Modern Dating. Where to even start.
I actively dated for ten years before I met my husband. Ten Years of creating luke-warm feelings that lead to gentle let downs, heart-break, being stood up, one-night stands, “the only cute single guy at the party” tactics, hopes of lasting love that fell in a heap and more! It’s a rollercoaster out there, and I know it. Which is why I invited Kira Sabin, a professional coach who helps single women find lasting love onto the Curiously You show.
In today’s episode, we are speaking about the missing link in dating and love. Perhaps in work, friendships, and many other parts of your life you are methodical, you’ve got your head screwed on, and you’ve got your s**t together. But when it comes to dating and relationships, you feel scattered and out of control. You sustain yourself on romantic highs, and the hope that the perfect partner will come swanning into your life some day.
Kira goes deeper into that airy-fairy feeling we obsess over, breaks it open, and explores what’s going on behind it. She brings to our attention the elephant in the room: your vulnerability. And we discuss how to communicate your wants, needs and desires with your partner, even when it feels risky early on in the relationship.
We also dive into the practical side of dating: the what, when, where, and how of finding that perfect match through dating.
You’ll love this episode if:
– You’ve literally swiped your way left and right all the way to the end of your current options;
– You feel jaded, tired and confused by the modern dating game and need a fresh approach that works;
– You are ready to do the internal work – as well as the outward work – to find the relationship of your dreams.
Time-stamped Show Notes
5:02 When Kira started her practice, she asked herself: “what do I want to talk about?” And so, one of the things she loves about her job is that all day, every day, she gets to discuss love.
Kira discusses the missing link between dating and relationships. There is a struggle to get past the initial and vulnerable fairy tale stage to allow the relationship to blossom authentically.
She finds it fascinating that there is a distinct difference between relationships today versus when our parents dated, it’s all very “unicorns and fairy-dust” these days.
[6:46] Kira has found a common thread of behaviour, especially in women. She meets highly educated women who have high-achieving academic accolades. They spend their days working with stats and numbers and yet, when you bring up love, it’s as if a switch clears their brain. They don’t think about what makes sense, or what needs working on, instead they go into this fairy-tale place when it comes to love.
A part of Kira’s job is breaking people’s hearts on a daily basis in order to helping them get to real relationships. She helps her clients realise that all people have two sides: positives and negatives. If you have no idea how to communicate and solve problems, how to vulnerable together and create a real partnership, it can be hard to sustain and maintain an authentic relationship.
Not many of us have ever learned enough about ourselves, and it’s in this self-awareness that our relationship skills build.
[9:20] The short answer: to get an authentic relationship you must not only use your heart, but also your head. Try to assess: does this person know how to communicate? Do they know how to work through problems?
We have to start thinking about how relationships work, and how friendships work. In a friendship, we talk, we’re open, and we share. If we don’t do that in our relationships, they will not work.
Self-awareness is a huge tool – it takes you through how you learn to love, how you communicate, how you create boundaries. These are basic relationship skills that are not taught to us because society doesn’t prioritise learning how to communicate in a way that feels good for both people.
You need to know yourself well enough to know exactly what you need, and that’s going to look different for everybody.
[12:55] Some tips to grow in self awareness are:
[14:24] The core of Kira’s work is simple. All decisions that we make on a daily basis are made from either fear or love; love for yourself, or the greater good. And yet most of the dating decisions are made in fear and loneliness. For example, fear of being lonely as all their friends are with somebody.
Whenever we respond to others from fear, we’ll believe things like, “I just want them to like me so I don’t want to share too much about myself.” When you start there, it’s very hard to turn that into love. You can’t grow to a healthy place from fear.
[16:06] It’s hard to not have fear. Here are some techniques to shift this:
At the beginning, all we have is attraction. Get to know this person, learn stories, ask questions to try and understand who they are.
[18:36] The best way to date is to just to be out there as authentically as possible, and treat it like you want a friendship. Think of how you behave with your friends, or when you have just made a new friend, would you try to manipulate the situation? The more that you can come from that place – the more love you can anchor.
Sometimes not all chemistry is instant. There’s a statistic that has found that people who believe in love at first sight are three times more likely to cheat. People are only thinking about feelings. These ‘chemical surge’ feelings will go in 6 months to 2 years, that’s when things are going to change.
[22:05] In the US, only 20% people meet online, yet the industry thinks it’s more.
In theory online is a great idea, however, the reality is far from this. Online profiles are generally more of a façade; people are not presenting their most authentic self.
Kira is personally a huge fan of meeting others through friends. If you want to meet new people, grow your friendship group if you’ve exhausted your options through your current ones. Do things you love to do, take a classes, even if it’s only women.
If you go to the party, don’t worry about meeting “the single guy”. Think about getting to know the women who know everybody. As women, we are more comfortable with those partnership suggestions who have been “approved”, and this is where power of referral comes into play. You will also be happier, have better relationships, and you’ll meet better quality people.
[25:37] Kira talks about the scavenger-hunt style tasks she asks her clients to do. This enables her clients to get out of their comfort zone, helps them meet other people, and builds their confidence. These are crazy conversation starters to get you talking to people. Most women don’t like to be vulnerable so setting up an act or a task that involves them asking something of someone else creates the missing link.
[30:37] If you’re in the fairy tale phase, speaking up, setting boundaries, and communicating your needs can be scary, especially if you really like this person. The more that you can work on getting out of your comfort zone, the easier it becomes to have these direct conversations with someone you like.
[32:06] Kira draws examples of how she became vulnerable in her own relationship. She expressed to her boyfriend when they were first dating, that she was an anxious dater and she can talk herself in and out of any relationships in a few seconds. When she explained this to her boyfriend, he understood that communication was important to her.
Kira believes that we create relationships with another perfectly flawed human being. You need to be able to talk about what you need, so you can figure out these ”bumps” together. Overall, most men in our society and culture want to be great for us, but we don’t tell them how to. It’s a powerful level to reach in a relationship if you can get there.
[39:47] Each person is different, you are going to have to figure it out together. As women we want an easy hack, which doesn’t exist. The more you can get boundaries, be vulnerable, communicate what you need, the happier you will be.
You have your own journey to go on. You can’t fix or control each other’s journey – but you can help and support each other.
[49:54] Only about 10% of people get from the obsessive love phase to authentic love phase.
The exciting part is that we can grow that number because it just shows how few people are taking that phase and applying any kind of sense to it to move into the next one.
When confidence is built on someone else’s validation, we are always going to end up in fear. When we start in fear, it’s hard to end in love.
Kira Sabin is a professional certified coach and founder of A League of Adventurous Singles.
Kira has been coaching single women around the world since 2007. She has a passion for understanding and how love works from a psychological, emotional and scientific point of view. She believes that with self-work, awareness and an understanding of how relationships work, anyone can find love.
Connect with Kira:
Books Kira recommends:
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Works by Brene Brown, e.g.:
Getting The Love You Want: A Guide For Couples by Harville Hendrix
Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationships By Letting Yourself Be Loved by Harville Henddrix
What kind of scavenger-hunt could you come up with that will get you out in the dating game?
Let us know in the comments!
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