Yesterday in part one, I shared part of an email from Barbara 41, who believes that all the good guys are gone, is reliant on online dating, she’s not attracted to the men who are attracted to her, and believes that age and how successful she is are critical factors in drawing the conclusion that she’s been left with “the sh*t”. In that post I talked about the impact of negative mindset which has far reaching consequences not just for dating but how you try to forge relationships and who you’re attracted to. There were some major nay sayers in the comments and yet here is the thing – I am not saying anything different to what I say in every single post on this blog. The message hasn’t changed.
Have an honest conversation with yourself and get real about who you are, what you want, and your expectations to ensure that you are not only acting in your own best interests but that you are not engaging in counterproductive mentality and behaviours.
Relationship (or dating) insanity is having the same beliefs, carrying the same mentality, going after the same ‘type’, ‘compatibility’ and ‘common interests’, having the same relationship pattern, the same life routine, the same plausible excuses and expecting a different result.
If conducting your dating and relationship life as is, works for you, then don’t change. But if it’s not working for you then the onus is on you to change as you are the only common denominator and the only real factor you can influence.
Unless you’ve never had the ‘priviledge’ (I say that very loosely) of being with an assclown or Mr Unavailable, if you are attracted to, have been involved with, and have a consistent habit of being involved with these guys and have held onto relationships with them, it’s very fair to say that whatever you think ‘attraction’ is, it’s not healthy – you’re attracted to the wrong things so you cannot continue to use that old chestnut of ‘But I’ve gotta be attracted to them’.
If you can hand on heart, with 100% honesty say that you have boundaries, healthy love habits, have no attraction to Mr Unavailables and assclowns (that’s not attracting them, I mean actually being attracted to and becoming involved with them), personal security, a full life that isn’t dependent on your relationship status, positive beliefs about love, relationships, and yourself, and have not stuck to the same routine and tried and tested route, then go ahead and say that there are very few decent men to date.
It’s beyond the scope of this post to go majorly into the whole ‘attraction’ thing but read my posts on 10 reasons why women choose men and why they shouldn’t, my extensive posts on compatibility, type, and common interests, as well as my post on ‘But we have so much in common!, as well as positive woman equals positive relationship. If you still think that you’re still thinking that you’re good to go, let’s talk.
But moving on to the online dating aspect, here’s something interesting:
Almost all of the women who’ve emailed and professed how difficult it is to meet decent guys do online dating, often relying on it as their dominant method of meeting men.
Here’s the reality: If you use dating sites, your opportunities to meet 1) Mr Unavailables, 2) assclowns, and 3) con artists trying to get you to transfer money from your bank account significantly increases. Significantly.
Barbara said that she has to do online dating. She doesn’t. Not being funny, but the internet and dating online has only been around for a portion of her dating life. If you couldn’t use dating sites for 3,6 months or even a year, what would you do with yourself? How would you go about meeting men?
Much like when I wrote about ‘Getting Out of Stuck: What are you doing to help bring love into your life?’ and I used the example of a reader who had every excuse under the sun why her plans to adapt her very routine lifestyle hadn’t come to fruition, Barbara’s life is centered on working at her very successful career, the gym, supermarket, visiting the same bars and restaurants, looking around hopefully at work events, and spending a significant amount of time online. This has been her routine for several years and life is pretty much about work and finding a man. Really, it’s like waiting for ‘fate’ to intervene and just letting life happen to you.
I’m not saying don’t date online. What I am saying is that online dating doesn’t control the dating universe. It doesn’t represent ‘all there is’ and because of its proliferation and its adoption by people who have an allergy to the truth, really decent prospects get drowned out by the noise. Online dating is an option but it’s not your only option and I wouldn’t bank on it.
If you’re going to stick with online dating, you need to be street smart, relationship smart, resilient, and be prepared to put up with ‘rejection’ and disappointment and be able to move on.
If you’re the type of person that hopes ‘this might be the one’ each time you meet a guy or mourns the loss of every guy you meet from the guy who said he’d call but didn’t to the one you went on three dates with, to the one you dated for a year, I’d suggest you steer clear of online dating.
