How to be honest about wanting a committed relationship
Modern dating can be challenging, especially when you know you’re looking for a committed relationship. It’s all too tempting to play it cool or settle for something less. Love coach Persia Lawson explains why honesty is always the best policy when it comes to getting what you really want
The modern dating landscape often feels like a battlefield.
Technology has made it so much easier for us to put ourselves out there and connect with potential love interests, but it can also be overwhelming and rife with anxiety.
There’s just so much choice nowadays. Not just in terms of the people we can date, but also in the type of relationship we can have.
But what if we’re looking for a committed relationship? Should we play it cool? Do we date more than one person at the same time, just in case? Or should we forget about games and be clear about what we’re looking for from the start?
The most effective way to deal with this conundrum is to ask yourself a very simple question:
What kind of relationship dynamic am I really looking for?
If you’re simply looking to ‘win’ someone’s attention and affection, then playing games may well help you to achieve that goal.
However, if you truly desire a healthy, authentic and committed relationship, then my advice is to try the direct approach.
Be honest about your dating goals from the outset
I know this sounds terrifying. We live in a culture that leads us to believe that playing it cool or being aloof when dating someone will somehow lead to them falling madly in love with us.
The problem is that, in doing so, we’re hiding who we really are.
I can’t tell you the number of coaching clients that come to me asking for tricks or tips on how to get a man to commit.
The last thing they want to hear is that the only tip I’m willing to give is to be totally transparent and honest about what you really want.
‘But they’ll freak out and run a mile!’ they often respond.
The reason we’re all so terrified of being honest with the people we date is that we’re afraid we’ll be rejected if we are.
But, ironically, it’s often a lack of honesty that leads to us being rejected, not the other way around.
No one ever falls in love with a person through deception and game-playing.
We don’t fall for someone because they’re cool and aloof. We might fancy them or become infatuated with them, but it’s not real love.
And you, my friend, deserve real love, not an imitation.
To get it, you must be brave and vulnerable enough to own your truth.
I know this can be challenging at the best of times, so here are my three top tips to give you a helping hand:
1. Find out what you want
You can’t be honest with your date until you’re honest with yourself about what you really want.
Take a piece of paper and write down what type of relationship you’re looking for. Do you want to get married and have children? Would you like to travel the world together in the next few years? Are you happy to date other people or do you want to be exclusive?
The more you know about what you’re looking for, the easier it’ll be to communicate it to prospective partners.
2. Affirm your desires
Another reason it’s so difficult to be honest about what we want is that we don’t really believe we deserve it.
That’s why it’s so important to get into the habit of using positive affirmations.
Affirmations help us to believe in the potential of what we desire to manifest. When we verbally affirm what we want, we’re instantly empowered with a deep sense of reassurance that our dreams can become reality.
The most powerful affirmations are positive statements about how you want to feel, framed in the present tense (and with gratitude) so that you experience the feeling of already having those things, instead of merely wanting them.
‘I’m grateful that I’m in a soulful, committed relationship, in which it feels easy and natural to be myself.’
Using this framework as a starting point, write down a list of all the qualities you’ve identified in the previous exercise. Read the list out loud every morning and before bed.
When the time comes to express these desires on a date, it’ll feel significantly less scary because you’ll be owning these wants and needs, rather than trying to hide them out of fear, insecurity or self-doubt.
3. Share your truth
In the past, when a guy I was dating told me he wasn’t looking for anything serious, I’d hide my disappointment and pretend I was just up for ‘a bit of fun’ too.
Please don’t make the same mistake I did. You’re only kidding yourself at the end of the day. You can’t blame someone for ghosting or flaking out on you if you weren’t honest with them in the first place.
Now, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting you ram your dating goals down the throat of every man or women you meet for a drink.
What I am encouraging you to do is share your truth with your date in a calm, mature, non-pressured way when the conversation organically steers in that direction. It always does at some point, usually around the time you ask each other when your last relationship was.
Whatever their response, you can’t lose.
They’ll either want the same things you do – in which case you can keep dating and see where it leads – or not.
If they don’t want a committed relationship, or they aren’t ready, you’ll have given them the opportunity to step back before you get too emotionally attached. This creates space for someone more compatible to show up in your life when the time is right.
It’s a win/win.