By Stacy Ingraham, MSEd., LPCC-S
We date for a variety of reasons, primarily with hope of falling in love with someone who has similar values, interests, goals, and of course, chemistry. And when the topic of dating arises, a variety of feelings are evoked. There are more ways than ever to meet someone, yet so many of us are unsatisfied with and jaded about dating. So why does it have to be so hard?
Since we can’t change others, let’s take an honest look at ourselves. What might you be doing to sabotage your dating life?
-Do you listen to, and trust your gut?
-Are you a good listener? Be honest…do you tend to prepare your response while the other person is talking? Tend to talk about yourself and try to convince him/her that you’re a great catch?
-How are you at asking interesting questions?
-Do you put yourself out there (this can be especially tough for introverts)?
-Do you let the other person do all of the talking?
-Are you so jaded that you nit-pick every little thing that’s wrong, or could be wrong, about the other?
-Do you rush into relationship mode, instead of really take time to get to know someone?
-Do you date the same type of person, over and over again?
-Are you presenting yourself authentically? Or, are you making adjustments to fit into what others want, or you think they want?
How we meet someone becomes irrelevant when we don’t know how to engage people in meaningful ways, listen to our gut and do something about the red and green flags, and have clarity about what we really want. If you are struggling with dating, take some time for self-reflection and consider the following:
-Ask friends you trust for honest feedback.
-Meet with a therapist who will not only listen, but also give you feedback with support and compassion.
-Recommended books: Heart to Heart: Learning to Love, by Norman Shub and How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk, by John Van Epp