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When Dating Feels Impossible: 4 Questions to Get Unstuck

When you fix your dating beliefs, you improve your dating reality.

Key points

  • Examine how negative beliefs can provide comfort but hinder progress in finding love.
  • Successful daters reflect, adapt, and persist despite setbacks.
  • Be willing to purposely disrupt your patterns and break out of your comfort zone by changing your approach.
Josh Willink/Pexels
When you're feeling stuck in your dating life, 4 simple questions can help.
Source: Josh Willink/Pexels

"There are no good partners out there."

"Online dating doesn't work."

“I’m sick of being ghosted.”

Dating is just impossible nowadays.”

Admit it, if you’ve been dating, some of these thoughts have crossed your mind. It all seems true, which leads to frustration and confusion. It makes you feel hopeless and helpless. You’re stuck.

The truth is these feelings are counterproductive because they’re not even true. Worse, they may limit you more than your actual dating reality.

The good news is that you can get unstuck by identifying and challenging the unhelpful beliefs holding you back.

4 Questions to Help Get Unstuck

  1. Is this belief always accurate for everyone? Is your belief the true, honest, or objective reality for others? Be able to identify the difference between an observation (i.e., it happened) vs. a law (i.e., it always happens). What are the exceptions? (Who does this not apply to? When does it not apply?) When you identify exceptions, look at what those people are doing that you can mimic or emulate.
  2. How does this belief bring you comfort? Negative beliefs can provide a sense of being right, allow you to stick to the familiar, and avoid responsibility. But ask yourself — would you rather be right and stay single or take a chance on finding love? For example, if you believe there are no good partners, you can find ways this is true because everyone has imperfections. This belief also avoids putting any responsibility on you for how you’re approaching dating.
  3. How does this belief allow you to avoid change? The benefit of dodging responsibility is avoiding the need to change or adjust your approach. Dating is tough. There’s no reason to reasonably believe you’ll get it all right from the start. Everyone fails, makes mistakes, and has some heartbreak. Don’t get defeated. Get determined. Successful daters reflect, adapt, and try again until they find their match. Finding “your person” isn’t as much about what happens to us as how we react.
  4. How can you prove your belief wrong? If you had to show how your belief was wrong, how could you do it? Be willing to purposely disrupt your patterns and break out of your comfort zone. In other words, you can’t be stubborn. Change (nearly) everything. Prioritize the different qualities you look for in a partner, put yourself out there in new ways, have different types of conversations, or try a totally new dating approach. Growth happens when you get uncomfortable.

There are two common assumptions that people have about relationships:

  1. Relationships are complicated.
  2. Relationships are common sense.

Only the first one is true. Dating is hard. But it’s nearly impossible when negativity, pessimism, and unhelpful beliefs hold you back. When you change your dating beliefs, you change your dating reality.

More from Gary W. Lewandowski Jr. Ph.D.
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