our desires in that moment, by taking charge of what we can control, we command our power back, which in turn makes us happier and more attractive. Make a commitment to yourself that you will break the cycle starting today.
Trusting in yourself
Over attachment and obsessive fixation in dating often stems from a lack of trust in ourselves, feeling afraid that we won't be able to cope effectively with potential loss or rejection and so often this stems from childhood trauma, the wounded child inside, so talk to your inner child and let her know that "we are all grown up now" show her your lovely home, the car you drive, where you work, anything you feel proud of, tell her you know how to take care of business. Know that although we cannot always control what happens in life that you have the strength, resources and resilience to deal with whatever comes your way. Instead of wishing for an easily life, we should always wish for the strength to endure life's trials, to come through them wiser, stronger and more powerful. By creating deep trust in yourself, you will start the journey of healing the hurting child inside.
Embrace uncertainty and know that every time you charge at a challenge or fear and work to overcome it, you will grow in confidence, eventually you will find that the things that used to frighten you barely have any hold on you at all. This is the art of the warrior.
Much love Goddesses x
Obsession is the single most wasteful human activity, because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.
If you are still struggling and you would like some help to eradicate relationship anxiety, build confidence and increase attraction with a man in your life then feel free to contact me for a coaching session
Sessions are compassionate, highly effective and they start at just £30!