I get calls multiple times a week from stressed out parents and even more anxious singles wondering why they haven’t found lasting love. I have counseled hundreds of singles over the past 20 years and based on my research have narrowed down the answer to the following possibilities. Not everyone of these applies to all but perhaps one or two resonates and explains a little about why your dating life has hit a plateau.
- You are too stressed out
A dater needs to be fun! Someone positive and with whom others want to share their social time with. If you go into a date with an agenda like it’s a business meeting you’re not going to attract love. You may on the other hand strike a nice business deal . Don’t allow yourself to put too much pressure on any one date. Just say B-Bye it and let it be!
Dating is like searching for the perfect sofa . Every store that didn’t have what you wanted was one step closer to the store that sold you THE ONE. You get frustrated along the way but with each time you nixed the wrong one, you know more about what you are looking for and what your “perfect” sofa will look like. At least you don’t need to go back to that store, move on to the next and chalk it up to good research.
2. You aren’t selling yourself: Any realtor will tell you that if you want more bites, stage your house to sell . Clean out the clutter, bake bread, decorate tastefully. In dating speak this means both physically ( ie, clean shave, apply makeup, iron your shirt and then tuck it in ! Emotionally clear out the trauma from past relationships, from bad parenting, from toxic friendships and bullying. This way you are more likely to be a positive happy datable person.
3. You are boring: Well, you probably aren’t but you come across this way to the opposite sex. I know. It’s, harsh. But here are the facts. Watching Netflix and inviting friends over to chill doesn’t make for an interesting person. Find out what makes you special and stand out. You know you have something. Dig deep into what makes your personality sing . Do you enjoy taxidermy? Reupholstery? Macromy? Weaving? Do you make your own olive oil or sourdough bread ? Do you play the harmonica or mahjong ? Have you attended the Rocky horror picture show 700 times? Do you collect something that you’re proud of? Have you competed in any sport?
My husband who seems like the most boring scientist continues to shock me with his inane interest in Eurovision, to the extent that he took off work to volunteer as an usher when Eurovision came to Israel . He can talk passionately about it. Although I have little interest it, I love it when his interest is translated into happiness. The oxymoronic juxtaposition of a nerdy nueroscientist who loves pop music competitions intrigues all our dinner guests and makes for great conversation. Most importantly, when he’s happy this brings me joy too.
4. You struggle to see the person in front of you
Showing you have interest, sympathy and empathy for others, and that you need others is highly attractive. If during a date you noticed that you haven’t found out much about your date, it’s likely you’re spending too much time on yourself. Yes, we know, #3 isn’t your problem. but perhaps if you took time to catch your breath and ask your date about herself/or himself you’ll find they like you. Most people enjoy speaking about themselves, if given the chance. This will leave them feeling good about you after the evening. Allowing your date to feel you need them, perhaps even if for a little advice on wine picks, directions to the venue, or even their opinion on what you should wear, empowers them and makes them feel they are partnering with you.
A recent client of mine who always felt the need to be in control yet wanted her dates to take charge finally took a step back and let her date choose the location. While it wasn’t a spot she would ordinarily choose, she found it a pleasant surprise. She was so used to being let down by others that it was a healing experience for her to let someone else step in and take charge.
Ask yourself, if your need to do all the talking has something to do with a fear of letting go.
5. You Lack the Confidence to be YOU
This is a tough one and I can write an entire post on this alone. In the meantime, if this speaks to you, know you are not alone and this can be worked on. The first step in gaining more confidence is loving yourself. Allowing yourself the ability to be happy opens up many doors to self-fulfillment and lasting relationships, marriage as well as other life goals. Allow yourself to be flawed. Choose to be free from self-loathing. You have a lot to offer but don’t believe it yet. A great pointer for those still working on this vital task is to do things that challenge you and scare you. A client who was struggling to love herself took on a hobby that she wanted to do for ages. Making mosaics. She held herself back because she was frightened that the things she would make would look ugly and that others would shame her for it. By breaking free of this shame enabled her to do something she loved and boosted her confidence and made her feel better about herself. This in turn made her much more attractive.
6. You Objectify People
You struggle to go deep. You’re too superficial. You commit to a women because no one is physically attractive enough. Consistently focused on finding physical flaws hinders your ability to connect and take the relationship to the next level. You tell yourself, you just aren’t attracted to most people. The ones you are attracted to aren’t interested in you because they feel you are only into them for their looks. Being objectified is a real turn off.
If you struggle to go beneath the surface, get real with yourself and find out why. Being deep and intimate may be a really scary place for you. It may have felt really unsafe for a long time. There is no time like the present to tackle this issue so you can be your vulnerable self and be able to see a potential partner more fully.
7. You Care too much about what others think
You are so used to being judged. You are worried that your friends or community will judge the person you choose to marry. For some reason you’ve been taught to believe that other’s opinions are of greater value than your own.
8. Commitment Scares You: You’re afraid of committing to one person, after all you have so many needs that one person alone cannot meet them all. While this is true, who says the person you marry has to meet all of your needs.
You’re scared you’ll get bored. Or that someone else will come along that will make your head turn, that you will be unfaithful.
Perhaps no one has really ever committed to you, so the notion of committing to someone else petrifies you.
A client I worked with believed he had so many facets and aspects to himself how could one woman really do it all for him. He also had a history of being hurt by women in the past. The notion of these two things combined led him to believe that commitment was not for him. By exploring the pain and healing it, he was then able to create space for a woman who could really see him with all of his faults and still love him. He knows not all of his needs can be met, but knows how to manage what is most important to him and prioritize.
Micki Lavin-Pell is a professional Marriage therapist and Relationship Coach. Check out her website for more information about how she can greatly improve the success of your relationships: https://www.mickilavinpell.co.il.