Monday night, rabid "Bachelor" fans everywhere watched as 30 women met (and attempted to woo) Iowa farmer and season 19 leading man Chris Soules.
From participating in outlandish (albeit hilarious) gimmicks to get his attention to pounding whiskey to handle the pressure, one thing was very clear: These women were not in the proverbial “power position.”
While most single women will never be one of 30 vying for the affections of a single bachelor (on national television, no less), many of us can relate to feeling more vulnerable and “powerless” than we’d like in the dating game (especially when we’re really into a guy).
Whether you're waiting for him to call/text/ask you out, or you don't know what to do if he suddenly ghosts or “needs space,” dating can sometimes make you feel anything but empowered.
To get the scoop on how to feel more secure and powerful when dating (without being fake or resorting to games), I tapped dating and relationship expert Marni Battista.
Battista says that to be 10 percent better at dating than 90 percent of the women out there (and feel way more confident in the dating process), you simply need to make a few basic mindset shifts:
Stop auditioning and start evaluating.
According to Marni, “Women often put a guy they like on a pedestal and think they need to prove their worthiness to him, but this is absolutely the wrong approach.”
Instead, she advises women do what she calls “data dating,” or simply, view the first few months of dating someone new as a chance to collect data to see if HE is a fit for YOU. She says,
When you shift your perspective from trying to win someone over to simply enjoying the process and learning about the person you’re dating, it takes a lot of the pressure off you and the situation. You can relax, which not only feels better but makes you way sexier in the eyes of the guy you’re dating.
Don’t make your romantic past “mean” anything about you.
If you’ve been cheated on, unexpectedly broken up with or have never been in a serious relationship in the first place, it’s easy to assume there’s something “wrong” with you.
But, according to Marni, “Nothing could be further from the truth!”
Battista teaches that your romantic past will not dictate your future love life unless you let it.
She also tells her clients to remember, “The fact that you’re not currently in a loving relationship or have been burned in the past in no way means you’re less lovable.”
To break free from past hurts and romantic dramas, Marni advocates practicing forgiveness:
Do everything you can to release past resentments or negative beliefs about love so you can clear space for your next relationship (and start it off with a clean slate).
Get your emotional needs met in a variety of places.
Many women see “Mr. Right” as a savior of sorts — an illusive and irresistible combination of a best friend, lover, therapist and possibly, provider.
But, according to Marni, “Relying one person, especially a romantic partner, to meet all of your needs is a recipe for disaster.”
Not only does this set you up for disappointment, and the guy you’re dating up for failure, it also limits the fullness of your life experience.
Creating a fun and vibrant life, where you’re romantic partner is the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae is a way more fun, sustainable and empowering approach.
It’s not about what you’re “doing,” but rather, who you’re “being.”
So many women get super caught up in a swirl of anxiety about “the rules” of dating, but they don't need to.
According to Marni, what you’re doing is way less important than who you are BEING in the relationship.
Stressing out for hours about whether or not to text a guy is a much worse use of your time than simply texting him and going about your day.
Do you have any other tips for feeling more powerful in your relationships?
Predictions for this season of "The Bachelor"? (No spoilers, please!) Please share in the comments section below!