I met someone not too long ago through a mutual friend. He was a good looking, successful guy, but I mainly developed interest because of how nice he seemed. I initiated our second meeting and, at that point, realized that he wasn’t interested in the same way.
I got really upset at myself by the fact that I had even asked to meet up again. I had promised myself that I would let things happen naturally in my dating life, yet by making the first move, so to speak, I felt I had broken that promise.
Then creeped in the self doubt and all the crazy thoughts:
“I must have said something wrong”
“Omg, wait what did I say?”
“How much did I drink?!”
“Wow, I shouldn’t have talked about that”
Plus, all the feelings of inadequacy, thinking you’re not good enough for someone, and wondering what you need to do to be more interesting/funny/desirable/better looking to ultimately get the guy you actually like.
A repeating pattern
I’ve unfortunately gone down this road on many different occasions over the past several years. I feel that now these “episodes of inadequacy” don’t last as long as they used to, but the fact that they still happen is irritating to me. And sometimes I feel it’s really hard to move on and just forgive myself.
I know that self doubt and regret is normal in any life situation, but forgiveness should be automatic, shouldn’t it?
How many of you have blamed yourself for a dating outcome? Especially a bad one? Or any unfavorable outcome? It’s amazing how when something good happens, we chalk it up to fate, yet when something bad happens it’s our fault.
Make sense? No, of course not.
I’m still a work in progress in this regard, but I want to make it something that comes more easily to me. I’m honestly tired of always feeling at fault and struggling to move forward. I think the best way to do so is to find the lesson in the experience, forgive yourself, and be nice to yourself.
How can we do this?
Remind yourself that you’re a person, with flaws and with imperfections. No matter what you do, perfection is not going to happen. In fact, the guy you like isn’t perfect either. So instead of saying “omg what’s wrong with me”, ask “ugh, what’s wrong with him, I’m awesome”.
What you say to yourself matters.
My cousin sent me a Ted Talk by Reshma Saujani. She shares a story of how in her early 30s she ran for Congress; she lost, but she said it was the first time she had done something so brave. She encourages us, as women, to aim for bravery rather than perfection. Bravery will push you to try new things, expand your comfort zone and make you a better version of you. I watched this talk not long after my experience with this guy, and I started to think “well, I lost again, but at least I tried. I put myself out there; I took a chance”.
What you say to yourself matters.
In the end…
Hollywood does a terrible job of showing us what relationships should be like. That combined with the plethora of romance novels and love stories out there that portray these amazing characters makes us feel like we have to look for the same thing in real life.
It doesn’t exist.
There is one movie though that I think got it somewhat right, “He’s Just Not That Into You”. Don’t laugh, that’s a real movie. The movie has several story lines, but the main one is where the female character is single and desperately looking for her soulmate. She seems to do all the wrong things: waits by the phone for guys to call, cyber stalks her dates, does not play hard to get, gets excited and eager really fast, so on and so on. By the end of the movie though, she ends up with a guy who doesn’t care about any of that. None of her erratic, crazy behavior made a difference…he liked her anyway.
So, if you said something weird during a date or crazy while you were drunk, it doesn’t matter.
If you didn’t play it cool or hard to get, it doesn’t matter.
If you weren’t perfect, it doesn’t matter.
Maybe you care now and regret certain things, but remind yourself that it ultimately doesn’t matter.
Forgive yourself for whatever you think you did, put your badass self back together and keep going.
Featured and pinnable photo courtesy of Unsplash.