Case Study: Pursuing Perfection Paralysis
Releasing Fear of Missing Out with EFT
Rob is a very handsome guy. He’s medium in build, has a gorgeous full head of hair that has that perfectly messy but always in place look, vibrant eyes, a nice smile and a charming personality. He’s worked for 20 years in his field and has more than a few bucks in the bank. His sense of humor is adorable, he’s interested in the world around him; he cares deeply about his family and friends. All in all, he’s the real deal, the total package.
And yet he’s miserable, alone and approaching 45 with the dread of a child being told they are having broccoli for desert!
Rob came to me after his most recent breakup, which to his mind wasn’t really a breakup since they had only known each other for a month. But, he said on the phone, though he was sure she wasn’t for him he was also experiencing really deep feelings of loss, sadness and a growing sense of despair.
Though Rob had always enjoyed being a bachelor – in his words “tremendously enjoyed,” he always thought that by the time he was in his late thirties he would have at least found the girl of his dreams and be enjoying the beginning of creating a family of his own.
He told me that feeling time slipping away, he had really decided to get “serious” about his dating just over a year ago and though he’d met a variety of lovely women, nothing seemed to stick. In fact, Rob lamented, in the past he’d been able to have substantial relationships, a year or a few at a time, but now he couldn’t seem to get past the first month or two. He felt he was losing his attractiveness, his edge and even more depressingly his desire. He wondered if maybe he was meant to spend the rest of his life alone, drifting from one relationship to another, but never finding true, lasting love.
Clearly we had a tremendous volume of material to work with and Rob was just as dedicated to his clearing work as he was to his daily workouts and his career. He went at it with a vengeance, tapping on several issues daily along with our session work.
Within a few weeks Rob’s anxiety had dissipated, he was once again enjoying the prospect of creating a loving relationship but this time he felt a new sense of confidence he had never had before.
Following are some of the issues we addressed:
- I’m too old to create a really romantic relationship, at this point I’m going to be lucky to find someone I can see myself living comfortably with for the rest of my life, but I’m not going to have an epic love story
- There must be something wrong with me since everyone else I know has long since found their true love and started their family
- Maybe I don’t really want to have a family since everyone I know who has one, also has a ton of problems to go along with it, and I love how carefree and enjoyable my life is now
We also cleared all the remaining stuck energy around past relationships going back as far as high school, family relationships and finally the ways he didn’t love or forgive himself.
Rob came in for a recent session less hopeful than he’d come to be; in fact he was quiet and felt heavy once again. The reason was that while he’d cleared a ton of issues and had felt that relief, and he was beginning to have a more enjoyable time dating, suddenly he was once again smack dab in the middle of the pattern he’d experienced over the last few years – he had met someone nice, felt a strong attraction, enjoyed the first few weeks and then found his heart deflated and his focus waning.
He was saddened to find she wasn’t captivating his entire interest, and he surmised she wasn’t the one for him. Rob took this ebbing of his intense desire and passion as a sure sign that the feelings he had for this girl weren’t anything more than an initial infatuation and therefore the “right” thing to do would be to release her back into the dating pool so that they both could move on to hopefully finding someone who would work for them for real.
We began this session at the very beginning of this newest relationship, and we used the girl’s real name and the actual circumstances surrounding their initial contact, meeting and all that happened in between. Since it was only a few weeks, he was really able to both go through the experiences quickly but also his memory was really clear so all the questions were answered decisively.
As we were clearing, Rob remained depressed and heavy, so I began to ask him about his daily experience. Having worked with a ton of single clients, and being a single person myself, I’m really intimately aware of all the activities of those of us who are currently dating.
There are destructive behaviors that seem to be quite common, behaviors that prior to a decade or so ago weren’t an option … and one major one is related to internet dating. It’s a topic that causes my female clients great distress and pain, and causes my male clients to remain detached … or so they think.
Internet dating is a fine, wonderful thing. You can meet lovely people or real jerks, just like you’ll find in any walk of life. One of my “worst” relationships came from meeting someone in church, and one of my best relationships came from meeting someone online. It’s not the platform that causes the person to be nice or jerky, it’s our own energetic patterns and what we draw to ourselves.
So, going with my hunch that Rob was experiencing this destructive behavior, I asked him to review for me just how many times a day he logged onto his dating profile. He snapped his head up and asked me, “which one?” And eyes big as plates, he caught his breath. He said that he checks all three of his dating sites at least once a day, and the main one he’s gotten the most dates from he’s on at least 3 times a day!
