EP. 108: How to Find Love Without Losing Yourself with Mandy Hale

Calling all my single ladies! Cue the Beyonce music!
Online dating. Zoom ‘meet-ups’ during Covid. Texting. Social media. Awkward conversations. Countless numbers of dating apps. Break-ups. Make-ups. 
Oh, and don’t forget all of the endless swiping involved in search of “Mr. Right”.
Sheesh – modern dating is not for the faint of heart! And that is coming from a girl who considers herself a pioneer, if you will, of the online dating world!
That’s right! This is exactly how Justin and I met… 17 years ago! 
Not even around for a decade at the time, and still very taboo, I met my husband on Match (back when it wasn’t just for dating but primarily for making friends!). 
I laugh thinking about it because it was something that you just didn’t do then! So instead of owning it, Justin and I agreed that we would tell friends and family that we met at the coffee shop where we had our first date. (Pretty sure we were not the only ones to have developed this ploy.)
I wouldn’t have known it at the time, but that one cup of coffee would soon turn into a friendship, followed by an exclusive relationship, followed by a marriage of almost 14 years and counting. 
So trust me, I am by no means knocking online dating! I actually love how socially acceptable it has become! 
But! I do think that I may have had it a bit easier 17 years ago when the selection of sites was limited. Oh, and the dating jargon more easily understood! 
(If there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that 17 years ago birdboxing, breadcrumbing, caspering, and haunted housing were not a part of my vocabulary – as hilarious as they may be!)
So, am I single right now? Nope. However, I can definitely empathize with the hardships of a “waiting season” just as easily as the next girl. Except that my wait is no longer for a husband, it’s for a family. 
I think we can all relate to that waiting season actually. 

Life is full of waiting for the different things that your heart desires.

Maybe a relationship, perhaps a home, new job, starting a family, financial stability… the list goes on. The bottom line is, at some point, we all have to trust the process and the journey that is unique to us!
And THAT is why I am wildly excited to share with you my conversation with Mandy Hale! 
Blogger turned New York Times best-selling author and speaker, Mandy Hale, did not plan to be 42 and single, but nevertheless that is her unique journey and she is killing it! 
Named “Twitter Powerhouse” by the Huffington Post, a “Woman of Influence” by the Nashville Business Journal, and a “Single in the City” by Nashville Lifestyles magazine are just a handful of accolades that make Mandy the voice of empowerment and sassiness for single women across the globe.
As exhausting, time consuming, and overwhelming as dating may be, Mandy wholeheartedly  believes that there is a way to date with dignity, to refuse to let the swipe rule your life, to stand confident in your worth and not settle for less than you deserve.

Most importantly there is a way to find love without losing yourself!

ALL the yesses!!
So, what’s the problem??
Unfortunately, many of us are directly or indirectly influenced by the culture around us. The culture that is telling us that there must be something tragically wrong if you are not married yet! That you are destined to live a life of misery and unhappiness if you don’t find someone to ‘complete’ you – resulting in SO many people living terrified of being alone. 
So what happens when we buy into these unhealthy lies??
Toxic relationships ensue. We lose ourselves for the sake of ‘love’. We settle for less than we deserve. 

Friends! Nothing good can come out of fear-based decision making. Not when it comes to dating or any other decision for that matter!

So you may be asking yourself, “Okay, but then HOW? With all of these lies and toxic thoughts swirling taking up residency in my head, how can I approach dating in a healthy way?”

Well, lucky for us, Mandy is here to save the day. The next time you find yourself on the verge of breaking down, of losing your identity to the dating game, remember these three facts:
1. Dating isn’t about “landing a man” or learning to “think like a man” or “getting any man to fall in love with you”
2. Dating is about falling in love with yourself and then extending that love to every aspect of your life–including your love life.
3. Dating is about learning to choose yourself, regardless of whether someone swipes right or swipes left
Amen! Preach!
Seriously, if this is the season you find yourself in, grab a pen right NOW and write down those three bullets. Memorize them. Live by them.
And, no matter what you are waiting for today, remember to use this time to lean into God’s plan for your life!
Friends! My conversation today with Mandy today is so full of hope and humor. Make sure to check it out where we also talk about:
  • Learning to date without surrendering your power
  • The crazy caricatures of your stereotypical dates gone wrong
  • Ways to change your mindset and intentions for dating
  • Building a relationship with God no matter what you are waiting for instead of just seeing what’s not there yet
(And, don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you hanging. We also discuss the definitions behind those crazy buzz words at the beginning of this blog!)
If you are ready to approach dating with dignity, refuse to let ‘the swipe’ rule your life, and stand confidently in your worth while not settling for less than you deserve, you will not want to miss today’s hilariously honest episode! 
I’ll  leave you with this quote from Mandy’s latest book: Let go. Laugh. Smile. Your life is unfolding just as it should so stop trying to skip ahead to the end and enjoy the chapter you’re in. And while you’re at it, remember that finding love is merely one chapter of your story. There’s still an entire book of other crazy, beautiful, wild, funny, colorful, meaningful adventures to be lived.

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