Dating Survival Guides Part 2: You Are Enough

Posted by in All Articles, Archetypes and Dating, Dating Survival Guides, The Core Archetypes | 3 comments

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They say to always lead with your strength. I’m going to lead with one of my weaknesses – sometimes I feel like I’m not enough. Not smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, thin enough etc. Basically, take any positive quality and put ‘not’ in front and ‘enough’ behind it and I can, at some point, feel that this is so. It’s a type of nefarious self-judgement that most people can identify with and it can make dating un-fun and stressful. These self-judgements can take over and have us thinking that inadequacy is the only possible reason why we aren’t meeting that great guy or gal. And here’s the thing – a habit of believing ‘I am not enough’ does influence our dating experience and who we meet. Let me explain by wrapping it in the context of the archetype at play here.

Not-enoughness is the purview of the Prostitute archetype, which also goes by the name of the People Pleaser, among others. The Prostitute is symbolic of how we negotiate our integrity and self worth. The moment we begin to doubt our worth is a sign that the unempowered Prostitute is hanging out on our psyche’s street corner. It also encourages us to pretend we are something we aren’t because lack is crowding everything else out. It also means that everyone else is more important than we are. This only leads to more heartache.

There is a way to enable this archetype to work FOR us instead of selling our happiness out. Begin by noticing when you engage with the pattern of the Prostitute. Any thought that says ‘you are not enough’ is the archetypal voice of the unempowered Prostitute giving out bad information. Period. You ARE enough. The voice of the empowered Prostitute reminds you that you are enough as you are right now – an imperfect and amazing person, both. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you might want to work on, it means that you aren’t starting with a deficit.

Let me illustrate with some common dating scenarios and how the Prostitute archetype can show up in both unempowered and empowered ways:

You've met someone you like.

unempowered / judging

  • Worry that they won’t be interested in you because you are inadequate in some way.
  • Allow a list of ‘not-enough’s’ to cascade down the screen of your mind like the numbers and letters in the Matrix.
  • Get neurotic about whether you should contact them.
  • Check every ten minutes to see if they have called, texted or emailed you first.

empowered / innate worthiness

  • Realize that the ‘not enoughs’ are not true and it’s a choice to identify with those thoughts or not. Besides all those crappy thoughts give you a headache.
  • You are who you are ‘as is’ and you want to be with someone who accepts and cares for all of you.
  • Call them within a time that makes sense and is respectful, in the mean time – enjoy yourself!
  • Understand that your value is innate and not based on what other people think.
  • If he/she isn’t into you, it is in no way a value judgement of who you are.

Dating someone who isn't good for you.

*Not good for you* generally means they don’t treat you well, take you for granted, put you down or in other ways are not positive for your well being.

unempowered / sell-out

  • You keep dating them because you figure you can’t get anyone who is good for you because you aren’t ____ enough.
  • You decide there are too many things you lack and it’s better to sell out than be without a date.
  • You think that because you are inadequate and they are inadequate you somehow belong together.

empowered / worthy

  • Respectfully and compassionately let your unhealthy relationship go (aka break up).
  • Notice you spend way more time with the ‘not enough’ thoughts than you do with the truth of who you are and start reversing that situation.
  • Spend time doing things you enjoy instead of worrying about Saturday night.
  • Realize that dating someone does not make you any more or less valuable as a person.

Dating someone you aren't into.

unempowered / settling

  • It’s nice to have someone be nice to you.
  • They pay for dinner and/or provide company on Saturday night.
  • No one else is on the horizon.

empowered / worthy

  • Realize it’s not fair to anyone to stay in a relationship because you feel bad about yourself.
  • Be the person who is nice to you.
  • Realize that dating someone does not make you any more or less valuable as a person.
  • Respectfully and compassionately let the relationship go (aka break up).
  • Notice when you spend more time with the ‘not enough’ thoughts than you do with the truth of who you are and start reversing that situation.

Playing Hide and Seek

unempowered / unauthentic

  • Wanting to share a part of yourself with your date/boyfriend/girlfriend but not doing it because they might judge you as not being ____ enough.
  • Pretending to have traits that you don’t so they will like/love/accept you? (“Oh I love rock climbing” you say to your date when internally you are shuddering at the idea.)
  • Saying yes to or asking for another date when you don’t want to.
  • Saying you will call when you don’t intend to.

empowered / worthy

  • Notice that you want to be known for who you really are and hiding a desire to share something about you is already a rejection.
  • Your worth and love-ability are based on who you are and not whether you have the same interests as your date. You can show a genuine curiosity about their interests without having to fake enthusiasm.
  • Acting on what you really want and being honest bestows respect and care on both you and your date.

Did you notice that the empowered sides of these scenarios were more loving, respectful, honest and authentic? That’s exactly who we are without the low worth rhetoric and those qualities are SO very attractive! The habit of thinking ‘not enough’ leads to more of the same; it’s focused on settling for whatever we can get which moves us farther and father away from what we actually want.  Understanding that you are enough makes space to focus on what you really want in a relationship and changes the dynamic of choices in who you attract and engage with.

There are many books that have principles and stories that can help re-orient the Prostitute archetype from it’s low energy state to one where you hold your head high and stop trading away your innate fabulousness for anxious worries and low self worth. The wildly popular book from a few years ago, He’s Just Not That Into You highlights this perfectly and delivers it with a with a sizable dose of sharp candor. It applies to anyone working with the Prostitute archetype, which is pretty much everyone except for maybe the Dalai Lama.

“Being lonely … being alone … for many people … sucks. I get it, I get it, I get it. But still I have to say that yes, my belief is that being with somebody who makes you feel crappy or doesn’t honor the person you are is worse.” From He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tucillo

The empowered Prostitute holds him or herself with compassion and value, not higher or lower than anyone else but on the firm Compromiseground where we can meet others in the same way. It’s the same fertile ground where great relationships can grow. Learning how these internal archetypal patterns play out, can bring us back to center with compassion that begins with ourselves and inevitably out to those around us. And really what could be more attractive than that?

Part 1 of Dating Survival Guides sets up the process of engaging with these patterns with mindfulness and self-compassion. This recent article is a brilliant essay on the power of this archetype and how we compromise for love.

3 Comments

  1. VERY AWESOME!!! THANK YOU!!!

  2. Thanks Tossie!

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