Getting out of the bad dating cycle

The latest installment of relationship advice from GT Date.

If you’ve been down the dating rollercoaster a few times, then you probably already know this pattern: you feel lonely, you head to the dating site to find someone, you go on a few dates, are disappointed with the results and decide you’re better off on your own.

You become accustomed to being single and start enjoying your life, but then you hit another low, feel lonely and go back to the dating sites. The cycle then repeats.

This pattern is so common that someone recently even made a flow chart detailing it. Obviously, this is not the ideal situation. So where does it all go wrong?

The problem may lie with the fact that when you’re happy being single, you’re probably not going to be actively looking for someone to date. By the time you’re looking, you’re most likely feeling lonely, insecure, maybe even desperate. None of these emotional states is very conducive for finding a healthy, long term relationship, is it?

In self help circles, people talk about two ways you can go about achieving a goal. One way is running towards something, while the other is running away from something. For example, if you’re in a job you hate and want to improve your skills so you can apply for your dream job, then you can motivate yourself by thinking of how much you hate your current job (which you want to run away from) or by thinking of how much you’ll enjoy your new one.

In general, it’s agreed that working towards a goal is more beneficial than running away from a current bad situation. It makes for more positive thinking, for one.

Imagine someone on a diet. Would they get better results by thinking of how much they hate their body now or by working towards a more positive body image?

Dating is no different. If you’re looking for someone because you’re trying to run away from loneliness, you’re not likely to do as well as someone who’s generally happy and is looking to share his happiness with someone special.

So if you’re caught in this all too familiar pattern, I suggest you try completely reversing it. Next time you’re feeling fab about your life, your friends and being single and happy, revisit your dating profile, rewrite it to fit your current mood and start looking around the site with the casual, not-too-bothered-cause-I’m-happy-anyway attitude of someone working towards even more happiness, rather than someone desperate to not be alone.

You may well find someone unexpected who’ll make your life even better, but even if you don’t, it won’t be as much of a problem.

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