Comprehensive Guide to Stop Over-Functioning in Relationships
and Enjoy Dating
Feel Like a Muse (even if your guy isn't a poet)
If you have an anxious attachment style, you may be prone to over-functioning and propelling the relationship. It may be hard for you to enjoy dating, which is essential if you want to find love. In this blog, I will explain how you can stop over-functioning, so you can be more present and enjoy dating or your relationships
One of my readers asked: I’ve been dating great guys but I find it really hard to trust the unfolding without my over-functioning. I feel the urge to lock in the next date straight away, to “see where it’s going” and to progress to the “next stage” of the relationship quickly. Do you have any advice on how to relax and enjoy it rather than this exhausting pushing to “see where it’s going” and to “lock it in” quickly?
Regain the Sense of Security in the New Slow Mode-First Step Towards Happy Love Life
So to avoid over-functioning and feelings that you need to propel the relationship you need to learn how to feel secure. How do we do this?
In my previous article, Origins of Insecurities in Relationships we explored insecurities, brought them to your awareness, and now we can move on to using the tools to help you feel secure. I suggest reading that if you want to implement the tips from this article.
As a child, you didn't have verbal abilities to process your emotions, and that was a part of the problem that caused insecurities leading to over-functioning in relationships. Remember, now you have the verbal ability.
When you find yourself in a situation that triggers you to over-function, what matters is that you take your time. You don’t need to make any decisions on the spot. I suggest taking time to examine how you feel, what you need, and how to proceed further in any given situation.
When a triggering situation arises, pause, and examine what you feel in your body. Just name it and see where in your body you feel it. It may be a pit in your belly, tightness in your chest or throat, and so on. Just observe it and let go.
Next, see what kinds of thoughts come up and what kinds of insight you get. Acknowledge them without judgment, “Hm...I’m feeling like this relationship will not survive if I don’t call him, text him, ask about where this relationship is going,” and so on.
When you are on a date, you can acknowledge your emotions. “Oh, that’s my body freaking out and thinking that this person will not love me.” You can further tell yourself, “You are gonna be OK even if he doesn’t grow to love you. You are loved. Some so many people already love me."
Once you acknowledge your feelings, you will be able to pause and stop over-functioning. At least you will be aware of your actions.
Now, you have verbal abilities to talk to yourself and soothe yourself. You also can change the perspective and how you look at yourself and your relationship.
Mindset Shifts You Need to Slow Down and Stop Over-functioning, in Relationships
As explained in the previous article, your parents were not able to be there for you completely. You learned that you needed to over-function to manage the relationship with them. Now, you can play your own parent and tell your younger, more vulnerable self how to think.
What would you tell your little mini self? Now you can tell her something encouraging and truthful:
You know you are in charge here. And, you are the one who decides what goes and what doesn’t go
You have something special to give to one lucky guy. Your heart, your time, and your love are the biggest gifts you can give to someone. Do you understand how precious these gifts are?
Your job isn’t to make this relationship work, but instead, your job is to discern who is worthy of your heart.
Your job isn’t to prove yourself worthy or make him like you.
These kinds of encouraging words will help you put the things in the right perspective. You don't have to compelled to over-function in relationships anymore. It will take some time to get used to this, but you will get there eventually. New, relaxing, more joyful way will gradually become the new normal.
Your Body Is Your Ally in Slowing Down and Knowing What Your Boundaries are
We are often too harsh towards our bodies. We criticize it, starve it, work too hard, put too much coffee in it, and so on. Developing a more compassionate and caring attitude towards it makes a huge difference in your ability to slow down and enjoy dating and everything else in life.
How can you be more compassionate towards your body? Well, your body was there for you throughout life. It took various kinds of abuse and hosted you. Your body stored all the negative feelings, such as depression, trauma, anxiety, while we were busy working and not paying attention to it.
Body Always Tells You
The best thing is that your body can help you find the right partner. Observing how you feel in your body, will help you figure out who’s the right guy for you. With this will come an overall sense of security or insecurity with a particular guy.
How does it feel to be in a relationship with him? You may feel a range of crazy emotional changes from worry and anticipation that he will not follow through, to depression when you start thinking that he will not, to the extreme elation when he calls you out of nowhere. Friend, this one is not the keeper. Your emotions are not excitement, but rather an emotional roller coaster.