Rob’s eyes started to well and he put his face in his hands, realizing he had become addicted to the computer, and in particular, he’d become addicted to the entire dance of presenting his “perfect” self to a variety of women and then fantasizing about how wonderful it would be to actually date and even experience each of these women as intimately as he could.
The truth is that nobody can compete with the fantasy of perfection. The fantasy girl doesn’t argue with you, doesn’t have a bad hair day, doesn’t make you feel less than the man you want to be in your mind, and doesn’t show you where you need to grow and change. But the fantasy girl also can’t hold your hand and look deep into your eyes with admiration and affection, smiling at your jokes and sharing the unfinished sentences that come from uniquely common experiences.
Rob was horrified to realize that even while he was engaged in getting to know all the beautiful women he had met over the last 3 years, kissing, laughing, and even being intimate. But no matter how wonderful the experience had been, moments after getting home, he’d abandon the glow of what he just experienced in real life to return to the cold experience of the fantasy woman. As he resumed comparing, the new flesh-and-blood woman to the perfection of the cyber-goddess, of course his feelings would chill! We tapped through the entire issue including concepts such as:
Even though I feel if this woman I’m now dating was perfect, I wouldn’t even be interested in looking at other women, the truth is just because I’m in love or falling doesn’t mean I don’t have eyes!
Even though I have had this habit of being online, developing what felt like real conversations and relationships, the truth is that only time creates a real relationship and I don’t want to live by myself with just my computer and my fantasies.
Even though I want to be so sure that the woman I date and end up with is perfect for me, and there are so many choices I can have just at the click of a button, I choose to relax my heart and mind and know that my magnificent subconscious mind can help me make the right choices.
Even though I enjoy the thrill of having so many beautiful women tell me how handsome I am, how wonderful they think my sense of humor is and how they want to be with me, I don’t really want those empty compliments, I deeply and completely accept my ego’s need for the stroking, but I choose now to realize that my real heart deeply desires the compliments of the woman I adore, respect and admire and I choose now to seek and find her, and build a real relationship because I love, accept and forgive myself.
Even though I feel that I know what has worked for me in the past, the truth is in the past I’ve never been married successfully so I don’t actually know how to do this, and I choose to be open and willing to learn, think, feel and act in new ways so that I can create something new, a lasting, loving, respectful and committed relationship with a peaceful and loving heart.
Rob left that session feeling drained. This wasn’t just a simple behavior, but an entire addiction and frankly it’s a strong one and must be addressed with a serious effort. He continued to tap daily whenever he felt the overwhelming urge to check his email, and especially on those lonely moments when he wanted nothing more than to zone out looking at all the beautiful options. We figured out a full plan of alternate activities with which he could fill his time, and we cleared out the physical reminders of this behavior pattern so he could create a new pattern for himself.
In order to give this new relationship a real shot, Rob decided that anyone he wanted to date past two weeks deserved his undivided attention. So he turned off his profiles and had a conversation with the girl he was seeing. He told her he realized he’d had a problem before and though he wasn’t making any grand commitment to her, he was making one to himself. He wanted to give her and their relationship his attention until he felt they were sure one way or the other, but he advised he would be just fine with her dating others and keeping her profiles active.
They have been dating now for a few months and still aren’t sure one way or the other, though they are growing closer. Rob says he still wants to take plenty of time since this is a life altering decision that will last for a very long time. But, he looks terrific and feels his heart opening in ways he never thought possible. He feels calm and happy, one day at a time.
Most importantly he advises that he doesn’t feel the urge to look or check out other women online. He feels engaged in the real world, and finds that he doesn’t really feel that he has the time to waste staring blindly at a meaningless computer screen.
He feels confident that unless this relationship ends he won’t want to return to window shopping – and even better, he’s accepted his being human. He says he’s not dead yet, notices other women from time to time, but now it’s just in passing, and only for a moment. He’s pretty sure that doesn’t mean he’s doomed to a lifetime of unsatisfied searching.
From time to time I half-heartedly joke with my clients, both male and female, that I’m going to hold a special Sadie Hawkins dance. You know the thing we all did in high school where the girl asks the boy. But my version is going to be the guys line up on one side of the wall and the girls on the other. And we’ll have them all come together one by one, clearing any fears and silly distracting thoughts as they come across the dance floor until they’re safely in each other’s arms getting to enjoy a happy dance. Some of my clients actually want me to do it! They’re tired of all the games, all the missed connections and misunderstandings.
It comes as a shock to my female clients that I have male clients who are really good looking, successful and nice and who are just as hurt and upset by their inability to connect with a nice woman. The women, who have been incredibly hurt by their experiences in dating – for example when they finally decide to move into intimacy and then find that the man they thought could be their true love left their apartment and only hours later was right back online again – they believe men to be selfish, hurtful and callous.
