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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Savvy Singles > Boogie Monster

Savvy Singles
by dating expert Tonja Evetts Weimer

The Boogie Monster
The Mean Critic in All of Us

“Watch out for the Boogie Monster—he’s coming to get you!” Most of us heard about the Boogeyman when we were children. We knew who he was, and even though we knew he didn’t exist, our imaginations made him up to be real enough.

Single men and women have their own version of the Boogeyman. He is the mean little critic inside all of us. I call him the Boogie Monster because he fits the single life. It doesn’t matter how many times you go out to “boogie”—if you have the monster inside you, he will keep you from having who and what you want. He arises when you are struggling to move forward in your life. When I am working with people striving to rid old unproductive habits, one of the first areas we address is self-sabotage.

 

In particular, when singles begin to show some confidence, reveal their hopes, and become excited to start dating, an interesting phenomenon occurs. The inner Boogie Monster begins to chatter incessantly. It sounds something like this:

“This is dumb. Do you really think you can find someone to love?” “You’re too ___(old, fat, ugly, shy, tired, busy) for this.” “Men (women) always disappoint you. You KNOW they can’t be trusted.”

Furthermore, when singles begin to date, the voice gets louder and more strident. (“This woman must not be very good if she’s interested in you.”)

You may try to begin a new life, face your fears, or go after what you said you always wanted, but the Boogie Monster charges in. His job is to first berate what you are trying to accomplish, and second, to lure you back to the comfort zone of the familiar.

As soon as your Boogie Monster catches a whiff of life transforming, it shows up with every REASONABLE argument invented as to why finding someone to love is a stupid idea. The Boogie Monster shouts, “Are you CRAZY? Do you really think you will fall in love—and be loved?”

The intent of your inner Boogie Monster is not malicious. It is to preserve where you are and what you have. It strives to keep the status quo. The Boogie Monster hates change and demands that life stay exactly the same. A similar voice has kept you from doing silly or dangerous things in the past. It’s just that when you truly want to make a change to your life, the Boogie Monster shows up uninvited—to knock you down and hold you back. The inner Boogie Monster will pull out all the stops because meeting a life partner is a SIGNIFICANT change.

If you want to quiet your Boogie Monster, there are ways to do it. You can never totally get rid of this voice because it is there to protect you. You have to be gentle but persistently aware. Try the following:

» Notice your negative self-talk.
Change the way you talk to yourself with encouraging words and phrases, such as:

“Yes, I realize that it seems impossible to find someone to love, but I am willing to learn all that I can, take the risks involved in meeting others, and reach out to people.”

“I will work on myself until I discover how to have a lasting relationship. Others have done it before me, and I can do it too. I will not give up.”

“I am a good person. I always try my best and give my best. I deserve to love and be loved.”

» Recognize that your inner Boogie Monster has appeared to stop your progress.
“Oh, there you are. I wondered when you would start talking to me. I recognize those old familiar phrases of doubt and suspicion. Thanks for showing up, but I can handle this myself.”

» Name it, smile at it, and know why it is there.
“I realize that you are in my life to protect me. But I am ready to grow and find a life partner. I will exercise conscious dating while I am on my search. I promise to choose someone carefully, who will honor all parts of me.”

When we do the above, the power of the Boogie Monster is flattened. It can’t stand up to too much scrutiny.

Finally, stay focused on what you want. You have traits you were born with. These traits are a force within you, moving you forward, compelling you to live out your deepest values. That longing to be the person you have always wanted to be, finding the person you have always wanted to be with, can be stronger than the fear of change. As long as you are living life in alignment with your purpose and values, you can override the voice of the mean critic that nags and complains. The inner Boogie Monster shall be reduced to a mere whisper.



Tonja Evetts Weimer, M.A., is an award-winning author and Master Certified Single’s Coach and Personal Life Coach. Her Savvy Singles column appears every Friday in Online Dating Magazine. You can email Tonja at tonja@tonjaweimer.com, visit her website a www.singlesdatingtips.com or www.tonjaweimer.com, or call 864-294-9494.


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