Dating Downers


Is this another lonely Valentine’s Day?  Are you wondering when that special someone will come along for you?

No doubt, Valentine’s Day will bring some increased business for those dating websites.  This time of year can be so depressing.  The holidays came and went and those are always tough for people who are lonely and would like nothing better than to find their “soul mate”.  Just when you start getting past those lonely feelings, along comes February 14th to remind you, once again, that you do not have that special someone in your life.

What kind of date are you?  Do you go out on a date with an all or nothing frame of mind?  Are you expecting immediate sparks?  Are you someone who comes across as desperate, clingy, and needy?  Do you immediately tell your date that you want to get married, have three kids, a picket fence?  All without asking your date what he or she may want for their future?

If you are guilty of doing any of these things, you have to change your approach.  First, be open to meeting many, many people.  If you don’t meet your “soul mate”, you just might meet some new friends.  Be willing to have at least a few dates to get to know someone.  First dates are anxiety producing for some people.  They may not be able to show their best self and they might be afraid to give out personal details that might be intriguing or endearing to you because they don’t know you well enough.  They might need time to warm up to you.  Not everyone is the same.  Some people are not very confident or open right off the bat.  This is a where a second date is helpful.  Second dates can be a confidence booster.  The first date was for introductions.  The second date gives people a little familiarity.  On date two, they can clarify information they learned on date one, as can you.  Date three is often where people are more relaxed and able to show a more in depth look at their personality.  This is where one can usually find out if this is someone they want to know better or if they have seen something that makes you not want to build this relationship.  If the couple plans a fourth date, it is usually a good sign.  It means that both of you think the other person has the potential to become an important fixture in your life.

Second, go out with the mindset of not having it all planned out.  Believe that if you meet the right person, they might bring some new horizons to your path.  You cannot determine where your life will go with another person.  The other person gets to have some input, too.  If you meet your true love, you will be willing to move just about anywhere or keep any schedule that fits in your lives.  It will be about your lives, not your life, because it will be about the two of you and not just you.  Maybe you want three kids and they want four.  Maybe you want to live in the city, but they have always dreamed of living in the country.  I am not saying you have to change your life to be with another person.  What I am saying is that the two of you can come up with new dreams or a compromise of the two dreams or any number of things.  Be open to building a life with someone, not making them fit your mold.

Lastly, don’t be a downer.  Do not talk about how much you hate your ex or your trust issues or how angry you are over your divorce.  You can be open about all those things when you become close enough to someone that they can be a confidante, but when getting to know one another, anger and depression are not attractive or desirable qualities.  It’s no fun to listen to someone who is in struggle mode.  While those things may be happening to you, hopefully a new love will give you a different focus in life and not much of that hurt will exist for you any longer.

Dating should be an opportunity for you to have some fun and excitement and take a break from your problems.  It can be a chance to find out who you are when you are not part of a couple.  It is a learning experience; both to learn about who you are now and who it is that would be a good mate for you.

Don’t rush into a relationship just because you have to get through a few lonely Valentine’s Days and other holidays.  Enjoy the freedom you have to make good choices for your future.  Most importantly, live, laugh and love.  You will meet the one when you least expect to.  No matter how hard you look for love, it is often found when you are not really looking for it at all.


Image: arztsamui /

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