My male clients figure that of course I’d have female clients with love problems, because after all, women are needy, over-emotional and the ones who would come to me have been damaged. They are surprised to learn that I have female clients that are just as gorgeous, incredibly successful, loving and kind as they are.
As we begin to review that whether male or female I have worked with client after client who is just as lonely, confused and hurt as they something begins to crack in the false perception that it’s “me against the rest of the happy world, especially the opposite sex” – they come to realize just how unhappy many of us are, regardless of gender, age, religion or other distinctions.
The moment my clients realize that indeed, the opposite sex isn’t completely different from them, we all have the same disappointments and discouraging experiences, their hearts begin to soften and we are able to get down to clearing out the stuff that is keeping them so lonely and in pain.
There are a ton of books, some really cruel ones I think, that tell us if the opposite sex isn’t doing this or that, dump them. As a woman we’re taught that being bitchy is a way to put a man in their place, make them give you the value you deserve. And we’re told that if a man doesn’t call you exactly at this or that time, forget him, he’s a cad. These books gain popularity immediately because we seem to always be ready for a juicy piece of ammunition proving how we can be justified in our feelings, but also because we are desperately searching for the answers.
The REAL truth is that there could be a thousand reasons why he didn’t call you the next day, and none of them has to mean he is thoughtless and is using you. There are just as many reasons why she agreed to see you three days in a row and it doesn’t mean she’s already rented the tux.
But begin with a mess of charged energy from past pains, a heaping supply of unsupportive and mostly negative subconscious and conscious programming about the opposite sex and relationships, top it off with a bunch of media-popular hyper-marketable pseudo-psychobabble from the newest relationship guru who just happens to be “successful” because they were able to get someone to marry them and have stayed married for a decade…and what do you have? Misery, Loneliness, Pain, Confusion, Despair.
It doesn’t have to be this way though. Using EFT doesn’t magically bring in the love of our lives. I tell my clients that nobody can guarantee you will magically manifest the true love of your life. We can be taught the tools to get and stay clear, and the universal laws we can use to attract in love. But it takes time and timing to create a mature, lasting and loving relationship. Meanwhile, we just don’t have to suffer through trauma and tragedy.
Using EFT for the single person looking for love does do two very important things:
Releasing our pain from past relationships, including dating and family issues, clears up the heart and mind positioning it to be free and open to receive real love in a mature, present fashion. We owe it to ourselves and to the person we’re going to love not to taint our relationship with them, and our future, with the pain and unsupportive programming we’ve accumulated from our past.
Clearing out the incorrect assumptions about the opposite sex, the unproductive patterns we’ve been living, and the new patterns of behavior that can slide silently into bona fide addictions allows us to – perhaps for the first time ever – learn how to experience dating in a fun, enjoyable – and therefore incredibly productive way.
When we’re clear and can keep ourselves clear, have supportive programming and can keep our vibrational frequency high, that’s when the real magic happens. Both personally and with clients I’ve seen some amazing stories unfold that would have been impossible without clearing. Dating really can be a joy, and yes, we really can use the Law of Attraction to attract astoundingly romantic, exciting and wonderfully fun people into our lives.
And if we maintain our clarity, and our focus, that’s when we can create the magic of a lifetime, our very own fairytale love story. This love story though begins with the love we have for ourselves, and only then allows for another person to share in that amazing journey.
With EFT’ing our love lives, we’re finally able to be present, neutral and objective. And that’s the only way we can make the best decisions for ourselves, the one we’ll love and for our future.
This article was first published on Gary Craig’s original EFT web site featuring this lovely introduction written by Gary:
“Cathleen Campbell gives us some EFT insights into the singles scene. She says, “With EFT’ing our love lives, we’re finally able to be present, neutral and objective. And that’s the only way we can make the best decisions for ourselves, the one we’ll love and for our future.”
“Something wasn’t working and I couldn’t figure it out. I met nice women, we hit it off, had a great time for awhile and then…nothing. Before I knew it I just wasn’t interested anymore. I wasn’t going to stick around just because I felt bad. Cat taught me that I was looking outside of myself for something I was missing and when I didn’t find it I started looking again. I used to think I was looking for perfection, but she was right. I wanted someone to make me feel love but I had to feel love for myself first. I didn’t even know what that meant. It took me a few months to let go of my fear and other feelings and slowly I just started feeling good. I haven’t found the girl of my dreams yet, but dating is much more fun and relaxed. I’m enjoying myself. And I’m also more relaxed at work. EFT and the other tools Cat taught me make it easy to keep releasing and doing the manifesting work that used to be so confusing.”