Does dating just seem too hard at the moment? Are you finding that, despite all your best intentions you are not having any dating success? Do you go cold at the idea of sitting opposite a stranger and talking about yourself?
Well, you may not be ‘date ready’ right now.
This is not a permanent situation, just an observation of your current state and with a few adjustments you can be back on the path to date-readiness.
Psychologists often consider human behaviour from three perspectives:
- The cognitive (your thinking)
- The emotional (your feelings)
- The behavioural (your actions)
When we apply this to the world of dating, it helps us understand the three different ways we can prepare ourselves for dating success. This approach is also helpful in spotting our own blocks and the ways we might be sabotaging our own dating experience.
So let’s take a deeper look.
Sign # 1 – Your inner voice says NO
Cast your mind back to your most recent dating interaction. Maybe it was online or in person, it doesn’t matter, just bring this experience to mind. Now, try to recall the thoughts that ran through your mind during this exchange. What were you telling yourself about the person, the situation or the potential?
Our self-talk is a very powerful tool and it can either facilitate or undermine our dating results. The science tells us that our thoughts create feelings and our feelings create our actions. So, if you go along to a date saying things to yourself like “He won’t like me, I’m too fat/old/unfit/uneducated…” or “She’s too attractive for me, I don’t deserve her”, you are most likely sabotaging your own results.
CLICK HERE to listen to a story that illustrates the power of self-talk in dating.
The key here is becoming mindful about your self-talk. It often occurs automatically at a sub-conscious level so we don’t even realise its happening. Take a moment before each date to stop, reflect and listen to the words you are saying in your mind.
- Are they based on reality or an irrational fear?
- Is there any evidence to support this train of thought?
- Will this line of self-talk help or hinder your dating success?
- How do you feel when you say these things to yourself? Does it build your dating confidence?
If you are aware that your self-talk is negative in relation to dating, this is a sign that you may not be quite ready to be out there in the dating game. Spend some time investing yourself and examining your thought patterns. Challenge your thoughts and create a more helpful line of thinking.
You might like to create a dating affirmation to repeat to yourself when you notice the negative thoughts creeping in. Something like “I am a warm and generous person and I am in the process of finding my ideal, perfect partner” would work well.
Sign # 2 – Dating feels WRONG
Do you ever notice that when you connect with someone online or meet them for a first date, your gut tells you it’s all wrong? Have you felt that your levels of pre-date anxiety, fear or trepidation are higher than other peoples’? Does your body physically respond to the idea of dating with unpleasant symptoms?
Your intuition may be telling you that you are not quite date-ready. Although it’s totally normal to have a certain level of pre-date jitters and we all feel nervous at the prospect of meeting a potential partner, when your emotions take over it’s time to give yourself a break. If you are being totally driven by your emotions and not able to see the ‘rational’ side of things, it’s probably not a great time to be dating.
- Take some time out from your dating journey
- Check your self-talk; is this creating negative emotions?
- Review your relationship history and ask yourself, have I let go of the past?
Dating is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. If it is not, it can be a good idea to step away from the dating scene for a while and instead, invest the energy in yourself. Do what makes you feel strong, positive and confident.
Sign # 3 – You keep making the same dating mistakes
Some people fall into unhelpful dating patterns. They keep dating the ‘same person in different clothing’ or consistently choose the unavailable partner or they keep attracting people who bring out their worst. Has this ever happened to you?
Negative dating patterns can be a sign that you are not in a good place to be dating at the moment. Although it might feel good to blame others and say things like “All men cheat” or “Women are too needy”, you will be more likely to overcome this funk by taking some personal responsibility for the situation.
Often, poor dating choices are based on our past experience. Whether it’s a reaction to our parent’s relationship or our own relationship experience, this can have a deep impact on our capacity to build positive relationships. If this sounds familiar to you, I’d recommend seeking out a psychologist to help you unpack the past and create a more helpful and positive dating mindset.
So ask yourself, ‘Am I date-ready?’ and if the answer is no, step out of the dating spotlight for a while to invest in yourself and create a better psychological foundation for your dating success. If the answer is yes, go for it.