Being single is an exciting time in anyone’s life. There. I said it. It’s a chance to learn what makes you tick, to understand what you need out of life and discover the qualities you would dig in a future partner. It’s like a scavenger hunt to discover your inner happiness.
I know that not everyone may have the keen sense of relationship adventure I do. In fact, there are some people who may be locked into their negative perception on the whole meet and greet process. If you think like this, you might want to take a look at how you could be sabotaging your chances for love.
Are you the type who loses hope if a date doesn’t turn out the way you hoped? Do you judge every date as a possible marriage prospect? Do you try so hard to impress that you end up scaring the person on the other side of the table? If any of the above has rung true for you, there’s a chance you are taking dating a bit too seriously.
This can come from how past relationships ended, society pressures to be with someone and the a bit of our own minds to play the Negative Nelly role in our daily dramas.
According to Dr. Russ Harris, author of “The Confidence Gap,”the top five reasons most people lack confidence are “excessive expectations, harsh self-judgement, preoccupation with fear, lack of experience and lack of skills.”
“The trouble is, if you wait for the feelings of confidence to show up before you start doing the things that are truly important to you, the chances are you’re going to be waiting forever,” says Dr Harris.
According to Dr. Harris, negative thoughts are not inherently problematic. They only become issues when we get wrapped up them, funneling our time and energy into them as if they are fact.
In short, conquering your doubts and fears about the dating world may be as simple as a bit of confidence.
Confidence comes from experience and evaluation. In order to perfect a skill or sport, one needs to practice, practice, practice. Through the experience of meeting new people, we grow more comfortable with the idea of dating. Practice the skills you want and you will soon be throwing the perfect curveball.
By evaluating, in a very nice and non-judgemental way, how the date went and what you could do to take the next one to a higher performance level, you gain a bit of insight on yourself and the process.
Here are four tips to help you conquer some of your fears and doubts next time you consider approaching that cutie at the coffee shop or heading out the door for the first date:
1) Negative thoughts are natural — but they’re not alwasy helpful.
If you come down with an extreme case of the Negative Nellies — ask yourself if that is helpful. If it’s not, let the thought roll right out of your mind and focus on something that will boost your mood and put you in a more positive frame of mind. Acknowledge but resist the temptation to dwell.
2) Worrying Zaps Your Energy
Worrying is the fine-tuned mental process of predicting the worst out of a future outcome. Going into a first date with expectations for the worst — could very well produce those results. When you find yourself worrying, inject the best of all outcomes (within reason).
3) Show Up & Be Present
It’s easy to get trapped in our own heads when we should be wrapped up in the dinner conversation. You start to wonder if you are making a good impression or if she can see where you spilt coffee on your suit, you are missing out on the date. If you aren’t present, how can they get a good idea of who you really are? You will never know what is going through their mind so the best practice is to let these thoughts go and redirect your attention back to your date and the conversation at hand. By focusing on the now, you are laying foundation for a solid connection.
4) Avoid Measuring Yourself Against Others
Recognize that you are a hot ticket with a unique set of qualities and attributes. Believe you are special and you will attract someone who thinks the same thing. This also includes comparing your single status to those already in the throes of coupledom. Life has different paths for all of us. Yours is a different route to your own unqiue ending.