Dating. The six letter word that throws men into hunting mode and women into a downward spiral. As Gen-Z women, we are conditioned to view dating as an experience that can most accurately be compared to getting a root canal, stubbing your toe, or getting a Razor scooter straight to the ankle - all varying degrees of pain, but painful nonetheless.
While our mothers and grandmothers were vehemently sought after - called, asked on proper dates, and, if it didn't work out, broken up with properly, we unfortunately do not tend to share the same experience in 2021.
And while many of us gals have woven "men are trash" into our daily vocabulary, the fact of the matter is, our dating problems actually have nothing to do with men.
GASP - I know, what the heck did I just say? You heard me right. While we love to incessantly rag on all the men out there for ghosting us, being emotionally unavailable, and frankly, not showing up in any of the ways we want, our problem actually stems from within ourselves.
I know! We don't want to hear this. How can we, being the true angel queens that we are, be the problem here? How can we - who have stable jobs, countless friends, a good relationship with our family, a self care routine, a therapist, with so much love to give be the reason we are still single? Well, buckle up if you're ready for the hard truth about what's really causing your dating downfall.
1. You're Teaching the Wrong Lessons
Listen - the fact of the matter is, we teach people how to treat us. The only way someone can continue to disrespect you, not follow through on their word, or not give you what you're looking for is if you continue to allow it. If he's not calling or texting you consistently, but you continue to answer when he finally gets around to it, you're teaching him that consistent communication isn't important to you and that behavior is acceptable.
If you're the one always putting in the effort (texting, initiating plans, etc.), that tells him that he doesn't need to put in any effort, or at least the bare minimum effort - the chase is gone, and so is his interest, probably. And while it shouldn't be a game, you want to make sure you're teaching the guy you're interested in how you want to be treated right off the bat. Many of us want communication, we want effort, and we want it balanced on both ends - so stop settling for less, because that's what you'll get!
2. You Don't Have Enough Self Love
Yup - this one hurts. Sometimes our relationships struggle because the most important relationship in our lives is struggling. To get psychological, we seek out people (both friends and romantic partners) who mirror how we feel about ourselves. If we don't feel worthy, we seek out people who confirm this belief about ourselves.
In contrast, when we feel happy and whole within who we are, we seek out people who reflect this as well. Basically, we are only "ready" for a romantic partner when we love who we are, otherwise we are going to not only tolerate BS from one person, but continue looking for these people to validate these negative beliefs. So, get to loving yourself ASAP!
3. You're Too Obsessed with the "Game"
As women, we try to steer clear of anything that makes us come off as "crazy", overbearing, or too interested, knowing that any hint of these will send men running for the hills. But, what drives us women crazy is the "game" we don't even want to play. Most of the time, we obsess over analyzing men's every move. What could his intentions be? Is he not texting because he's actually busy or because he just doesn't want to talk? Does he really want to see me or is he just saying that to keep me on the hook?
We obsess over the "what if's" of the situation rather than being straight up and asking! And another thing - actions speak louder than words, but we don't like to recognize this. We love to make excuses for their behavior instead of being honest with ourselves and addressing the red flags waving in our face.
We need to ditch the game playing and just be up-front about our intentions and what we're looking for. Although it's scary, wouldn't we rather know early on instead of wasting our own time on someone who isn't willing or ready for what we are? Let's quit stressing ourselves out and cut to the chase from the get-go.
4. You're More Interested in the Potential
As women, we're wired to think of the future, whereas men tend to focus on the present. When we meet a guy we're interested in, we hear wedding bells and start planning our kids' names sometimes before we've even had a second date (every man reading this is freaking out right now - sorry, it's the truth). But, where this gets us into trouble is when we start planning this imaginary future with a guy we barely know! We think he checks all of our boxes on paper, so he must be the one - but, like, is Chad from Bumble really it?
We're skipping the part of even getting to know the dude and coasting on his potential. This is a very dangerous word. When this happens quickly, we are so lovestruck over what we think this relationship can be that we are blinded to who he really is - which is someone who might not even be right for us! Take off the rose-colored glasses and try to ground yourself in the present. How is he actually behaving? What effort is he putting in? How do you feel when you're around him? Keep your daydreaming to a minimum if possible, and focus on the facts.
Is your ego bruised yet? If so, not to worry because many of us women are right in the same boat. It's time to take back our power and make dating work for us! Do you have any dating tips? Let me know in the comments - good luck out there!