It’s very difficult to gauge boundaries, values, and really how genuinely attractive someone is and how ‘viable’ they are for a relationship from a dating profile.
A key issue in a lot of the struggles that we have with relationships is tied up in illusions so if you are predisposed to see platinum where there is copper and you bet on potential, cling to illusions, and don’t process things like red flags to ensure that your feet are firmly in reality, online dating will just add to your virtual reality and make things even messier.
Much like I said yesterday, we tend to see what we think and believe. At this stage, anyone who is online dating needs to take it as a given that they are likely to have to wade through a lot of doo doo to get to a potentially decent mate. This is called 1) managing your expectations and 2) being realistic.
I would use online dating in addition to being out in the real world forging real connections and getting on with your real life because the trend for conducting your dating life behind the comforts of your PC/Mac is a protective measure.
Many people use online dating because it feels like a ‘safer’ rejection than going out there and risking a ‘harder’ rejection but the difficulty is that too much reliance on it will stop you from really putting yourself out there.
It’s pretty easy for things to get distorted when finding a man and your discontent about the fact that you haven’t found one become the focal point of your thoughts.
If you don’t have a man, and you really, really want a man, and you’re investing a lot of your efforts in online dating and coming up short with dubious men, you’re bound to feel disillusioned. Be careful of that desire to be the exception because that translates online too where we unwittingly expect a fairy tale ending where some guy online makes us the exception and we run off and live happily ever after. Your prince is not two clicks away…
Making getting a man your vocation ends up becoming that scenario where you feel you’re underperforming at your job.
*If I said to you that you might have to make contact with hundreds of men before you might meet someone who ‘resonates’ with you, would that put you off online dating?
*If I said to you to chat to and meet up with guys that you would not ordinarily chat to and who you hadn’t imagined yourself with, would you do it, whether it was on or offline?
I’m not with the guy I thought I’d be with, but prior to me getting wise about myself and emotional unavailability, unbeknowst to me, the qualites and characteristics that I was attracted to screamed Mr Unavailable or even assclown. I haven’t dumbed down or sold out – I’ve ended up with someone infinitely better. Read my post on Forget Mr Good Enough.
In reality, strangely enough, most of the dodgy guys online don’t conduct themselves all that differently to how they do in real life.
They often want to go from 0-180 miles per hour – you say hello at 9am and by the end of that day you’ve spoken several times and there’s already been something sexual mentioned or he’s making veiled comments about how you sound like the perfect woman for him. There’s also the type that make contact then disappear, then reappear, then a flurry of contact, and then disappear. There’s also the type that even when you’ve been in touch for a while and are even dating, they’re active online, hitting on other women. Or you meet them and they say and do things that are in contradiction to things that they have professed in their profile.
Online dating isn’t a science and I think at this stage there’s an element of luck and you also need to have a rigourous admissions policy – doors closed to people who exhibit dodgy behaviour and are too forward, too intense, and reminiscent of other people from your dating past.
Online dating caters to the misguided ideas about compatibility, type, and common interests with your profile and shopping list of requirements – you may be looking for things that are surplus to requirements, or filtering out people who offer better prospects if you’d only give them the time of day.
The reality is that we are often compatible with ridiculously inappropriate behaviour that’s incompatible with a healthy relationship, plus people who have ‘type’s tend to have a ‘toxic type’, and it’s all very well having shared interests but if they don’t add to the relationship and you don’t have fundamental common values, the relationship will not work.
Again, it’s not a case of that there are no good men to date or that all the good men are gone. It’s hard out there (I think people in big cities like LA, NYC, or even London come up against a lot of headache) but let’s be honest and say that on some counts, we make things harder for ourselves.
And I want to stress – nobody is asking you to be a happy clapper but you do need to ensure that your beliefs about relationships, love, and yourself are congruent with seeking a healthy relationship. When I do consultations with readers, I ask them to let me know their 3-5 core beliefs about themselves, love, and relationships – incredibly revealing and often scarily contradictory.
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