Why You're Probably Your Own Worst Enemy When it Comes to Dating
By Erika Ettin
About eight years ago, I found a job I wanted to apply for in California. I’d always thought I would move there to take a chance on a career in acting. After a lot of thought, I almost didn’t apply for the job for a number of reasons: I’m not the right fit, I don’t have the right experience, maybe I’m really an East Coast gal, and the list goes on.
And what if I got the job? I might have to turn it down in the end if I wanted to stay where I currently live, in Washington D.C. I was talking myself out of applying, or getting in my own way. But then I thought —why not give myself the chance to think about it and then turn it down after I get the job?
So, I applied… and I was rejected. But I’m still glad I gave myself the chance.
It’s the same exact thing when it comes to dating. We are our own worst enemies. We talk ourselves out of signing-up to online dating sites, out of writing the first message to a cute guy or girl, out of asking someone out.
We all fear rejection, but it’s not that bad in the end and may actually lead to some amazing experiences and get you to where you want to be - professionally or romantically.
Here’s How You Might Be Getting In Your Own Way When Dating:
1. You Focus Too Much on the Past
It’s more than okay to reflect on previous relationships—in fact, it’s encouraged—but when meeting someone new, he or she wants to feel like you’re fully present and not dwelling on your last relationship, for better or worse. I remember I once met someone for the first time, and all he did was bash his ex-wife. That was our first and last date.
2. You Tell Yourself That It’s Not Gonna Work Out Anyway
People often try to avoid rejection by not taking a chance, as I mentioned earlier. Stop telling yourself that he/she isn’t for you. You don’t know unless you try. In other words, if you go into the dating scene with the preconceived notion that you aren’t going to find someone for you, you’ve automatically hurt your chances. It’ll become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
3. You Project Bad Experiences Onto Others
Okay, so you went on one really bad date from an online site. This does not in any way mean that online dating "doesn’t work." It just means that you had one really bad date! Don’t penalize everyone online for that one dud. And don’t let that one dud prevent you from putting yourself out there again.
4. You Dwell on Every Little Flaw
People are flawed. It’s true. And the person you end up with will be flawed, too. What you have to figure out is which combination of perceived flaws you can live with and which you can’t. No one is perfect.
5. You Don’t Really Get to Know Them
If the end goal is to meet that one person who makes you swoon, then you have to take the time to get to know this person, without the distraction of other people online. While it’s nice to know that you have other options, you might be losing out on the best option to make sure you always have someone waiting in the wings.
Nothing is guaranteed in dating. There will be rejection, and there will be joy. There will be obstacles you can’t avoid. But throughout the process, keep an open mind and an open heart and try, as hard as it may be, not to get in your own way.