If you’re like millions of other singles, you may dream about finding the perfect romantic partner. You watch couples in public with a tinge of envy, wishing you had someone to hold hands and flirt with. Maybe you develop crushes quickly, even if there’s little interaction or sign of mutual interest. Deep down, you feel like your married friends have it way better off than you do.
A sense of incompleteness and lack may haunt you. Again, like so many other singles, you believe finding that one special person will erase all unhappiness and dissatisfaction from your life. This emotion is a natural way to feel. Unfortunately, it’s not correct.
No One Can Do Your Work for You
As you can probably guess, a successful dating relationship doesn’t spring from a sense of desperation. If you’re chasing a relationship to fill a sense of emptiness in yourself or find meaning, you won’t find it. A boyfriend or girlfriend may distract you from that emptiness for a time — but they can’t solve it for you. After a time, that sense of dissatisfaction with your life will come back. You may or may not blame it on the other person. But it’s a sign that there’s work to be done on yourself. And they can’t do it for you.
Instead, take the time to truly understand where you are emotionally. If you feel a sense of dissatisfaction with your life as a single, try to pinpoint the cause. Are you afraid of being alone and will settle for anyone? Do you think your life doesn’t have as much importance if you’re single? Consider questions like these and get to the root cause before chasing a relationship.
Only You Know What You Want
Society plays up the idea of falling in love at first sight. This phenomenon happens, but not as much as we want to believe, especially if we look at the statistics. If you’re in the trenches of dating, it helps to know ahead of time what you want. This approach will save you and the people you date a lot of time, effort, and hurt feelings.
Rather than jumping at every opportunity for blind dates that your friends (or dating apps) throw at you, be intentional about your search. Review past relationships. If you’re honest, can you identify what went wrong? What drove you nuts about those people? What drove them nuts about you?
You may be tempted to overlook someone’s chronic unemployment because of how physically attractive they are. Or you might pretend to be okay with the fact that they say they don’t want kids. If you think through these (and so many more) relationship issues before you’re in a relationship, you’ll be a step ahead of the game.
Two Halves Don’t Make A Whole
If you look at common romantic lingo, you can identify what may be false beliefs about love and relationships. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with referring to a spouse as one’s better half. But it can betray the false cultural belief that someone isn’t really complete unless they’re in a romantic relationship.
For dating to be truly successful, both people need to come at it from a place of emotional health and strength. You don’t need another person to make you complete because they can’t—nor can you make someone else complete. Only you can make yourself feel complete.
If you don’t feel this way already, don’t despair. Instead, take the time to identify areas of potential growth and happiness. Invest in friendships and community involvement to meet your need for connection.
Many dissatisfied singles find significant value through short-term therapy. This can provide clarity and direction to their dating future. If you’d like to know more, please contact Integrative Psychotherapy Group today.