This week's question comes from Debbi:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
It’s been about 2 years since my ex and I split and I took some time to heal and look within before I started dating. Now that I’ve put myself out there I’m going on quite a few dates with different men.
There’s one guy in particular that I like, except he talks a lot. I can get around that, but he also interrupts me when I’m speaking. It seems I can’t even finish 2 sentences without him interrupting me. I don’t even get to finish my story or make my point even if I’m answering a question he has asked me.
I find him attractive and there are some really great qualities about him that I like. We connect on a few levels that are important to me. I can’t imagine having a relationship with him if he continues to interrupt me when I’m talking.
My mom interrupts me all the time and I’m aware that the reason it bothers me so much is because of her doing this my entire life.
Is there a tactful way for me to say something to him about it?
It seems that everyone has different advice about how to handle this type of thing and I’m really curious what you two think.
Thank you for reaching out! Yes, looking around for dating advice is like asking advice on anything – ask 20 people and you’ll get 20 different answers. When we’re coaching a client through the dating process, we continually place emphasis on being AUTHENTIC.
The desire to put your best foot forward on a date is a natural one especially when you find that person attractive. This can lead to you behaving in an inauthentic way in order to impress or feel desired by your date. We call this “Twisting Into A Pretzel” – What shape can I take so you’ll approve of me?
Your lovability and your approvability should never be in someone else’s hands. The person you’re dating is a stranger!
Loving and approving of yourself is essential to your being able to cultivate discernment through the dating process so you can create a crystal clear vision of the kind of relationship you want.
Most other dating coaches ask that you be clear on the kind of guy you want, focusing on qualities and characteristics of your ideal man. We are sorry to inform you, but that will not work to create long-lasting love. It will bring in a boyfriend, but not a Beloved.
Your Soulmate will love the things about you that all the others left you over!
In order to create the kind of relationship that you desire you’ll need a clear vision of that specific relationship for yourself. Included in that vision is the ability to navigate through difficulties together.
Don’t get stuck in the trap of believing that when you find your Soulmate you’ll never have conflicts or disagreements. There is no perfect person – that is a myth that will never allow you to create the love you want. Lasting love comes from being able to work through disagreements together, not from avoiding them.
Attempting to iron out all the bumps that you may encounter while dating someone is a big mistake. You’ll face challenges as a couple, just as you will as a single person moving through life. How the two of you navigate those challenges is the key to discovering the right match for you.
While being completely authentic can feel terrifying, we can assure you it is the fastest and easiest way to discover if the person you’re dating is worth moving forward with to discover more.
We are not suggesting you share your opinion of this guy, or in any way to be cruel. Many people mix up the idea of being honest with being authentic so we’d like to clear that up.
When you hear the phrase, “Let me be honest with you….,” we imagine that in your mind you’ll be buckling up for some bad news. This phrase is usually uttered by a person who is looking to share their opinion of you; nothing more, it’s just one person’s opinion.
When you choose to be authentic, it’s not about the other person – instead it’s all about you. Being authentic requires that you be vulnerable. It means that you’re willing to be unapologetically you.
So let’s dig in and give you some real tools to speak with this man so you can evaluate his response (which will give you the information you need to decide if you can continue to date him or not).
Here is our Speak How You Feel Template™:
I feel _______[emotion]________________.
Can we please _________________[offer a joint solution]______________________.
Would you please ____________[make a direct request]______________________.
Mastering this template takes time, and no matter how hard you try we can assure you that there will be times that you mess it up. We know this because we teach it every day of the week and when emotions are heated we sometimes mess it up ourselves. Please be compassionate with yourself as you learn this new communication tool.
It’s important that you are willing to be authentic by speaking how you feel and also propose a joint solution, or make a direct request.
You might say something like this:
“I feel frustrated that I’m often interrupted when I’m speaking with you even when I’m directly answering a question that you’ve asked me. Can we please come up with something I can say so you know I’m done speaking and then I’d be delighted to listen?”
It can be tempting to add in information on how it is triggering for you because your Mom has been interrupting you your entire life, however that begins to enter the territory of justifying your feelings. Even if your Mom didn’t interrupt you, you do have a right to feel how you feel about his behavior – no justification necessary.
Your feelings are your feelings and the beauty of our template is that you don’t have to justify them. It is enough that you are authentic.
Authenticity holds a very high vibration. As an example for contrast, shame holds the lowest vibration of all emotions. When you are authentic and speak how you feel you are giving the other person an invitation to meet you at the high vibration of authenticity.
It’s like an invitation to a party. Some people will be able to attend; others won’t, while some may not be available in the moment and will circle back around to work it out with you later.
Discovering how someone responds to you when you share authentically is one of the most important revelations of the dating process. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to speak how you feel and then judge your success by the response you receive from the other person.
If you utilize our Speak How You Feel Template™ then you can simply evaluate the kind of person you are dealing with. How someone responds to your feelings and requests informs you about who they are and what they are capable of.
A person’s behavior informs you about them – nothing about you is included.
Unfortunately, many people date backwards giving a complete stranger the benefit of the doubt and ignoring red flags because there is attraction and chemistry.
Our suggestion is that you address issues as they arise rather than ignoring them or making rash decisions expecting that your date is a mind reader.
Becoming an excellent communicator will support you in every area of your life and in every single one of your relationships from family members, to your boss, co-workers, and of course your intimate ones.
The other huge benefit of implementing our advice with all of your dates is that you will discover quickly if the person you’re dating is looking for a relationship with you vs. any relationship, or just some convenient connection for intimacy.
A person who just wants things to be easy is not relationship ready.
There is no need to create conflicts or to seek them out. We’re suggesting that you bring up issues as they arise so you can do two things:
- Practice being authentic with the Speak How You Feel Template™
- Discover the person who wants to navigate through the challenges alongside you.
This tool becomes incredibly helpful as you enter into an exclusive committed relationship. We use the analogy of keeping a kitchen sink clean in our relationship.
You can think of the unspoken and unexpressed negative emotions about your partner as a dirty dish or utensil. As you continue to hold onto your feelings instead of expressing them, your emotional sink starts filling up with dirty dishes. This further hampers the desire to express yourself as it begins to feel like too much and creates emotional distance between you and your partner.
Instead, clean your sink as you go. Say to your partner, “I have a dirty fork I need to clean up,” as a way of letting him know that it’s not a big deal, you simply have something to share with him. This regular practice will help you feel emotionally connected to your partner for years and decades rather than growing apart.
Keeping the sink clean is a way of preventing the emotional blow-ups that happen when you don’t express yourself over time.
Most couples do this in the reverse: They each hold onto to the little things and nothing is expressed. As our emotions build it all becomes too much to hold back and the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back occurs and there is a huge argument about a bunch of things that individually were small nuisances.
The inevitable explosion becomes a further deterrent to speaking up in the future and the cycle starts all over again with the tiny things not being dealt with and the build to the giant eruption.
Dealing with all matters tiny to giant as they occur is the way to end this cycle. Your feelings count and matter and most of all your feelings are temporary. Speaking how you feel allows you to honor and value yourself.
When you create the habit of speaking up for yourself in this way it’s easier to date for your soulmate and find an ideal match that you can weather the storms of life with together.
Take time now to get comfortable with our Speak How You Feel Template™ when the stakes are low and you will develop a habit that will serve you over decades in a marriage.
Twisting into a pretzel is just one of the common mistakes people make that block them from connecting with their Beloved. If you’d like to avoid the other most common mistakes and learn to date for your soulmate, download our free special report here: 7 Major Mistakes Single Women Make That Block Them From Finding True Love…and how to avoid them.
Love and Abundance,