Facebook yesterday from a regular reader:
Evan, as a dating coach, how do you help motivate people to get past the cynicism and being jaded and get them back into the dating game? I think there are people out there who genuninely want to find the one, but there was that one special person – after a whole string of others – with whom things didn’t work out and it kind of became the last straw. And that person is no longer angry about the failures but just becomes apathetic.
50% of my job is dealing with negativity, apathy, and old baggage. The other 50% deals with actionable steps moving forward – how to market yourself online, how to be a great first date, how to understand the opposite sex, how to be the most likable, confident, self-aware version of you there is. Needless to say, the second 50% is more fun than the first 50%. But there IS no second 50% if we can’t get past the negativity, apathy and old baggage.
So if you’re struggling with the “Why even bother” question, take heart that you’re not alone. A regular reader wrote me a scathing email about how she’s sick of my advice and that:
- men don’t put forth any effort
- men will always choose the younger woman based on hormones rather than a woman who would be good for him
- the good ones really are gone – those who are left are too negative, have too much baggage, aren’t interested in a committed, lifelong relationship, only a hookup
- men will say and do anything to get sex which makes them dishonorable at best
- men aren’t gentlemen anymore – I can’t tell you how many men drop the door in my face instead of holding it open for me!
Well, if you believe the above, then I can pretty much assure you that you’re not going to have much success in dating. I don’t even think I need to explain why. It’s not that your experiences are not valid, it’s that it’s a glass half-empty way of looking at life. I’m not a “Secret” guy per se, but if thinking positive thoughts does anything, it makes you more optimistic, cheery and fun to be around. Negativity is a self-fulfilling prophesy.
The two main points I make to clients fighting the abyss of “I quit” are these:
1) The next guy has nothing to do with the last guy. Just because 5 straight guys cheated on you doesn’t mean all men are cheaters. Just because three straight men weren’t attracted to you doesn’t mean all men won’t be attracted to you. Once you assume that ALL men are the same and that EVERY outcome will be a failure, that’s when there’s no incentive to keep going.
2) Effort pays off. Therapy pays off. Dating coaching pays off. Online dating pays off. Bad dates pay off. Failed relationships pay off. The only way you guarantee that you’ll NEVER find love is by failing to learn, failing to bounce back and failing to be open and vulnerable to a new partner.
Yes, it’s hard. But that’s why I coach. You shouldn’t have to do it alone.
The final way to get past cynicism is because there is SO much proof that love is out there. In addition to the email I got above, I received this one below:
Hi – this isn’t a question – it’s a THANKS! One of your newsletters was SO impactful to me that I accepted a marriage proposal! We were married in February – it’s going great and I tell people about you ALL of the time. Thanks Evan!
Factor in that a former client just got engaged this week, and that I’ve got a 73-year-old client who has 17 emails in her Match.com inbox, and yeah, let’s just say I’ll be an optimist for the both of us!