Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re either fed up with dating or desperately single. Or both. I don’t judge.
Let me first start off saying that: No, not all of the good guys are either gay or taken. No, not all men are assholes. No, not all women are sluts, bitches, whatever. Sure, some of that can be true to a certain degree—but a lot of your issues are self-inflicted.*
*The caveat here is that if you’re single and not complaining about it— this probably doesn’t apply to you.
Without further ago, here are 10 ways you’re sabotaging yourself in dating:
1. You’re Obsessive
‘You’re too much’ ‘You love too hard’ Whatever. That might be true, but most likely: You’re obsessive. You’re in love with the idea of being in love, and when you find someone that meets your bare minimum criteria (assuming, like most people, that you have criteria)—You dive in full force.
Only one month in, and you’re picking out baby names and the colour scheme for your wedding five years down the road.
Pause. Take a moment to enjoy the scenery, and see where your new metaphorical relationship train takes you. Stop trying to push it onto a different track, and appreciate the ride.
2. You’re Still Hung Up On Someone
This is pretty self-explanatory. You’re not over someone—whether it’s your friend, your ex, or the cute guy who works at the taco stand. That isn’t to say that you can’t love multiple people at once—but if you’re not over a previous relationship or the potential of what could be: you’re not fit to be in a relationship with someone else.
3. You Hate Being Alone
Yeah, being lonely sucks—but that’s not an inevitable constant when you’re single. If you hate being alone and always need someone by your side, you have some other issues going on. In order to be in a healthy, functional relationship—you need to be okay with doing things alone.
If you don’t enjoy spending time with yourself, why should anyone else?
Learn to be self-sufficient enough not to count on other people to solve your issues for you. Your loneliness is no one else’s problem but your own—so figure out why you’re lonely, and fix it. Or don’t. That’s completely up to you. But keep in mind: you’re stuck with yourself no matter what—single or not.
4. You’re Looking For #TheOne
I’m not saying that you have to settle for less than you deserve, but if you’re constantly looking for The Love Of Your Life ™, you’ll miss out on experiencing life. The One might exist—and if that’s the case, take the path you’re on until you finally get there. Live your life to the fullest, and don’t hold out if you find someone you want to experience life with.
Not all relationships are meant to last, so take them as they go. Stop putting added pressure onto your prospects to be anything more than they are.
5. You’re Not Genuine
You’re a different person with different people. Not only is that unattractive, but that shows that you’re not confident in who you are and what you stand for. Learn to be the person you want to be, and if people don’t like it—that’s not your problem. Don’t be the person that only tells others what they want to hear.
Learn to be unapologetic for who you are. You’ll attract the right people, and repel the wrong ones.
6. You’re Too Shallow
Having a preference is totally okay, but shutting people down only because they don’t fit that preference perfectly is pretty shallow.
Let’s pretend that you only date people your height or taller. One day, you meet someone who is a couple inches shorter than you—but is insanely cool. If you find yourself thinking, ‘Oh, man, I wish he was taller so I could date him.’—you need to rethink your priorities.
Riffing off of that—if your preference is fit men who eat clean everyday and go to the gym 6 days per week, you cannot feel entitled to that person’s time of day if you eat nothing but Doritos and binge Netflix fourteen hours per day, everyday. No, I don’t care that the newest season of Stranger Things or Orange Is The New Black was released. They’re allowed to have their preferences, too.
If you don’t have rock-hard abs, or a working knowledge of Quantum Mechanics (and aren’t working toward it), or whatever your must-have quality in a partner is—those can’t be deal breakers for you.
Hold yourself up to the same standards you hold everyone else to, and stop being a hypocrite.
7. You Play Games
Say it with me: Dating is not psychological warfare. Now, say it again.
Now, one more time for good measure.
If you’re seeing someone who makes you feel like you need to play games, stop and move on. You’ve already lost.
8. You Want Too Much, Too Soon
This ties into the first point. Let’s say you’ve been seeing someone for a few weeks, and they’re really great and everything—but you ‘don’t see a future with them’, or vice versa.
Take a step back. How well do you actually know this person? Probably not very well. Sure, you’ve likely shared some intimacy with this person, and you might feel close to them—but there’s still a lot more to learn.
Don’t give up on someone just because you don’t see a future right away. Take the relationship for what it is. Take the person for who they are, and keep learning. If a future happens—great! If not, that doesn’t make your time spent meaningless.
Wouldn’t you rather take the longer road and settle down with the right person, than move too quickly and regret your choices a few years later? Give people (and yourself) time. Contrary to popular belief—we have more than enough to spare.
9. Your Walls Have Walls
You’ve been hurt in the past and have a million different walls up—all with a unique, complex locks that only you know the codes for.
Get over it.
Stop romanticizing the notion that someone in shining armour should ride up on a white horse and scale those walls. That is an unfair expectation of anyone. If you really want a relationship to work with someone, you need to be willing to work on tearing down your own walls.
10. You’re Not Proactive About What You Want
If you know the kind of person you want to date, be proactive about it. Nothing comes from being a wallflower. If you’re interested in someone: tell them, but don’t put pressure on them to reciprocate. If you want to talk to someone, make the first move and do it. Learn to take rejection in stride.
There is nothing sexier than confidence.