Dating is hard. There isn’t any hope. Men suck. Women are teases. Yada, yada, yada. Get over it!
Okay, so I don’t mean get over it—fully. But, there is something to be said about going into the dating world with persistent negativity. Whether complaining about the lies perpetrated in the name of online dating photos or just how handsy men can be on the first date, there seems no end to how much we loathe the whole dating scene. And in my eight years of being a relationship coach, I’ve noticed a pattern around five specific areas that I will affectionately call the Gripe Five. Which of these might you find yourself falling victim to? And, for that matter, what do you expect to get out of a situation that you’re always deriding?
The Five Gripes That Cripple Peoples Dating Lives
- Becky was a recent client of mine and she had what I call pre-cog disease. She could forecast a bad date before she even knew she was going on it. A large part of these psychic abilities stemmed from her history of bad dates and even badder boyfriends. And while some may consider this pre-cog stuff a gift, I guarantee you, none of them were the guys she would see on those dates. They didn’t stand a chance regardless of how funny, handsome or charming they were.
- Dan, a current client of mine, suffers from recency disease. In this, his views on dating were entirely attributed to how things were with the most recent person he dated. If she was a ‘B’ with a capital BITCH, it means the very next woman (or two) he would see were also bitches. And yet, there was Dan on the scene looking for someone to call his own.
- We’ve all had friends that suffered from comparison disease, as in, “I don’t see the point in looking since no one will ever be better than Mark was”. Yep, dating when no one can out-date the last great love you were dating is, well, fruitless.
- One of the most troubling to me is the fairy tale disease. In this problem area, someone finds it hard to want to date anyone because no one measures up to the needs in their own head. For these people, there hasn’t been a specific person to compare someone to but instead, the idea of a specific person. In my experience, folks who suffer from fairy tale disease have an over romanticized version of love, romance, sex, dating, etc.—perhaps from watching too many movies.
- By far the worst of the diseases is the “I’m not worthy” disease. As in, what’s the point in putting myself out there because “no one will want me”, “I am ugly” or any other variation of these words. If you don’t have confidence, there is no reason to be on the dating scene at all.
Please understand that I am not insensitive or indifferent to how difficult dating can be and I certainly understand it can be hard to get past bad things that have occurred. That said, it is important that one does not get back into the dating game unless they are truly ready to. If any of these dating diseases lingers for you than you are not ready.
For starters, each of these diseases can become a self-fulfilling prophecy as people can begin sabotaging potential relationships. In short, ‘what could be’ is taken out back, shot and replaced by ‘what is’ and ‘what is’ stems from incidents, experiences or views that have no connection to the present.
As well, for as long as the diseases linger, there will not be any healthy relationships in your future. This will only further your belief that your skepticism was valid. Sooner or later, we have a dating do-loop that cannot be stopped.
In closing, be honest and ask yourself if you suffer from any of these. If you do, look at the last couple paragraphs above and think about how you’ll be able to find a happy, long-term relationship if the disease continues in your mind.