“Trust the process” can be a vague cliche that is often thrown around. What does it even mean and how can it be applied to our dating lives? Well, it means to lean into what’s unfolding and let go of our incessant need to control everything.
1. Dating is meant to be a discovery period. Too often, we meet someone and the fireworks go off. We’re dreaming of the wedding and already making plans to fit them into our lives. Maybe this happens after the first date! We’re forgetting an important piece, though: dating is a discovery period where we slow down enough to truly get to know someone. We’re feeling out compatibility and chemistry. It’s crucial to refrain from projecting into the future and instead focus on what’s happening in the present. The reality is that after one date, we still hardly know the person no matter what our endorphin-filled minds are telling us.
2. We have such little control over outcomes. Trusting the process is about relinquishing control. I know it’s a terrifying thought, especially for us control freaks. We want to know what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what we can do to guide outcomes. In reality, there is so much sh*t we have no control over. We can yearn until the end of time for a relationship to work out, but if it isn’t meant to be, it isn’t going to happen.
3. Weird miracles happen all the time. I recently heard a cool story about a friend of a friend who had sworn off love forever. She even decided to take a year-long mission trip to Africa in order to get her mind off of things. Two days into the trip, she met someone who would turn out to be her husband. These stories happen all the time. The details may not be so dramatic in all cases, but had she not listened to her gut and flown off to Africa, she may never have met her soulmate. Weird miracles can happen to any of us if we try to take life one step at a time.
4. Pain is inevitable. How many of us have experienced heartache that we thought may kill us? Pain is inevitable in the process of learning and growing. It helps us feel out what we want and what we don’t want. Pain also just happens because we’re human beings who are going to hurt each other. It’s important to walk through the pain and to know that it’s shaping us into something greater.
5. Some pain is worth enduring, other pain is a sign to GTFO. There’s hurt even in the loveliest of relationships. We all carry baggage with us and have selfish desires. Some pain is worth enduring, like the inevitable fear of abandonment for many of us. On the other hand, if someone is continuously inflicting pain on their partner, it’s not worth it. This is not trusting the process, this is being a masochist. Get out of there!
6. Discerning compatibility takes time. You know how I said dating is a discovery period? Well, that’s because feeling out compatibility takes time. It’s not an overnight matter. Many of us make the mistake of confusing chemistry with compatibility. It’s possible to have one without the other. The rush we get from sexy lovers is not the same as meeting someone whose values align with ours. Getting to know one another on this intimate level takes time and a whole lot of trust.
7. Logic can really get in the way. Raise your hand if your mind is your own worst enemy. I know mine is! We often rely too heavily on our thinking brain to figure out what’s happening in our love lives. The reality is that love is anything but logical. It makes our minds go haywire. If possible, trusting the process is about putting our brains on ice for a minute to see how we feel in our hearts. Have you ever been with someone who meets everything you’re looking for? They’re attractive, kind, funny, and successful, but something in your gut tells you it isn’t a match. Listen to that feeling.
8. Putting logic on ice does not mean tolerating BS. Although it’s important to put logic on ice while we feel what our guts are saying, it’s also crucial not to keep it there. In reality, we need both our hearts and our minds. If we rely solely on our hearts, they’ll carry us all over the damn place. Sometimes, our brains actually do know what’s best. Our hearts could be saying that we really like our lovers, but our minds are pointing out important pieces of information like the fact that they seem emotionally unavailable!
9. Let loose and have some fun. Gosh, we can get so serious when dating. We overthink, stalk our partner’s social media, and beat ourselves up about everything (real or imagined). Wouldn’t it be nice to just have more fun when we’re dating someone? Trusting the process is all about shaking our bodies out, letting go of the incessant need to worry, and taking a good look at what’s happening in the present moment.
10. Have faith that it’ll work out as it’s supposed to. As control freaks, it feels impossible to let go of the reigns. We think that if we just work hard enough or worry our heads off, we’ll impact outcomes. In reality, if we just have faith about what’s happening, we’ll find out that things always turn out okay. The outcome may not be what we want, but it’s often what’s the best for us.