Dating While Jaded

One bad date is discouraging, two is annoying, and three or more bad dates can make you jaded.  Dating from this internal place is a waste of time and energy and can throw you into a downward spiral.  It can create a self-fulfilling string of more bad dates that leave you disheartened and make you want to give up on men entirely!

Please don’t write off half the human race.  There are great guys out there.

The key here is to make sure that when you do take the time and energy to go on a date, it’s worth it and at least pleasant. 

So we need to tighten up the filter on the dates you accept.

Listen to your gut about a potential date. If you’re doing it out of obligation or sheer boredom but you really know this guy has some “red flags” or “deal breakers” right off the bat, then don’t waste everybody’s time and money. Of course, it’s ok to give someone a chance that might be a few years older or a few pounds heavier than you thought you would want. But if you really don’t like how he looks, or he’s absolutely the wrong religion, or he lives 400 miles away, you’re not doing anybody any favors by going.  Single, available guys aren’t looking for new friends - they really aren’t.  If he wants to go out with you, he thinks you’re pretty, and there’s sex on the brain.  Don’t friend-zone him and string him along. It hurts both of you.

You see, even if you “knew it wasn’t worth it” before you went out, you will still be disappointed that some magic wasn’t there.

This experience just adds to the story of “there’s nobody out there for me.”  It’s much better to have an experience of “I really thought he had potential; not sure if he’s for me, but he’s really nice and has some qualities I like.” This kind of thing makes you feel like you’re “getting warmer.”

When you’re on a date, come from a place of Interest & Curiosity.  (Your two new best friends) Pay attention to how you feel around this person.  Remember that you are learning about yourself as well as him.  Does he get really negative when talking about relationships or some topic that’s important to you? Does the way he treats the server make you feel uncomfortable?

Is he super positive and you don’t quite buy it? Is that because you don’t trust him or because you could learn to be more comfortable with a positive outlook? These are interesting questions!

Dating needs to be fun! Like a game of “warmer/colder” when you were little; you’re finding your way to an excellent match for you.  You want to be “getting warmer” with each date if possible.

When you get home you should have some things to think about from both sides: what did you think of him and how much did he reveal about himself? What did you bring to the table or share about yourself? Did you learn about any new qualities you would really like in a partner?  Every date is a learning experience. 

Old Attitude:  Dating is an exhausting but necessary chore.  It’s a numbers game and eventually, with dumb luck, one of them might turn out to be great.

New Awareness:  Dating while jaded adds to the negative story and perpetuates bad experiences.  If I let myself get too jaded, I won’t even recognize a good one when he’s sitting right in front of me.

New Attitude: I’m excited to put myself in a position to meet a potentially awesome, loving match!

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Sophie Venable holds a Master's Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy, is a Certified Professional Coach, Author of MYLF 101: Make Your Life Fabulous and Founder of The Real Deal: Courses in Love & Life for Women.