With Dr. Stephen Porges: How Smart Women Calm Themselves Down When They Have Dating and Relationship-Related Anxiety


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By Bradi and Marni Battista. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Why is dating so hard? Are you saying all the right things but your body is sending signals of anxiousness or defensiveness? To uncover the psychological reasons behind your physiological behavior, Marni welcomes Dr. Stephen Porges, an expert in the polyvagal theory and how it traverses our relationships.

Key Takeaways:

  • ● Self-soothing tips for anxious behavior
  • ● Tips for staying in a long-term, happy relationship
  • ● Rewriting your personal narrative
  • ● Recognizing defensiveness for what it really is
  • ● The importance of being present on a date
  • ● Why dating can be terrifying
  • ● Understanding the importance of reciprocity
  • The Polyvagal Theory and Dating-Mating Strategies [4:34]
  • The polyvagal theory explains how our nervous system plays a part in our relationships, even if we aren’t aware of it at the time. Essentially, it influences how we react to others. If your body is in a state of safety, you can be socially and emotionally available. If not, and your body is in a state of anxiety or fear, you may not present yourself as who you really are.
  • We pick up non-verbal queues from one another. If your mind goes to a place of abandonment or loss of trust your body reflects that externally.
  • Dr. Porges says that in our culture we present the supermodel face. It is the presentation of being beautiful but not being available. This is not what our bodies want. Our bodies want people who are interactive, supportive, and reciprocal to who we are.
  • What is really attractive is the emotional safety conveyed through facial expression.
  • In the early moments of starting relationships, we are negotiating safety in psychological space.
  • Why Dating Can Be Terrifying [13:21]
  • There is little predictability in dating. Will he call? Does he like me? When we ask ourselves these questions it is an example of our nervous system searching for predictability. If there is uncertainty, we feel unsafe and it can create a feeling of terror.
  • Relationships aren't based on words they are based on how we relate to each other. We need reciprocity to feel understood and emotionally safe. Uncertainty puts us into a defensive mode.
  • How to Self-soothe When You Feel Anxious [21:10]
  • When our sense of self is challenged, it may be because we are framing our personal narratives based on previous traumas. Dr. Porges offers these tools to self-soothe and to calm ourselves down after we have been triggered:

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