Today I wanted to highlight one of my favorite authors, and post a blog from her website. Dr. Paulette Sherman, author of Dating From the Inside Out, has a terrific website called My Dating School with many resources for the single person.
Last night we rented a Netflix movie from 1981 called ‘Modern Romance’ starring Albert Brooks. It focused on a man who was ambivalent about relationships and commitment. He went back and forth continually about the woman he was dating, driving her crazy in the process. His neuroticism was palpable and it was clear that the drama was mostly within him, not in their relationship. I will warn you that this movie feels old in that it moves slowly compared to films made today. You will have to have patience to get through it (and it may annoy you) but it does present a good picture of how one’s dating psychology can impact their love success.
I think this is an important topic because I often hear singles turn upon themselves when a relationship fails. They automatically blame themselves for a break-up or for other relationships hiccups and this affects their self-esteem. Of course it is important to look at yourself and to gain insight into your stumbling blocks when it comes to love but this film highlights that it can sometimes be the other person! I have seen cases where one partner backs away due to their internal conflicts, no matter how calm and wonderful the other person may be. This is important to remember and it could save you weeks of tormenting yourself.
The character that Albert Brooks plays in this film illustrates how often our inner conflicts get played out as outer conflicts in our relationships. For example Brooks has an internal conflict where he wants to be with his girlfriend all the time and at the same time he wants to be alone. With other singles common internal conflicts include: wanting commitment versus wanting freedom, wanting intimacy versus personal space, wanting someone who really wants to be with you versus picking someone who is emotionally unavailable (and many more core conflict varieties). The point is that these conflicts are like two parts of your self that remain continually at odds and cause perpetual indecision in your relationships and psyche. In these cases, it may look like you are fighting with your partner when really you are conflicted within yourself. So sometimes it can be important to look with to understand your own dating psychology and fears before you determine the fate of an outer relationship. In the film, Brooks was a good for therapy but instead he ends up marrying his girlfriend, getting divorced from her a month later and then starting to date her again! This shows how powerfully our conflicts can continue to direct us and our lives when we don’t pay close attention to understanding and dealing with them. They constantly place us in ‘no win situations’ taunting us to look at and resolve them!
If upon reading this you feel that your conflicts about love or the opposite sex are affecting the success of your love life, read my book, ‘Dating from the Inside Out: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart’ and do the exercises in the Unconscious Dating section. If you need even more help, consider going to therapy for a period of time to examine how your inner vision of love gets reenacted in your outer relationships.
This film helps us realize how much misery our inner conflicts can cause ourselves and our partners when they are not recognized. We are all works in progress and probably all of us have psychological conflicts but there are varying degrees of havoc that these ‘tug of wars’ can play. So consider working on your relationship with yourself so that you will be more conscious about what you bring to the table in your relationships. Conversely, you might also consider that the people you date may have unresolved conflicts that they will project upon you and your relationship and if this is the case, you probably will not be able to fix it. They need to be willing to do their own work!
If you have the patience to see this film, let us know what you think. And if you have had experiences where a person’s inner dating conflicts affected your relationship, please feel free to share your experience here.
My Best in Love,
Author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out: how to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart’ published by Atria Books. Check it out at:
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