Podcast

036: How to Pursue Wholeness Before Pursuing a Relationship with Amanda Blair Hopkins

02.06.19

 

Do you have one of those friends who gives the BEST love advice? The type of friend who is willing to call you out and say ‘no, this is not the guy for you,’ or ‘do you seriously not see that he is super into you?’ I hope so, because they’re the best. Amanda Blair is that friend for me. We sat down to record this episode and she shared her story and her dating journey. I even opened up about a recent date I went on and an ambiguous guy friendship I have.

 Remember the phrase I use ‘rejection if protection?’ Amanda is the one who first encouraged me to view rejection this way. “When someone else says no, it’s not a personal attack against us.”

Amanda was also the first one to call me out and say that there was something between me and this guy I was interested in. I realized I kept getting stuck in these male friendships because I would tell myself I was just ‘the friend.’ Nobody was saying this to me, but I kept shutting the door in relationships because I didn’t think I was worthy. I was playing small, so I was attracting emotionally unavailable guys.

 

Reflecting on her childhood, Amanda discovered the reason she has certain patterns in her romantic life. “I was so desperate for someone to tell me that I was worthy and I was good enough… I just let men walk all over me.” After moving to New York and developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and men, she began yoga teacher training and began to confront her relationship with drinking. Her anxiety nearly disappeared when she became sober, something I have also experienced in the last six months.

Knowledge alone doesn’t transform us. We can know that a person is bad for us and still want to be with them. Newly in a relationship, the guy she was seeing told her that he saw a future with her that included having a family with her. She fell into Disney Princess Syndrome. But soon after, he ghosted her. “I was done believing that I needed to be saved.”

We so often look to guys to validate us, when deep down it is our past self that needs the validation. When we are upset that a guy doesn’t want us, we don’t need to reach out for them, we need to reach inward and recognize that child in us that just needs validation from our present selves.

Again, knowledge doesn’t transform us… we can still fall back into old patterns. Just because you’re in the pattern again doesn’t mean you’re back at square one. To break an unhealthy pattern, Amanda gets to the root of feelings through journaling. ‘When did you first experience this? Who were you experiencing it with? What did you need from them?’ Through this, we can acknowledge our brain chemistry and rewire it to break patterns and move toward healing.

“The more we block our path up with these ambiguous people or people we’re not really into, we’re just creating road blocks and the thing we want can’t get to us.”

 

“We have to be fully integrated and whole humans to welcome in another fully integrated and whole human.” When we get clear on all of this, we can establish and stick to boundaries that acknowledge our worth.

This was pretty much a normal conversation Amanda and I would have. Isn’t she the best? If you loved Amanda, would you head over to iTunes and let us know what you thought in a review?! It would mean the world. You can keep up with Amanda at www.amandablair.org or on Instagram at @xoamandablair.

Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to Bit.ly/trwdating to check it out! With you on the journey.

XO,

Kat Harris 

Check out this episode!

Inspiration / Life / Real Talk / Sexless in the City

5 Ways to Put Yourself Out There (and Still Be Pursued)

01.29.19

Before I share with you 5 Ways to Put Yourself Out There (and Still Be Pursued), let me tell you a little story…

As a woman who wants to be pursued, is it ok for me to initiate?

How do I put myself out there?

Several years ago, I was dating a guy that I reallllly liked.  He asked me out, but I couldn’t get out of work.

A few days passed, and I didn’t hear from him. So I did what any normal girl does—and started to spiral. I figured our relationship was over.  Just like that.

Up until this point, he had initiated every text and date.

I wanted him to want to hang out with me.  I wanted him to think of me, miss me, call me.  Couldn’t he read my mind? Weren’t guys supposed to make the move.  I wanted to be pursued.

But really it was about more than that: I wanted to feel safe.

I felt safe in responding to him.  There was hardly any risk involved, because at least I knew in those moments he wanted me. 

He liked me, and my guarded heart only wanted him to know I felt the same way if I knew it would be reciprocated. Me telling him I wanted to see him left me completely exposed.  It would open me up to rejection.

What if he didn’t want me?

What if I wanted him more than he wanted me?

What would that say about me?

I was terrified of putting myself out there, because I was terrified of getting hurt.

It took me time a long time to really practice rejecting fear, and actively choose to put myself out there.  I’ve learned a lot along the way.

Let’s get practical with it!

Here are: 5 Ways to Put Yourself Out There (and Still be Pursued)

Communicate Your Needs.


One of my friends came home from an online date so put out about the restaurant her date took her to.  Here’s the thing though:  she didn’t tell him she didn’t want to go there.  He picked it out, ran it by her, and she said nothing.  She didn’t want to be too much.  And shouldn’t he know that’s a crappy restaurant—and if he doesn’t, clearly he has bad taste.  She punished him for not reading her mind.  That’s not fair.  Ladies, you have the permission to communicate your wants and needs.  Let’s reject the lie that we’re not enough and too much all at the same time.  It keeps us small and stuck.  If a guy is so easily spooked by you letting your desires be known, then he is no man for you.  Let’s also stop setting men up for failure by expecting them to be mind readers.  Communicating what you want is not pursuing.  It’s giving you the opportunity to be true to yourself, while also creating an opportunity to let your guy know where you stand.  He then has the option to lean into that or not.  By communicating your needs you’re creating vulnerability, honesty, and an invitation.  And that is way different that a demand. 

