People like to be in control — at their jobs, of their decisions and in pretty much every area of life — but dating can sometimes feel like you’re on a wild roller coaster and you can’t get off. Like most other things, we’re not in total control when it comes to dating. Instead, we can only control ourselves and our reactions to situations.
During my latest “Ask Erika Monday” session on Instagram, I got a message from someone who was very frustrated by the men she’s met recently.
“I feel so deflated — every guy this year has just messed me up. How to deal?” they asked.
I answered, “If ‘every’ guy has messed you up, then it is definitely time to look internally — probably with the help of a great therapist. No one gets the right to ‘mess you up’ without your consent.”
I shared a list of questions for this person, and anyone else feeling similarly, to ask themselves.
● Are you entering situations you know are not good for you?
● Are you holding onto people for too long?
● Are you determining your value based on what other people think of you?
● Are you accepting the bare minimum because you don’t think you deserve more?
● Are you projecting experiences from the past onto new people, thereby repeating history?
There will always be outside influences beyond our control, but it is important to realize how you react to situations is 100% your responsibility. The start of a new year may be time to be honest with yourself and figure out ways to ensure you’re not repeating behaviors that are keeping you from finding your match.
Of course, sometimes this can’t be done alone. Luckily, there are many resources available to help. If seeing a therapist doesn’t work with your budget or schedule, you might want to look into some of the more affordable online therapy sites that offer personalized, virtual counseling to work through some of the questions outlined above. A few options include:
● Open Path Collective
● 7 Cups
Practicing meditation, journaling or opening up to close friends can also help you understand why relationships have been difficult for you and if there are patterns that might be holding you back.
There’s a bad apple in every bunch, but when every apple is rotten, it’s time to recognize why … and maybe find your fruit elsewhere. By growing yourself, you can get the apples from the top branches instead of the ones already on the ground.
Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter, eepurl.com/dpHcH for updates and tips.