Let a therapist say their piece for a minute…

Under no circumstances do I claim to be an expert on all things related to dating/relationships, but I have some reflections based on my clients’ experiences as well as personally, when I have been in the dating world (spoiler alert: some of these may be hard to hear, I’m reminding myself of these things too, we all need some hard, cold facts sometimes). If it helps, great, if it doesn’t, leave it. In either case, enjoy!

  1. Say what you mean and mean what you say – Words are powerful; they can build us up, give a sense of security or tear us down and kill our confidence. Stop using your words as a way to make yourself feel better about you, trying to be someone you’re not to fit into the other person’s mold, or try and and dictate a situation/assume another’s “true” intentions with your passive aggressive and intrusive lines of questioning – actually be clear about what your expectations are, you may be surprised to find that others are willing to be honest when they see how open you are being with them. Stop wasting people’s time and your own chasing people who aren’t compatible with you and don’t want you. You deserve better!!!

  2. Shoot your shot – You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, right? (care of M. Scott/W. Gretzky) Stop living in fear and take a risk. You already know the worst that can happen: they say “no.” That’s it. At least you know and you can move on. Too many of us are stuck wondering what might have been. Stop doing that to yourself, you missed your shot but you don’t have to miss the next one! PS – if they say no, they have their reasons and they are under no obligation to share that info with you. You may not get the closure you want or feel you deserve, so stop obsessing and use it as a learning experience. That’s all you can do.

  3. Consider others’ feelings – At this point, we all know how it feels to be emotionally invested, even if it’s just texting or chatting online, and get our hearts broken when someone ghosts or disappears without explanation. Remember the golden rule: do unto others! If you don’t like that feeling, why would you do it to someone else? People have feelings and deserve at least the smallest amount of respect shown to them. If it’s not a fit, say so! If the person is a hot mess of red flags and has more baggage then a Coach outlet, politely bow out. It’s not your job to point out their flaws to them (and imagine if someone were to do the same to you! Yikes!!).

  4. Be an adult – People are more resilient than we give them credit for. I know you think you are just the best thing to ever happen to this person and your rejection will probably send them into a depression spiral of which they may never recover, but I promise, they will get over it. Don’t get me wrong, you’re great, but even if it hurts in the short term, people appreciate honesty. The anxiety you feel about having that confrontation, I promise, will be much better once you’ve just addressed it. Pull the bandaid off quickly, don’t drag the whole thing out. It makes it worse for everyone involved.

  5. Getting hurt is inevitable – This is the hardest for all of us to hear, but a fact if life: all relationships will eventually end. Stop. Read that again. ALL relationships WILL eventually END. But we can choose to enjoy the good times in the moment, have fun getting to know other people, and learn more about ourselves in the process or miss out because we’re so focused on wondering when/how it might end. It will end; stop letting that fact hold you back from appreciating the here and now. People leave, they change, they lie, they can be terrible and mean because they are people and are flawed, just like you! If you are too afraid of getting hurt, you can’t experience the joys of having those new relationship feels, first kisses and making love for the first, fifth, or five hundredth time. No one knows the future or can predict what might happen within a relationship (or in the world, exhibit 1: global pandemic and quarter year lockdown) so strap in, put on your protective equipment, and enjoy the ride!!!

  6. Stay positive! Dating sucks, we get it already. The biggest turn off, at least in my opinion, is the saltiness of someone who is unbearably negative and jaded from their past dating experiences. We get it, people used you and treated you unfairly, get in line! Don’t use your opportunities to chat up potential dates as a group therapy bitch sessions about the process of dating. If you don’t like it, stop. Take a break. It’s easy to get discouraged and sometimes we may need some time to reflect and re-evaluate our priorities. It’s not a failure, it’s a necessity. Take care of yourself and assess where you may be falling short before you point fingers all around blaming the process or the system for your own shortcomings. You might be the problem, it’s okay. Accept it and work to change it. Seek counseling, ask friends’ advice, journal, introspect. At the end of the day, you have you, be the best possible you for you! A relationship will not make you whole or fix your problems, it only distracts from the actual issues. Again we all make mistakes and can improve, the best we can do is remain hopeful and look forward.

We got this!!! Hang in there everyone 🙂

submitted by /u/leagueofposers

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