“There’s no decent men left to date.”
“Women only want flashy guys with lots of money who mess them around.”
“Dating websites/apps are full of shallow/shady people and people don’t go out anymore.”
“Men in their thirties, forties, fifties and beyond are only interested in [women who are younger than me].”
“All everyone wants to do is screw around and never commit.”
“I’m not gonna find love. It’s too hard and I can’t afford to get hurt again.”
“Whether I go out with men or women, this whole dating thing is impossible.”
This is just a selection of the very common objections that I hear from men and women who are dating and trying to forge relationships. Sometimes I’ll have someone use several of these objections in quick succession.
Let’s forget about romantic relationships for a moment and pretend that we’re talking about applying for a job.
“There are no decent jobs left.”
“Employers only want [people who are very different to me].”
“Recruitment websites/apps are only full of crap jobs and companies don’t really advertise jobs anymore.”
“No matter what age I am, employers are looking for someone younger.”
“All companies only want to offer zero-hour contracts.”
“I’m never going to find a job/a job I love. It’s too hard and I can’t afford to get rejected/disappointed again.”
“No matter what job I do and how I do it, this whole seeking employment thing is impossible.”
Does this sound like someone who wants to get a job, who believes that that they can and will get a job eventually? Some of these objections sound like excuses not to even bother trying to look for a job or to stay in a job while complaining about it.
What type of energy do you think that this person would bring to their job search? Would they feel optimistic with awareness that it might not be easy and that there would undoubtedly be effort and disappointments involved, or would they be heavy-hearted with lots of negative chatter crowding in? How would this sense of defeat affect which jobs they applied for or how they come across in an interview? Is this person open or closed to the possibility of finding a job that resonates with them?
Our relationships begin even before we meet the person we become involved with. Our relationships are founded on the one we have with ourselves and this means that we have to consider the thoughts that we feed us and the way that we treat ourselves.
The person who says they’re looking for a job while already having written off the possibilities, has made up their mind in advance and this has a significant impact on what comes next. It’s the same with dating.
All of the above dating beliefs tell you about the way these people feel about themselves. They tell the story of past experiences that they’re fearful of recreating.
If you have already decided that you’re not going to find love or have decided that there are no decent available partners left, why are you on a dating website or app? Why are you trying to meet people while out and about? What is the purpose?
Are you dating and proceeding into relationships because you feel as if it’s what you ‘should’ do even though you don’t want to?
Are you doing it to get you off your own back so that when it all goes wrong you can tell you that you were right that it’s a waste of time or that you’re not ‘good enough’?
There is no point in dating from this place. You’ve already made up your mind. You’re looking to confirm not to be open to learning or truly participating.
You’re either dragging your feet to dating like the teenager that doesn’t want to go to family functions and passive-aggressively participates or you’re punishing you for what you feel is wrong with you and that’s a bloody awful way to treat you.
Think about it: If you already think that dating sucks, that the Dating Apocalypse came and wiped out every decent available partner, and that basically, you don’t stand a chance, are you going to be open-minded, dating with awareness, and showing up or, are you going to be skeptical, guarded, and wary of putting ‘too much’ of you into it? This all affects the type of partner you will settle for.
People who don’t rate their chances or who think that the dating pool is full of low quality partners, lower their boundaries and standards to accommodate this thought process, which inadvertently reaffirms the negative beliefs and puts them in a vicious cycle. They set themselves up to fail.
If you don’t end up settling for less, you might become jaded and even terrified of dating after too many bad experiences and avoid it, or you will feel at odds with people who don’t chime with the beliefs that you have. This means that you might meet somebody who on some level you recognise fits with your pattern and beliefs but then proceed anyway as a means of trying to be the exception to the rule and then feel wounded, or because you feel attached to how you see things, write off someone different to your pattern as “boring” or “too nice” or “lacking chemistry/passion”.
Dating isn’t easy and it becomes exceptionally tough when we are unaware of where we are getting in our own way and setting ourselves up to fail.
Before you write off love, relationships and yourself, take a good look at your relationship pattern and acknowledge where there are similarities either in how your partners act, the circumstances in how you meet, how the relationship unfolds, the way that you act, think and feel around them, and whether this reflects any similarities with a parent/caregiver or even a past bully.
Patterns always have a ‘type’ in there so running into problem after problem with your type is life’s way of telling you that whoever you’re chasing in one package (and possibly trying to right the wrongs of the past with), it isn’t for you. Whether it’s someone else’s vision for you or the manifestation of what you’re trying to avoid or reclaim from the past, repeatedly being involved with variations of the same person and/or experiencing variations of the same habits of thinking, feeling and behaviour, is a message from life telling you to let go of your type and what you think a relationship partner looks like. It’s telling you to let go and expand. It’s telling you to ‘correct’ your assumptions and beliefs.
It doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter disappointments with dating but instead of feeling wounded that you haven’t been on your last date, you know that you have let go of what isn’t right for you so that you can be available for what is.