Lies we tell ourselves about dating


Insecurity and low self esteem are common especially if you have been hurt in the past – it can take a long time to trust again. Dating again will bring things to the surface and it can feel nerve-wracking to step out of your comfort zone. The people who are successful at it are successful not because they are necessarily full of self confidence but because they have learnt override the negative self criticism and not take any notice of these common lies that we tell ourselves.

Everyone else can find love except for me

Being single in a couple’s world can be difficult especially if your attention is focussed on all the happy couples around you. Envy is a powerful force and believing this lie – consciously or unconsciously – will keep you stuck. The reality is that you can have a loving relationship – everyone is capable of loving but your negative view of yourself might actually be what is standing in your way. Looking too hard, or looking in the wrong places, can reinforce the lie in your head – every failure will reinforce the message until it becomes so painful to even try and go on a date you give up  trying – what’s the point?

One way of counteracting this negative belief is to look at your past – at relationships with friends, family and partners when things were good between you. Look at those relationships and what is good about them, why they work and how much fun you have when you are with people you know love you, and you them. You will soon begin to see that you are loved and lovable and therefore more than capable of developing an intimate relationship – you just haven’t met the right person yet.

I don’t deserve any better

This is a lie that people tell themselves to excuse all manner of bad behaviour from matches or dates – from being ignored online, stood up, spoken rudely to or generally disrespected. We teach people how to treat us and letting people treat us badly at the beginning will inevitably mean that they treat us badly later on but the consequences can be far more serious.

The bottom line is that people excuse other people’s bad behaviour, or try to ignore it, because they figure it is better to be with someone who treats them that way than to be on your own – it isn’t. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and courtesy – we should treat people as we would like to be treated – if you are treating someone well then you should expect the same treatment in return.

No one deserves to be lied to, played or let down by a date and if you are being treated badly by someone let them go and move on. Whatever it is that bothers you at the beginning of a relationship is likely to be the thing that ends it – if someone lies to you now they are unlikely to stop just because you get deeper into the relationship. It is better to be on your own and happy than to be unhappy in a couple.

If I don’t look it will go away

They say that love is blind and this is true to a certain extent – we do overlook flaws in people when we are falling in love – to us the object of our affection is perfect – but if there is a nagging doubt about something right at the beginning of a relationship like how much a date drinks, or the fact they never seem to have any money, or that some of the things they tell you don’t seem to add up – then you would be wise to sit up and take notice. Ignoring the warning bells won’t make them go away and sooner or later the problem will become so big that you will have to face it, better to do it at the start before you get too attached.

Don’t ever compromise on your ‘must haves’ and ‘can’t stands’, they are there for a reason and you are the only person who can uphold them – if you can’t stand smoking and you go out with a smoker because they are funny, bright and attentive you need to accept that they may never give up smoking – don’t fall for someone’s potential but for how they are now.

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