What If You’ve Never Felt Loved – Part 2

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

Advertisements

What If You’ve Never Felt Loved – Part 1

Something I saw on social media made me cringe:

To be loved, you must first love yourself. I love myself.

… said a person who has never been rejected before.

Society as a whole does not give honest advice to people who have had zero luck with dating.

People who felt loved as a child and accepted by their peer group usually develop the social skills and network that results in a steady stream of dates starting in high school or college (and it especially helps if you are good-looking). Some of these successful daters accuse Nice Guys of “seeking external validation” when they themselves have been validated all their life – with unconditional parental love, friends who cared for them, and dating success. Success begets success. Each social or dating success makes someone more confident and this confidence leads to more social or dating success.

Life Circumstances Matter

Imagine a successful dater reliving their life in an alternate reality, where they never feel love, where they:

  • come from a broken home with abusive parents
  • suffer relentless bullying in their youth
  • receive brutal rejections from each and every love interest
  • and maybe even have complete strangers walk up to them & whisper “you’re ugly”.

Surely, that would shred anyone’s self-esteem.

It can make them lose hope, spiral into depression, and/or develop an anxiety disorder. It can make them wonder what’s wrong with them.

Without friends or role models to understand healthy relationships and how to date, we should not be telling these people to “be yourself”. We need to give them solutions, which is what my blog is about.

“It’s All Your Fault That You’re Single”

To add insult to injury, some successful daters pile on and attack unsuccessful daters because of the “just world fallacy” – the idea that the world is fair and that unsuccessful daters are terrible people getting their just desserts.

Of course, this fallacy does not explain why serial killers receive more romantic attention than, for instance, Nice Guys – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybristophilia.

Additionally, this fallacy allows successful daters to live under the illusion that their success was in no way greatly helped by life circumstances that were handed to them; and that being perpetually single could never have happened to them because of their “sparkling personality”.

You could call them the Republicans of Dating – like the investment banker, whose upper class family bankrolled their Ivy League education, accusing all poor people of being lazy and lacking personal responsibility.

In Part 2, I describe solutions for improving dating success.