On the other hand, when you meet a guy that’s ready for a relationship with you, he will be the one propelling the relationship. Of course, he has to be confident and know that you like him too.
It may take some time to learn how to inhabit your body again because I know we all tend to be in our heads. We are sometimes completely cut off of our bodies, and that's why it's sometimes hard to understand our emotions. Drop Into Your Body Guided Meditation can help you get used to listening to your body and understanding your emotions.
Strategies for Dating
I will tell you something that will be most likely hard for you. 80% of women in my Instagram pool reported that it's hard for them to date more than one man. But, if you want to slow down your attachment and stop over-functioning in relationships, it's essential that you master this.
Dating more than one man will help you be less anxious. It will allow you to discern who can be the man you need, who can love you in the way you need to be loved. You can pause and see how you feel in his presence. As described above, listening to your body signals will tell you who may be right for you.
Give "Nice Guys" More Time
Some of them will maybe make you feel stable and you may say, bored. If you have an anxious attachment style, you may be a person who is addicted to the ups and downs of an emotional roller-coaster.
So, when someone is steady and treats you well, you may not feel attracted initially. What I suggest is that you don’t dismiss this guy right away. Keep dating him and indulge in good feelings when he treats you right. You just may grow to fall in love. This will be a fantastic moment to celebrate because you just broke that spell of being attracted to the wrong guys.
So, based on how the guy treats you, give him more of your time and energy, and see if your heart later follows. When you meet this kind of guy, he will treat you in such a way that you will not feel a need to over-function or seal the deal. You will be the one who sets the pace in the relationship.
But, also it’s important to communicate your standards and expectations with the guys. Don’t be wishy-washy. Don’t say, “I’m cool with whatever,” when you are looking for commitment and a serious relationship.
Men need a little guidance, you know. You are the one who sets the pace and standards. When he doesn’t call or make plans for you two, then you can communicate your dissatisfaction with him.
How to Set Boundaries
I want to remind you that men like it when you are clear. If you tolerate their bad behaviors, you don't give them a chance to get to know you and fall in love with you.
Depending on the situation, there are two basic ways in which you can communicate your boundaries. You can be playful or firm. You have to judge it based on how close you are to him.
Setting your boundaries will definitely help you stop over-functioning in relationships because you allow your date or partner to contribute to the relationship. It communicates your value to both of you.
It's therapeutic. Once he honors your boundaries and steps up, it's healing for you. You get a message that you don't need to over-function in relationships.
You can be playful and appeal to his ego when you just start dating or you feel light about the situation.
For example, when he doesn't call you for a while, and then contacts you, you can say something like, “Sorry, what’s your name again. I thought you were cute when we met, but your Houdini acts are a turnoff. Do you have anything else to bring to the game?”
You are giving signals that you think that he is cute, but you are also showing that he is not meeting your standards of engagement.
Well if he is super insecure, he will disappear, but if he is your man and loves playfulness and some banter, he will take on a challenge and step up the game.
Of course, you have to be yourself, and do what’s authentic. Also, don’t be too punitive. It's supposed to be fun. You are not in a relationship yet.
The key here is playfulness. Serve it with a smile.
Be Serious and Firm
Or you can go with a more serious route and set clear expectations when you feel like you need to set boundaries. You can say something like, “I’m not interested in just casual dating.
I’m looking for someone who’s interested in getting to know me more and who is looking for a serious relationship, commitment, marriage, and so on.
Express whatever it is that you want and need. No shame about it. No need to be shy or timid about your expectations. This communicates a great deal of confidence. It also allows men to relax and be there for you in the way you need them to be there for you if they are your man. Expressing your needs is a perfect antidote to over-functioning in relationships.
You Don't Need to Be Passive to Stop Over-functioning in Relationships
Just a side note here. I’m not against you initiating contact or asking him out. You can be an empowered woman and initiate a little bit more. But, what’s important is that those actions don’t come out of this sense of anxiety.
Over-functioning isn't when you express your liking of someone. Instead, it is when you over-analyze and try to make yourself more likable. You are already likable. You are plenty enough.
When you ask a guy out, it's simply being authentic, but you need to grow to be comfortable with it.
In any case, what matters is that you don’t take anything personally. When things don’t work out, it’s not that something is wrong with you. He simply couldn’t be the man you need him to be at this time.
Continue dating more people and keep observing how you feel about them. You will grow more confident and stop over-functioning in relationships.
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