These days people are under a lot of stress, particularly singles. On an average day they are bombarded with obligations, expectations, not to mention images of happy couples and their #relationshipgoals, making them wonder why they are still single, if there is something seriously wrong with them and if they are destined to be forever alone. This can cause a ridiculous amount of strain on their mental health … on YOUR mental health. Are you single and dating? Chances are you’ve felt at some point rejected, alone, lonely, unattractive, stupid, used, taken advantage of, brokenhearted, like you were not enough … shall I go on?
I have felt those things too. I went through the emotional trauma of divorce as well as the constant frustrations associated with being single and dating just like you. I’ve dated the people who were totally wrong for me. I allowed emotional attachments to happen with guys who were emotionally unavailable, narcissists or even just plain using me. I made so many mistakes in dating for many reasons. I was also guilty of thinking a relationship was the only way I could be truly satisfied, happy and fulfilled. I wasn’t always so happily single and indulged in many pity parties. I had my share of depressed days, sometimes weeks. It messed with my ability to be productive and motivated, all but destroying my self esteem.
So I wanted to tell you that you’re not alone. I get it. I lived your gut wrenching frustrations too. The low self esteem and the bad choices. All of it. Being single and dating definitely messed with my mental health. I let it happen. I lived it, but the important thing is that I pushed THROUGH all the challenges. I let being single and dating mess with my mental health … but then, I decided that I couldn’t go on that way anymore. Here’s how I got through it and how I used my experience to help others facing the same challenges. Please note, if you are suffering from serious mental health challenges or if you feel like you want to harm yourself, please speak to a trusted friend, a professional or go to your nearest hospital.
Being Single & Dating Messes With Your Mental Health
The internet is filled with memes and posters and messages about the perfect love, what you deserve or not and how you should be strong. Messages about how you can conquer anything. Messages about how this is all in the universe’s plan. While they mean well, they aren’t always helpful. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for motivational messages. Sometimes one of those messages cross your screen and it’s just what you needed to hear that day. But that’s just it, it’s random AND it’s open to interpretation. I’ve said before there’s no “one size fits all” dating advice, nor is there a “one size fits all” solution to your dating woes.
But, it all starts with you. It all starts with the choices you make about your dating life and how you live it. It also starts with altering your perspective. Our choices dictate the outcomes. What that means is that, while there are some unsavory characters in the dating world, we, at times, create our own dating misery. I know that I did … I also know that a lot of people are in the same boat. Blame it on “bad luck” if you want but in the end making some minor changes will make some major differences in your dating life. It did for me. Here is how I worked my way through the challenges to end up in a much happier place.
Some Helpful Steps to Achieve a More Peaceful Dating Life
- Deal with your baggage and unhealthy attachments – you need to let go of all past relationship baggage and any unhealthy attachments you have to others, working things through with a neutral professional counselor or therapist is helpful
- Manage your dating expectations – don’t expect too much too soon from people and don’t get caught up in wishful thinking
- Be realistic – you need to see things as they are and not how you wish them to be
- Avoid time wasters – if your communications and dating aren’t going in the direction that you think it should be then move on
- Avoid enabling them – if they show you their true colors and red flags then don’t make excuses for their bad behavior, move on
- Avoid whirlwind romances – quality relationships take time to develop and grow, a fire that burns too hot and too fast will burn out just as quick leaving you with a broken heart
- Avoid having sex for the wrong reasons – make sure you’re on the same page with intentions and expectations if you’re having sex with someone for the first time, be wary of attachments to your casual sex partners
- Surround yourself with good people – friends and family as well as other support systems are essential in order to survive the challenges of dating, make sure you’ve got people you trust and who care about you around
- Keep busy – make sure you have a full schedule, between work, activities and social time, being single should be the least of your worries, you’re too busy living life
- Alter your perspective – make dating fun by not taking it so seriously, see it as a social activity where you meet like minded people and don’t worry about the outcome, just enjoy the process
- Attitude adjustment – your attitude is everything, the way you choose to date makes a big difference
- Be grateful – being grateful for what you do have (and you always have something to be grateful for) helps open the doors to more things to be grateful for, feeling sorry for yourself opens the door to the opposite
- Learn lessons – each dating experience, although it feels like a waste of time, is a learning lesson, one you need to commit to not repeat
- Don’t define yourself by your relationship status – keep your power and don’t let other people’s actions or what you are define who you are
- Choose to be choosy – dating should be about quality and not quantity, that means you might go a while without finding what you’re looking for and that’s OK
- Avoid instant gratification – with apps like Tinder, and other online dating platforms, it’s easy to get caught up in instant ego boosts (if you get a lot of matches) or even deflating your ego (if you get no matches) but you need to take it all with a grain of salt, most of it isn’t in the realm of reality or who you’re really looking for in a partner, weed out potential candidates to get the best results
- Be aware of how you market yourself – physical attraction IS important, that being said, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, so all you have to worry about is putting your best self out there and looking (and smelling) your best, also know what makes you stand out from the crowd and what makes you special
- Have good interpersonal skills – you should be able to interact with someone not only online but in person, this means having great interpersonal and conversational skills, be an active listener, be aware of current affairs and have interesting topics of discussion ready at all times, confidence (not arrogance) is sexy so know and show how great you are
Being single and dating messes with your Mental Health. It’s OK to be sad sometimes and lament your lack of a love life but the important thing is to experience it, try not to feel guilty about it and then move on. Let yourself feel what you need to feel because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it BUT then get through it and move on to sunnier days. If you fall, pick yourself up, dust yourself up and keep walking. It’s only way to reach your desired destination. The road for some is longer than the road for others just like some people’s road is bumpier than others, but, it’s still a road with a final destination – so keep walking.
Use your lessons learned from previous experiences to avoid those pot holes and roadblocks to make your journey more pleasant. Remember, no bad experience dating, nor being single, is ever a reason to sink in a deep depression or harm yourself. Don’t give others that much power over your happiness. You ARE ENOUGH … never forget that. Wishing each and every one of you much happiness and fulfillment.
If you need help with your frustrating dating life, check out my dating support services here (I can create packages and services that meet any budget): https://singledatingdiva.com/helping-you-find-love/
READERS: Has being single and dating ever messed with your mental health? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Need help dealing better with the current online dating climate? I’ve released my new workbook to help you attract the love you desire AND IT’S FREE… if you’re interested in receiving a free copy then click HERE and register your name to get the book, tell your friends too because this is a VERY VALUABLE resource! You CAN increase your datability and chances at your very own happily ever after (just like my clients AND me!), you just have to choose to get out of your comfort zone and start thinking strategically. I’ll show you how!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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