I am a heterosexual woman, but I am finding it increasingly more difficult to become attracted to men. I would like to love someone, but I doubt I can. I had online dating profiles (recently deleted all of them) and I do get some level of interest from men, but I tend to not be interested back. The last few men I did become attracted to rejected me and I’ve been in a downward spiral of hopelessness ever since. I feel like I should just give up on dating – I’m definitely not in the right place for it at present. But I’ve been here for about 18 months now. Theoretically I’d like to meet some new people, but in practice I don’t see it going anywhere, so why bother? Is this a passing phase that people go through when dealing with rejection and other disappointments in love? Will I ever be able to ‘fall in love’ again, or have I passed some point of no return?
If you really, truly believe that there is no point to dating, it would make absolutely no sense for you to keep dating. If you really, truly believed that there was no way to lose weight, it would make absolutely no sense for you do keep dieting.
Your question is an important one.
And to any reader who has an important question, I would highly encourage you to type it in the Lijit Search box on the left. Dating and relationship issues, while intensely personal, are often quite universal. And after 2 ½ years of writing this advice column, I may well have dealt with your personal question already.
To that end, please check out my pieces about getting over your cynicism and overcoming “why bother” syndrome. Both address your question directly and I think you’ll feel a little better once you read them.
But the reason I’m writing again is because it’s so important and it comes up for EVERYBODY.
If you really, truly believe that there is no point to dating, it would make absolutely no sense for you to keep dating. If you really, truly believed that there was no way to lose weight, it would make absolutely no sense for you do keep dieting. And so on.
We live life according to our beliefs. And since, in our brains, there’s no difference between fact and belief, it should be no surprise that wrong beliefs could create a considerable roadblock.
“The last few men rejected me” becomes “All men will always reject me”.
“I’ve been doing it for 18 months without success” becomes, “I will never have success”
These are normal conclusions to draw, but they are patently FALSE conclusions. You know how I know this? Because I went out with more people than you – over 300 in 10 years. And if I had quit after “a few women” rejected me or because “18 months” had passed without being in love, I would not be married right now.
Understand, the people who succeed in ANYTHING are the ones who are able to fight through discomfort and failure. People who want to play it safe can continue to lead a safe, low-stakes life. There’s certainly nothing wrong with it. You can be perfectly content with your job, your friends, your yoga, your cat, your workshops and your spiritual life. And if that’s all you want, that should make things extremely simple. No need for dating, no need for trial and error and failure and confusion and rejection…and no possibility of finding everlasting love.
That’s your call, Heather. But don’t make the mistake of concluding that because it hasn’t yet happened for you, it will never happen for you. The only way for it to happen, however, requires an act of boldness on your part.
The people who succeed in ANYTHING are the ones who are able to fight through discomfort and failure.
You must vow to try dating in a NEW way.
Why? Because the OLD way isn’t working, hasn’t worked, and, most likely will never work.
And that’s where I want to acknowledge the validity of “why bother” syndrome. If you refuse to change anything from the way you were doing it before, then yes, there is absolutely no point in continuing to date.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So if you want to know why you read this advice and yet nothing’s changed in your love life, ask yourself – are you doing anything different? Or are you reading, understanding, nodding your head…and STILL doing everything the same?
Are you still using your same old profile and photos?
Are you still frustrated at all the rejection you face?
Are you surprised that the wrong people are attracted to you, and unsure how to get the right people to be interested?
I don’t care whether you buy anything from me. My concern for you is whether you’re actually taking any new action. Budgeting 30 minutes a day to date online. Setting up one new date a week. Opening up to people who might not be on your radar. Screening a bit longer before meeting. Giving people a chance to shine on a date.
Knowledge doesn’t get results. Only action does.
Knowledge doesn’t get results. Only action does. So even if you’re the best, brightest, kindest woman in the world, nothing changes unless you DO something different.
In the past month, I’ve had three clients find relationships within 3 months of coaching.
One is 34, one is 35, one is 41. They’re no different than you are. They’re readers who decided to overcome “why bother” syndrome and take their love lives in a new direction.
When you hear me tell client success stories, it’s not pure self-promotion. Really. It’s a means of inspiring you to take new actions and work within a different relationship paradigm.
Why bother, Heather?
Because, to me, not bothering is just another way of saying, “I quit”.
And I’m not all that big on quitting.