Three Dating Myths Exposed!

3 Myths Exposed

As we struggle to date effectively we are inundated with a steady stream of generic advice. “Be the best version of yourself. Be confident. Be happy on your own.” These phrases tend to create confusion. What is the best version of yourself? Most of us are only confident some of the time, what are we supposed to do when we aren’t feeling confident? How am I supposed to love being alone when I’ve been alone for the last 10 years?

Be the best version of you.

Everyone will have a different definition of what that is. What it comes down to is becoming a version of yourself that you’re happy with. A version of yourself that makes you feel at peace with the path you are on. This is not as simple as it seems because of course I will feel dread at the thought of having to do five more years of school. That does not mean I should quit going to school. I need to think about the end result. How will I feel when I get that final degree. How will I feel when I can introduce myself as a doctor? Discomfort is often required to reach a goal. The path of least resistance is not the universe guiding you to success it is you avoiding struggles for temporary comfort. Take the time to sit with yourself and picture yourself living your goal. Not only is visualization a powerful tool but it will help you clarify what you want and save you time from pursuing what you don’t want.

Be confident.

We know confidence is attractive.  Often serving to overcompensate for various shortcomings. However, we aren’t always confident. We do not want to lie to a potential partner and pretend to be someone we are not but we feel obligated to “fake it until you make it.” The unfortunate thing with insecurity is it has a domino effect. If I tell my partner every day that I worry about them cheating on me I will be planting a seed in their mind. Perhaps they will reassure and comfort me the first seven or eight times but eventually they will grow tired of my mistrust. Often times this leads a partner to cheat when perhaps they wouldn’t have if I had not given them the idea. “If I’m going to do the time I might as well do the crime.”

I’m not suggesting you ignore all your insecurities and put on an act. I am suggesting to choose your words carefully. Let’s take into consideration the apology. An insecure person will often apologize for various things. “I’m sorry I’m in a bad mood today. I’m sorry my hair is a mess. I am sorry the chicken is over cooked.”

Let’s say my partner has been helping me more than usual. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry I’m so much work,” I could say, “I appreciate you taking the time to finish this project with me.” Instead of saying, I’m sorry I talk too much, say “thank you for listening I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.” If I’m five minutes late to lunch perhaps I say, “thank you for your patience” or “thank you for waiting.”  Another common and problematic phrase is “I’m sorry I’m so messed up.” A better thing to say is, “thank you for helping me,” or, “thank you for your guidance.” A slight change in wording can make a huge difference.

Be happy on your own.

This is one of my least favorite pieces of dating advice. Should we love ourselves and enjoy spending time alone? Yes. But nothing is more frustrating than spending 10 years alone only to have a close friend inform you that the reason you haven’t found anyone is because you’re not enthusiastic enough about being alone. Being alone can be wonderful. I am an introvert. I love being alone. I need it to refuel. I love binge watching Netflix or turning my bathroom into a spa and pampering myself but we’re taking it too far when you expect someone to be enthusiastic about spending another birthday alone. Wanting them to be happy that they have no family on Christmas. It is ok to be sad and lonely.

There is a difference between someone who can not be alone with their own thoughts for five minutes without self-destructing and someone who truly enjoys being alone but also want someone to share the ups and downs of life with. We need each other. We are not designed to be alone indefinitely. You do not have to wait for some imaginary time in which you’re completely healed and happy skipping through a field of daisies. You should enjoy your alone time but it is also perfectly normal to crave a partnership. You can be actively working on yourself and seeking a partner at the same time.

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