Dear Dating Coach,
I can’t make a decision. Every time I date someone new, I second-guess what I feel, waffle back and forth, and end up walking away – simply because the pressure to DECIDE is too much! Now, I am dating a girl I really like. I don’t want my inability to make a decision to cause me to lose out again! How do I deal with all the uncertainty?
We’ve all been behind that person in the bagel store. With breakfast barely a distant memory, you stand anxiously waiting to buy a late lunch before you faint from hunger. (I know, dramatic much?) You walked into the store armed with your order (tuna on a toasted sesame bagel, lettuce, tomato, no onion, small coffee). You already have your money prepared because you need to get back to work, and the line seems to be moving fast. Let’s not forget that your stomach can be heard grumbling from across the street. Then, finally, there is only one person ahead of you in line. They step up to order and you hear, “I’ll have a cream cheese bagel…no, a vegetable wrap…wait, no…”
You remind yourself that patience is a virtue while the “hangry” inside you prepares for war. Your internal struggle means little to customer #72, because they are still deciding. “Are the muffins fresh?” “Is the onion bagel super oniony”? Oh boy. You start deep-breathing at this point, vowing to brown bag it from now on. Finally, after 48 minutes (ok, now I’m just exaggerating, but it felt that way) you hear, “You know what…I’m actually not really hungry,” as they walk out the door.
To Be or Not to Be
Being an indecisive person is a constant struggle and can affect every aspect of your life. From small decisions (this outfit or that outfit) to life decisions (law school or business school) you can feel stuck, always afraid to make the wrong choice. Your inability to choose can lead to hours of debate with your friends, to deep conversations with a mentor, and frustration for your parents and those around you. You lose sleep over every looming deadline as you deliberate, contemplate, and question every detail surrounding “the decision” – your anxiety only compounded by your frustration with yourself. Why can’t I just decide, you wonder?
I am so glad that you met a girl that you like and hope to see a future with. Give yourself credit for the self-awareness to know that you often struggle with the inability to move forward in dating as you begin to question your judgment over this “forever decision.” Now is the perfect moment to take the time to reflect on your future and the girl that you already envision being a part of it.
That Is the Question
Any big decision can be daunting for even the most decisive among us. The first step is to use logic and reasoning to account for all the “what if’s” you can think of when you worry over your future together. Make a list of all the things that you feel make her right for you. Perhaps she is smart, compassionate, spontaneous, and attractive. Then address some of your concerns for the future with your list as your answer guide.
If you are concerned that she will be unhappy with your long hours at the office for example, you can refer back to “compassionate” on your list. A compassionate person will surely understand your need to succeed. Perhaps you worry that you will eventually become bored with her? Then you would refer back to “spontaneous” – reassuring you that you would only have more fun together. If you worry that she won’t challenge you, refer back to the “smart” on your list. (If you are still left with any unanswered questions, you can always bring them up on your next date.)
Finally, ask yourself, if she has the qualities, personality, and attributes that you hoped for in your future spouse. If she does, (then take a deep breath and) allow yourself to feel, to connect, and to become emotionally attached so that you can merge your mind and heart into making the best decision of your life.