By Mary Andersen | BlackDoctor.org
If you’re single, you’ve probably asked yourself (and your friends, and your family, and possibly even your pet) why you can’t seem to find anyone.
So what’s the real answer? Why do you always seem to be unhappily alone? Chances are your friends and family may have been more than generous in offering up suggestions and advice that may or may not be all that accurate. Chances are you suspect that you’re just a bad date, or the sort of person that just has no dating luck. But before you continue beating yourself up, take a look at what you’re thinking. You may simply be suffering from a case of dating negativity.
How Positive Are You?
Many experts say that what’s most important isn’t actually happens on dates; rather, the most important element is your attitude about love, your dating style, and the energy you’re radiating in the presence of your matches. It’s a theory that Martin Seligman, Ph.D., the father of positive psychology and author of Authentic Happiness calls your “explanatory style.” He says that pessimists explain their problems as pervasive (“No one likes me”), permanent (“I’ll be alone forever”) and personal (“I’m not gorgeous enough”).
According to experts like Seligman, you’re far more likely to land in a great relationship if you’re an optimist. What does this mean? You need to start looking at your negative dating experiences as “atypical,” “temporary” and “not about me.”
Here, for example, are some of the most common (and frustrating) reasons that people believe they aren’t going to find someone to date – and what qualities you should try harder to focus on instead…
1. Don’t Say: “Nobody is looking for someone like me.”
This is a “pervasive” way to look at your situation, declaring that your single status is both far-reaching and without exceptions. But look at what you’re really saying: nobody is looking for someone like you. That is just plain wrong! Take the “specific” point of view instead: for whatever reason, the last few failed dates you had were, indeed, looking for someone different — but so were you! You want someone who loves and appreciates your unique qualities and one-of-a-kind laugh, right? Then keep your eyes peeled for that person. You two just haven’t met yet.
What To Do: Give yourself a chance. Being happy alone does not happen overnight, especially if you are a recovering codependent. There will be times that you feel like you’re invisible, no one will ever love you, you’re wasting your life, and a whole lot of negative self-talk.The best thing to do is to take yourself for a walk or on a date.
Learn how to cheer yourself up. The better you get at being alone, the better you will be at being in a relationship. For some, it is extremely difficult to cater to your own needs. Are you one of these people that will happily cook if someone is over but if it is just you, crackers and peanut butter will suffice? Make the effort to cook for yourself. Seriously, this is one of the most self-loving things you can do for yourself.
2. Don’t Say: “I’m cursed. I’ll never meet anyone.”
This your way of thinking of your current single status as “permanent” — and it’s obviously not true. You meet lots of new people all the time. You just haven’t met anyone lately that inspired romantic feelings in you, which is more common than you think. As a dating optimist, look at your permanent “table for one” reservation as a “temporary” seat at the bar instead. From now on, tell yourself the truth: “I haven’t met anyone I like yet, but I will.”
What To Do: Learn To Relax And Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously. Your singledom will not last a lifetime. The worst thing you can do is panic and think you have to find someone immediately or your life is over. This air of desperation is by far the most debilitating energy to bring into a new relationship with yourself or with anyone new. It makes you blind to obvious red flags and puts you in all kinds of compromising situations.
Be happy to have been given this special opportunity to get to know yourself. Look at it this way: if you are uncomfortable spending time alone with yourself, what makes you think anyone else will feel comfortable spending time with you? Read more on BDO