In Part 1, I described what it’s like to have had a rough past without any dating luck. In this second part, I describe solutions.
As a counselor once told me, think of the past as a book written about someone else and that that book cannot change. The only thing that we can do is change the present for a brighter future:
- Acknowledge that your past was bad: and that you faced challenges that other people did not face. Recognize that sometimes, or maybe oftentimes, you were a victim of things out of your control.
- It’s time to ditch those unhelpful thoughts: You’ve been miserable long enough. It’s time to drop self-fulfilling prophecies like “it’s so hopeless that there’s no point even trying” and magical thinking like “I’m having no success now but if I do nothing, someday I will somehow be successful”. Another one is “it’s too late because change will take X years” but then you wait X years, again arrive at the same conclusion, and wait another X years.
- See a counselor: You are amazingly strong for having survived through all this pain. But you need a support system especially if you need to grieve and come to terms with the past. Unlike people who don’t understand you, counselors with their training and perspective can give you objective, well-informed advice about how to fix things.
- You control your life: You were a victim but it’s time to play with the cards you’ve been dealt with, rather than the cards you wished you had. You can actually exert a surprising amount of influence over most aspects of your life. Yes, there are some things you can’t change but you can change a lot. If you aren’t naturally attractive, work on your hair and clothes. If you aren’t educated, start looking into night-time community college classes. Pursue self-improvement by doing activities to build confidence and meet people.
- Stop saying why change won’t work: Life consists of millions of events that each have a miniscule chance of helping you get a date. So you want to seize as many opportunities as you can so that the chances add up. Real and enduring change is difficult and takes time. Stop believing things like “online dating has too many men so it’s not worth trying”, “I’m not rich so I have no chance”, or “everyone at my age is taken or undesirable”. Your situation is challenging but doing nothing will guarantee you failure.
- You don’t have to be attractive, rich, or extroverted: Of course being these things helps you immensely with dating. But there are plenty of average, introverted people who are successful at dating and they are subject to the same rules in this game of life as you. And regarding introversion, you can try to be a bit more social but you don’t have to pretend to be the life of the party to be successful. I’ll write more about authenticity in a later post.
Until next time my friends, keep dating!