That secret is confidence and independence... and lots of it.
The act of dating -- of meeting new people and having someone to spend an hour with -- can provide relief from the loneliness that can sneak up on even the most independent of us. However, when we use dating as a cure for loneliness, our interactions with the person we're out with tend to take on much more significance than necessary. This makes the whole process a lot less fun.
When we're not feeling confident, we tend to seek validation from dating: validation of our attractiveness, validation that people like us, and validation that we're not alone. As a result, we tend to place a ton of pressure on ourselves to find-someone-right-now and fill the void. This turns each dating interaction into a pressure-filled pit of anxiety about whether or not they like us, whether or not we like them and, if we do, whether or not this person The-Next-One potential. Plus, regardless of whether we're interested in pursuing something with them, if they're not into us, it can cause some major self-esteem downward spirals. Yikes.
The secret is that those that enjoy dating don't place any weight on their interactions with those they date -- if it's fun, it's fun. If it's not, they don't worry about it. If someone doesn't dig them, it's a non-issue. If they don't dig them, it's no big deal. They accept it and move on, with no lasting blows to their egos. They know that even when they do get lonely, finding relief from randoms in the dating world isn't the way to go. Instead, they seek out quality time with friends, family and/or ferret out new social circles through taking a new class, volunteering or exploring a new hobby. They know that all of these are far better ways to combat loneliness and low self-esteem than seeking a lift from a stranger on a date.
So, the next time a date threatens to throw us into the depths of a self-esteem-trounce-athon, remember that we can choose to let the date throw us off our game and ruin our night, or we can let it go and move on.
Schedule some time with friends that make us laugh. Sign up for a marathon to finally hit those fitness goals we've been thinking about for the last two years. Because when we remember that we're in charge of how we feel and we're in charge of our own lives, happiness, confidence and independence, we're happier people -- who can enjoy dating.
Originally published by BounceBack, LLC on www.bounceback.com, where I'm the dating expert.