Drop the Hanky .

In the olden days when chivalry was alive it wasn’t all up to the men. If a woman was interested in a man she looked at him from across the room, and dropped her hanky. This signaled, “Hey, I see you.  I’m interested.  You have the green light to ask me out’ .  Putting yourself out there, and letting your intentions be known is not pursuing.  We can let it be known that we’re interested without taking the lead.  We may not carry hankies anymore, but we can make eye contact with a guy we’re interested in.  Once your eyes meet, stay for the count of three, and smile.  Until you try it you won’t realize just how often you avoid eye contact with the person you’re interested in.  

Be Curious.

Who doesn’t like talking about themselves?  I know I do.  Allow yourself to be curious to get to know the person you’re interested in.  Asking questions and getting to know him is very low stakes.  Then the next time you see him you can ask, “Hey, how’s that thing going”.  It shows you’re listening, and you care about him.  He was on your mind.  It’s also incredibly easy to practice.  I used to be so scared of rejection that doing this felt like I might as well be walking up naked to a guy proposing.  It doesn’t have to be this way. At all.  Plus, who cares if he thinks you like him.  You do, don’t you? Even if the feelings aren’t reciprocated, like my bestie says, “No one has a bad day when they find out someone has a crush on them”.

Create Space.

I talk to so many baffled single women.  After spending a few minutes chatting about their day-to-day lives; it’s no wonder they’re not dating.  Every night of the week is spent either at home watching The Bachelor (hey…I love the Bachelor), having a girls night, or going out with the girls.  Your man is not gonna magically appear on your doorstep friend.  You gotta get out there.  And do you know just how intimidating it is for a man to come up to a group of women out at a bar?  If you do go out with the girls, split up.  Or be each others cheerleaders as you take turns going and saying hello to somebody interesting.  We create space in our lives for the things we value.  Part of putting yourself out there is creating space for interactions with single men.  

Be Open.

Our bodies give us away every time.  They reflect what’s going on beneath the surface.  Slumped shoulders and bowed head:  sadness.  Clenched teeth and lips, furrowed brow:  anger.  Arms folded across your chest:  closed off.  It’s like having a neon sign blinking above you:  not open for business.  In social settings, take note of your physical posture, and how you’re showing up.  Even when you’re not feeling the most confident, putting your body in a more open posture sends signals to your brain that you’re safe, grounded, and confident.  Don’t believe me?  Try it.  When you’re at a party, or talking to someone you’re interested notice your body.  Folded arms, or hands in pockets are a no-no.  They signal you’re off-limits.  Instead hold your head high.  Lean forward while you’re talking to him.  Stand facing directly towards him, and make sure you’re hands are apart (this can take a minute to get used to).  By doing this your body is signaling you are open, interested, and invested into this conversation.

So let me ask you:

  • Why aren’t you putting yourself out there?
  • What is holding you back from initiating a conversation with a guy you’re interested in or dating?

What do you think of all of this? If it was supportive, I invite you to share it with a friend. What’s one thing you can do today to make yourself available?  Leave a comment below, or join the conversation on social media + tag @therefinedwoman.  I’d love to hear your heart, and what’s coming up for you!

I’m here to guide and support you on your journey friend.

XOXO,

Gossip Girl (sorry couldn’t help myself…)

P.S. #1 If you want to continue the conversation in a more private setting, join my Private TRW Single Ladies Community!

P.S. #2  If you’re wondering, I reached out to him.  I told him I missed him, and wanted to see him.  Guess what?  So did he. He was insecure I wasn’t as interested in him as he was in me since I hadn’t ever reached out to him.  A day later we were snuggled up on a date.  

Life / Sexless in the City

How to Embrace Your Sexuality (even when you’re not having sex)

01.29.19
photo c/o Kat Harris

The amount of DMs and emails I get from women who feel ashamed of their sexual desire breaks my heart.  Your sexual desire is an incredible thing, and I can’t wait to share with you the beauty and freedom there is in learning how to embrace your sexuality — even when you’re not having sex.  

As a Christian woman I am waiting until marriage to have sex.  For a long time, and for a plethora of reasons—fear, shame, insecurity, unfair pressure placed on me by others—I was shut down to my sexuality.  For years, I hid behind baggy clothes; it was like I was afraid someone would find out I was a woman. 

Our sexuality isn’t a switch.  We can’t just turn it off and on; it doesn’t work like that.

Kat Harris

I was taught to shut it down, but then magically be a sex goddess the moment I walked down the aisle.  You know a lady in the streets, but a freak in the bed. But our sexuality isn’t a switch.  We can’t just turn it off and on; it doesn’t work like that.

