Modern women are working hard, making more, kicking ass, and hoping for men to “get it.” They expect that Prince Charming will never ghost and he always knows exactly what to do on a date (and in bed)! Unfortunately, because both men AND women are operating on assumptions without an OVERT conversation about desires and preferences, women are pissed and everyone is frustrated.

What we have here is a mashup of millions of years of biology, 5000+ years of patriarchy, 100+ years of the industrial age, and we are only a couple decades into the information age. Many modern women are moving into more financial freedom and independence faster than the men they are dating. The rules and conditions of the game have shifted, but our expectations—and conversations—have not. As you can imagine (and have probably experienced), this is a shitshow! And there is hope!

Below are my Top 5 Tips to help you go from frustrated to fulfilled in your dating life.

1. Get A Life – This sounds harsh, but it is the BEST way to meet (or connect more deeply with) someone who is going in the same direction as you. If there is something you have been wanting to do but haven’t done yet, get started. Whether it is launching or expanding your business, taking time off to travel, pursuing a hobby you LOVE, or learning a new skill, DO IT! When you go on dates, you’ll have more to talk about. And if you’re not yet partnered, you will meet new people while doing new activities …especially those that require you to leave the house.
2. Forget “Normal” – Nearly all of your perceptions about relationships are based on our childhood experience, family culture, and social inheritance. Most of what you think is “normal” is actually generational leftovers. Much of this stuff came from “norms” established 100s or even 1000s of years ago. With conscious effort, take an honest look at where your dating strategy is on autopilot and get clear about what you want to experience. See number tip five.
3. End Reconnaissance – Stop asking HIM (her/them) what HE (she/they) wants and tap into your own desires. At the root of many of those “innocent” get-to-know-you questions is actually a strategy to catch or keep his/her/their attention. This is a scarcity tactic that does not support genuine connection. If you’ve done tip number one, you’ll naturally be enthusiastic, curious, and much more interesting on dates.
4. Drop the “Shoulds” – If you felt, thought, or said should in a sentence about your dating life, you’re “shoulding” on yourself. It isn’t pretty. Just check out how you FEEL when you read the following phrases: “Men should know what is and isn’t acceptable in dating.” or “I should be able to find a partner.” Nothing about this set up helps you to be do or have a different experience. Replace “should” with “I’m curious about…” or “I wonder how I could…” and revisit tip number one.
5. Vision Your Relationship – Rather than analyzing each man, each date, or each day with your existing partner (to determine pass or fail), make a vision. Take some time to develop a Relationship Vision. Go beyond the typical list and include what you want to experience and feel in your ideal relationship. Journal about your vision or visit to grab a copy of the Relationship Vision Worksheet and get clear.

A Final Note

I coach high-achieving women who are ALL committed to personal growth and who will not be minimized or dissuaded from her mission, even they have a biological urge to align with and conform (even if it’s a little) for survival purposes. We are not in survival, but it’s a tough one because it’s hardwired. I have done this walk myself and I’m in an ongoing conversation with my (progressive, VERY alpha male) husband about these issues. It is work EVEN for me.

We find the roots of these common narratives in Eurocentric “norms” and religious “mores” that emerged out of efforts to control (read: tamp down) a woman’s pleasure and the power and confidence that inevitably follows. The tips above will help you align with yourself, identify your desires, and bring more pleasure and aliveness into your life.

Growth Girlfriends – Connect with two or more women who also want to have conscious authentic relationships. Share these tips and do them together. Help one another stay on track. Offer feedback if you see another woman settling for something less than her vision.

Content provided by Women Belong member Tazima Parris