By Janet Ong Zimmerman for YourTango.com.
Most of us have experienced the upsides and downsides of dating. If you’ve had great experiences with dating, you’ll no doubt think it’s wonderful, it’s easy, there are many good men out there, and it’s just a matter of time before you meet “the one”.
If most of your dating experiences have been painful, you’ll tend to take things personally. Each painful experience will reinforce beliefs that dating is hard, there are no good men out there, I’m running out of time, and “woe is me”. For most women, me included at one time, dating seems to become more difficult with age and experience.
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There were moments when dating was difficult, exhausting and unfulfilling for me. Trying to push through these moments by continuing to date only reinforced the negative feelings that were building up inside of me. Finally, I took a break from dating. During my hiatus, I realized that I was actually making my dating life harder than it needed to be.
Why Dating Seems Difficult
- I believed that dating was hard, exhausting and unfulfilling, which perpetuated the cycle of dismal experiences. From this belief, I attracted men and dates that weren’t right for me, missed red flags, and felt skeptical about ever finding true love.
- I unintentionally put myself out there in ways that didn’t allow me to shine. For instance, I did things that were uncomfortable to me and weren’t true to who I was, in hopes that certain men would approve of and like me.
- I had sex too soon with a guy I really liked and hoped things would turn into more. Instead, we had a short-term fling and when things ended, I felt used and bad about myself.
- I dated guys who were “good enough” because I wasn’t sure if I would ever meet a great man. Deep inside, I didn’t think I deserved someone better and in many instances, settled for less.
- I was a victim of my dating life at times when I asked, “Why is this happening to me?” This kept me stuck, and wishing things were different instead of seeing things as they were. I wasn’t able to see that everything was happening for my greater good, and that I could actually learn and grow from these difficult experiences.
- I unknowingly stood in my own way by carrying the baggage of negative energy and unresolved issues into future encounters. While I may have tried to conceal my negative energy, sooner or later, this energy came out and attracted men who weren’t right for me.
- I was looking to meet the right man instead of first being the right woman. Instead of asking, “Am I the right woman for the type of man I want to attract?”, I believed I was a good catch. This kept me from realizing that even a good catch has some inner work to do in order to be the right woman for the right man.
If you’re experiencing any or all of the above-mentioned situations, you may be feeling frustrated and helpless. It’s okay if you feel this way. If I was able to change my dating life for the better, I know you can too. Here’s how to start enjoying your dating life again…
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Five Practices to Make Dating Easier and More Enjoyable
After my dating hiatus, I learned to date with more ease. When I started making choices that were aligned with what I wanted, and behaved and acted according to my values and integrity, I actually enjoyed dating. I share these practices that dramatically improved my dating life in hopes that they help you too.
1. Be the victor. Victims blame by asking, “Why is this happening to me?” Victors take responsibility by asking, “Why is this happening for me?” Whether it may seem like it or not, everything is happening for your greater good, especially your difficulties in dating and love. They occur so that you can learn, grow and become an even better version of yourself. When you are an even better version of “you, 2.0″, you attract men who are better suited for you. Asking, “Why is this happening for me?” opens up your mind to be more resourceful in finding ways to improve your dating life.
2. Challenge, change and transform. Challenge your beliefs, change your perception and transform your reality. Your dating life is first created in your mind and reflected outward. Challenge habitual beliefs that keep you from enjoying dating. For instance, let’s say you believe, “People hide behind their online dating profiles and aren’t who they say they are when I meet them.” While there are people who aren’t who they say they are, there are also genuine people who show up the way they portray themselves to be. When you start focusing your attention on “genuine people” instead of “people aren’t who they say they are”, “genuine people” will show up in your dating life.
3. Listen to yourself. Don’t ask your friends and family what you should do and don’t listen to their advice. They will tell you what you should do based on who they are and their experiences in their own love life. You are an individual. You are unique. You have your own answers. Overthinking and overanalyzing will stop you from listening to yourself. Disengage from your mind, connect with your feelings and listen to your intuition. Make decisions and choices in the present moment based on what feels right. When something feels right, you will feel expanded, open and uplifted.
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4. Make wise choices. Don’t get derailed from love by choosing to date men with red flags because it will take more time, effort and energy to get back on track. Each individual choice adds up. Make wise choices that keep you on track to the love you desire. Knowing what you want and keeping your eyes on your vision of love will help you make wise choices. Choose in favor of what you want as long as you feel good about yourself. You always have a choice.
You can actually create the kind of dating experience you’d like despite your age and length of time you’ve been dating. If you have an open mind and heart, are willing to look at dating in a positive light, and do the inner work, you will date higher quality men and enjoy greater success. Leave a comment: what is the one thing you’ll do to make you dating life easier and more enjoyable?
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This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 5 Ways To Get Out Of Your Dating Rut & Start Having Fun Again.