It was transformative for me when I discovered God isn’t afraid of my sexuality.  He doesn’t think it’s dirty.  Apart of my humanness is my sexuality and desire.  

In the Genesis creation account it says, “God said, ‘Let us make man and woman in our image, after our likeness’…And God saw everything He made, and behold it was very good” (Genesis 1:26,31).

The text doesn’t say God’s creation is good, but actually your sexual desire is a secret , shameful, and dirty—and you shouldn’t really talk about it—and it’s only a thing to be embraced or experienced after you’re married.  

No.  God looked at humanity and said it is very good. That means all of me.

Not just my heart, soul, mind, hands, eyes, and feet.

It means my reproductive organs, and the fluids my body produces when I start feeling turned on are good.

None of it surprises God.  God isn’t panicked when we feel the feels; it’s all His design.

Author and pastor Matt Chandler says it this way:

“…God’s the one who created and wired this whole thing..as he (God) shaped the woman differently (than man), he gave her larger breasts, rounder hips, and a vagina.  He filled the woman with a different hormone, estrogren.  The woman’s body was not the Devil’s idea; it was all God’s doing,”

Matt Chandler (The Mingling of the Souls).

Whether you are abstinent or not, a woman of faith or not, there is beauty and freedom in:

  1. knowing your femininity and sexuality is a beautiful and good thing.
  2. It is not only ok, but it is possible to embrace your sexuality in a healthy way, even when or if you’re not having sex.

So, how do we practice this?  Great question.

Here are a few ways you can implement to start embracing your sexuality:

Invest into Self-Care

How can you show yourself that you are worthy of love and acceptance today?  It’s so easy to think it’s the job of our significant other to make us feel those things.  It starts with how I treat myself. This doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of money on spa days.  It can mean taking a bath with epsom salt, lighting a candle, and listening to soothing music.  It can be going to bed at a decent hour, making your bed in the morning before you leave for work, or doing a moisturizing sheet mask before bed.  How can you show yourself kindness and compassion through self-care?

Put on a Flirty dress

Want to shake things up quickly, throw on a flirty dress or skirt that has movement.  Or if you have a silky blouse that feels good on your skin, put that on with those jeans that make you feel amazing. 

Get into Your Body

Like Beyoncé said, “I’m feelin’ myself’.  Acknowledging your body is a great way to connect with your sexuality. Make a sexy playlist, put on some cute undies and have a dance party in your room.  Go to a salsa class.  Find a yoga class with music you love, and get lost in your practice.

Create something NEW!

Sex makes babies, but sexuality is more than penetrative sex.  Being connected to my sexuality is creating new things not only alone, but in collaboration with others.  My pastor Jon Tyson says there is an eroticism for life, a vigor, a passion, a zeal we can experience when we’re creating.   Light some candles, put on music, and write poetry.  Take a cooking or improv class.  Have people over for a craft night.  The options are endless.

Romance Yourself

When I’m dating, I like to know that my date has a plan.  If you don’t want last minute texts ‘You UP?’, then hold yourself to that own standard.  Take yourself on dates.  Schedule it in your calendar.  Get dressed up, throw on some lipstick and heels.  Show yourself how you want to be treated.  Is there a museum exhibit you want to see?  A new restaurant you’ve been dying to check out?  Make a reservation.  And be present.  Put your phone away—how rude to be on Instagram while you’re on a date! What dates do you want to be taken on?  

Buy Yourself Lingerie

You are worth having nice things on your body regardless of your relationship status.   Sexy panties and lingerie are not just for your husband.  If it’s the only reason you buy nice things, I challenge you to pause.  One of my pleasures (I don’t feel guilty about it at all), is to buy myself nice bras and panties…silky nighties too.  My friend Morgan Cecil Day says it like this, “Your sexuality belongs to you”.  Throw away those ratty undies, and treat yo’self to something nice.    

Practice Receiving

The feminine heart is to receive.  Even anatomically speaking, the woman is the receiver.  Culture says be the independent women who doesn’t need anything from anyone.  To need is weak.  This is such a lie.  It actually takes courage to say I can open my own door, but it’d be nice if you did that for me.  Anytime a guy asks if I want his seat, it doesn’t matter if I’ve been sitting all day long, I receive.  Why?  Because it took courage for him to put himself out there in that way.  I want to honor that, and receive the gesture.  Receiving not only makes me feel like a woman, but it makes a man feel more like man.  Practice letting guys open doors for you, paying for your date.  Can I do all these things on my own? Absolutely.  But they’re small ways to practice receiving. 

So, what do you think of all of this? If it was supportive, I invite you to share it with a friend. How can you start to embrace your sexuality today?  Leave a comment below, or join the conversation on social media + tag @therefinedwoman.  I’d love to hear your heart, and what’s coming up for you!

With you on the journey,

Kat

P.S. If you want to continue the conversation in a more private setting, join my Private TRW Single Ladies Community!