Are you single and dating? Do you sabotage yourself or to use a cliché – ‘shoot yourself in the foot’ each time you meet someone new? This can be caused for by a number of factors/behaviours and if you want to be in a relationship it is important to work out what you are doing. In this article I am going to talk about one of these behaviours – desperation. There is nothing that puts people off more than desperation while dating. The funny thing about desperation is you may not even realise you are acting this way. You may try to hide it but people can sense or literally smell it!
Desperation takes many forms and you may not even realise you are coming across this way.
If you are telling yourself you ‘must’ meet someone or you ‘have’ to meet someone – it is likely that you will give off needy vibes. Desperation and panic screams out ‘I want and I need’. This will put anyone off!
Mark all the statements that apply to you:
- If I don’t meet someone by a certain age, I will miss out on having children.
- All my friends are in a relationship, why aren’t I?
- I need to be in a relationship to be successful.
- This relationship has to work, otherwise I am a failure.
- No-one wants to go out with me; or when they do they don’t agree to meet me a 2nd time.
- I need to make sure I keep them happy so they stay dating me; I hate being alone.
- I want to avoid getting hurt, when I start dating someone I am sure they will hurt me.
- I don’t want to be myself as I might lose them.
- My previous relationships haven’t worked out; why should this one?
- I can’t relax and enjoy dating – I want to know if there is a future or not. I am always looking for potential red flags.
- I don’t like the person I am when dating.
- It isn’t going to work; so I will break it before they dump me.
If you have marked as few as 3 of these statements it means you are desperate. Now desperation takes two forms – desperate to find someone or desperate to avoid getting hurt. If you have marked 1 to 6 you are desperate to be in a relationship and 7 to 12 you are scared you will be hurt again and want to avoid it at all costs.
Both of these forms of desperation are caused by fear and guess what? Fear enables you to make bad choices and display bad behaviour!
If you are scared of never finding someone it is easier to settle for the wrong person. Alternatively, if you are scared of being hurt you are likely to get hurt (you are creating this pattern) and you will miss out on great people due to your behaviour.
When it comes to behaviour, desperation causes people to act in ways that pushes others away. It may cause you to be anxious, put yourself down, it might cause you call or text the person too much looking for validation.
It is common for people to say this is how I am and I am not going to change. But if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten. If you want a different result you have to change your actions.
It is difficult to be aware of your internal thoughts but a good way to keep track is to keep a thought diary for a week. The diary will show you what you are thinking and how often. Then look at your thoughts and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this thought serve my best interests? Is it healthy to keep thinking this way.
- Would I tell a friend what I am telling myself? Would you reach the same conclusion about another person in the same/similar situation?
- Why do you act as if the thought was true if there is no good reason to believe it?
- Are you mistaking feelings for facts?
- Are you minimising success and maximising failures?
- Is this thought helping me have a state of mind where I will get the relationship I want/deserve.
If your answers to the questions are no then it is time to change your thoughts.
How do you change this? You need to change the way you think to produce a different outcome. You are in control of how you think, which means you are in control of how you feel and ultimately how you behave. Now we all know that when we change how we behave, we then change how people respond to us. Feelings and actions are the end product of what you say to yourself in your head. So don’t talk to yourself like your words have no consequence because they do!
One key thought to change is ‘there are no good singles out there; that you will never meet anyone’. Seriously if you are always telling yourself you won’t meet anyone, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Let me tell you there are a large amount of genuine singles out there looking for love just like you.
I know I talk about this a lot but you need to see yourself as incredibly valuable and that will mean others will start to see you that way as well. It takes practice and won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Have you ever watched shows like Antique Roadshow or even Dealers – I am often genuinely amazed at the perceived value of some of the items shown. When something is rare people are willing to pay anything to get it. When things are hard to get they appear more valuable, even though they aren’t any better. Think of designer handbags as an example, they may be made out of the same leather as another bag, yet people want them so much more!
How does this relate to dating – well you have to believe you are the rare item or the designer bag. This is all about confidence. Have you ever noticed how some people who may not even be as attractive as someone else can come into a room and have everyone wanting to talk to them? It is all down to their confidence and that they have a high perceived value. Desperation does not live where confidence does!
I have personally gone on dates where people have told me no-one wants to date them or that they are experiencing difficulty getting a second date. This automatically puts me off dating them – if no-one else wanted them; why would I! Alternatively I have been told by many men who have attended my events that they are put off by a woman who has dated a lot of guys. Why? Because it also indicates no-one wants her or that she is way too fussy/difficult. No guy wants a girl who is either of these things.
So don’t waste your time and energy worrying if people find you attractive, spend your time and energy on having a fun/enjoyable life which is in itself fulfilling. Know that you are awesome and worthwhile. When you work on improving your life and gaining great self-worth/self-love, you DO become more attractive, more interesting and have a higher perceived value. And most of all remember to chose your thoughts as carefully as you chose your clothes – always keep in mind you wouldn’t talk to a friend the way you do yourself. Desperation cannot life in this environment.