It just about goes without saying that there is a great deal of negativity in the online dating world. It’s probably partly because the people having successes are too busy having fun to spend time blogging about it. So, those having the bad dating experiences write about them a lot more. Besides, it’s a lot more enjoyable to read the horror stories, and there seems to be no shortage of those.
Unfortunately, this just feeds into the negative mindset that a lot of people already start out with. Then, every bad experience adds to their impression that this just isn’t working and that they’re doomed to be alone forever.
We’ve noticed that those with a negative attitude are seldom, if ever, successful in their dating efforts. And certainly, it can be daunting when you never get any good responses to your online profile, or have one first date after another, with no contact ever after.
Let’s talk about how a negative attitude can be lethal to your dating experience and what you can do about it.
How negativity sabotages your dating efforts
All too often we’ve seen people set up an online dating profile, all the while proclaiming that they’re sure that this isn’t going to work. Frequently, their profile has serious negative overtones to begin with. If, in spite of the crappy profile, they do manage to land a date, they’re usually convinced that the date isn’t going to work out.
And they’re usually right. Maybe she never shows up, or she doesn’t look anything like her profile pics, or she’s altogether creepy and/or crazy. While most people who go on a lot of dates run into these problems occasionally, others have this happen on every single date.
When I first started hearing these stories, I refused to believe them. How could one person have so much bad luck? Upon further investigation, I discovered that luck had nothing to do with it. The person who went on ten horrible dates in a row was invariably certain that nothing good could possibly come of this whole dating venture.
What’s more, they usually hadn’t started out in a very optimistic mood. At best, they were hopeful, but mostly full of fear that they would have a bad experience. Even if they didn’t start out with negative feelings, one bad experience was all it took to turn them down the road of the unpleasant self-fulfilling prophecy.
Why a negative online dating profile sets you up for failure
Let’s face it- writing an online dating profile is a challenge for most people who aren’t used to writing about themselves. Unfortunately, far too many turn to making a long list of what they don’t want. Not only does this start them off with a pessimistic mindset, it makes them look negative to others.
I don’t know about you, but I was always spectacularly turned off by guys who had laundry lists of things they didn’t want on their profile. Seeing lists like: “no fatties, no cheaters, no golddiggers, no princesses,” ad nauseam, gave me the impression that he might not be much fun to be around, or at the very least, liked to complain a lot.
Of course, women can be just as bad (and often make longer lists). “No players, no cheaters, no losers, no short guys,” and so on. The consensus from the guys I know is that they tend to bypass those profiles because they assume that these women are bitter, jaded and impossible to please.
Sure, there is a chance these impressions could be wrong, and that you’re truly a sunny, positive person who just happened to craft her profile on a bad day. The problem is, most quality guys aren’t going to bother even sending you a message because all they see are indicators of an unhappy person. And very few people- even unhappy ones- like to be around other unhappy people. Frankly, it’s a buzzkill.
Even worse, a list of “do-not-wants” on a dating profile can set you up to be victimized. Emotionally healthy good matches will give you a pass due to the negativity, which leaves the less desirable in your pool.
Look at it this way: if you’re a woman who claims to be “sick and tired of players,” (a direct quote, taken from at least a dozen real profiles), a guy who is really a player will see that and think, “Hey, here’s someone who’s repeatedly fallen for sweet talk. Let’s see if she’ll do it again.”
Frankly, if you’re advertising past victimization, current victimizers will easily sniff you out. Those types tend to stay away from profiles that project confidence and optimism, because those indicate high self-esteem and hence, unwillingness to put up with crap.
How the Law of Attraction works with dating experiences
Be the kind of person you’d like to date
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of how you can combat negativity, let’s revisit the Law of Attraction. This is a way of thinking that can really help you change your mindset about all aspects of your life, and can easily be applied to dating.
If you are able to change your mindset, you will also change your experiences. So, if you’ve been having a hard time with dating and relationships, learning to use the Law of Attraction can really turn things around.
One of the tenets of the Law of Attraction is that you attract what you are. So, generally speaking, start by being the kind of person you’d like to date.
Here’s an example of how this works in reverse: I know of a woman who has been online dating for several months now. She’s been on quite a few dates, all of them unsuccessful. Her main complaint is that all of the men she is meeting are “losers.” Most of them are unemployed and/or homeless.
Well, guess what? She’s unemployed as well, and living with friends until she finds a job. While she has many attractive qualities, men who truly have their acts together are probably not messaging her because they aren’t interested in “losers” either.
Apply the Golden Rule
Another way to apply the Law of Attraction is to treat others the way you would like to be treated. Especially when it comes to dating, we always hope that others will give us a chance. We want others to see beyond the externals and really get to know us before deciding if we’re a good match for them.
Do you do this? Do you give others a chance? Or do you take a look at one or two pictures on a profile and think “no way.” Keep in mind that a picture can tell you very little about a person. Unless they are rude or disrespectful up front, it’s smarter to give everyone a chance. You never know when you’ll discover a diamond in the rough.
For the record, every guy I ever met from online looked better than his photos. Most dating profile pictures aren’t very good.
If you want to be treated with kindness, consideration and respect, be sure that you treat others the same way. No exceptions.
Another way to apply the Law of Attraction to dating is to use positive visualization. This is especially helpful if it’s been a while since you’ve really enjoyed yourself on a date. Rather than being fearful of yet another terrible experience, think instead of a scenario that is easy and enjoyable for both parties.
Don’t go too far and start fantasizing about future dates, a potential relationship, marriage and kids. Just focus on the very next date. Picture where you’ll be meeting, what you’ll be doing, eating, talking about. Picture lots of laughter and fun. Look forward to an enjoyable time, nothing more.
Most importantly, be sure to accompany your visualization with positive feelings. If you let fear and doubt creep in, it becomes a lot less effective.
What you think about is what you manifest
A key component of the Law of Attraction is that what you think about is what will come to be. I don’t know how it works, but I do know that it does. A lot of people mistake this concept, believing that wishing for something will make it so. Close, but not quite. The problem with wishing for something in the traditional sense, is that we frequently are focusing on the lack of what we wish for.
For instance, using the example of the woman above who was tired of dating “losers:” She probably thinks that she is focused on wanting a man who is smart, accomplished, and has his act together. In reality, she is far more intent on what she fears: attracting “losers.” So, she spends a lot of her time thinking about how she can repel the guys she doesn’t want, rather than picturing attracting what she does want.
We are so accustomed to operating from a fear-and worry-based mindset that it can be a challenge to switch gears. So, when in doubt, try to focus on what you want, accompanied by feelings of joy and optimism. Don’t think, “I can’t wait to meet the woman of my dreams,” immediately followed by, “Well, I’ve been unlucky in love so far; I doubt that will ever change. But I hope it does.” This approach will sabotage any good thoughts you might have started with.
How to conquer the negativity
Turn the negative around
One simple way you can curtail the negativity is by turning your “don’t wants” into “wants.” Rather than not wanting a cheater, want a man of integrity. Rather than fearing that you’ll run into a “gold-digger,” resolve to look for a financially secure woman.
Even better, try to shift your focus back to what you’re offering. Dating profiles frequently read like a long list of requirements with barely a hint of what the profile-writer has to offer. Since you will basically attract someone with attributes similar to yours, spend some time thinking about all of your good points, and what you can do to improve your weak spots.
Look for the good in those you date
In addition, rather than worrying about the potential bad qualities of a date, focus on her good qualities instead. Whenever you meet a person for the first time, resolve to find at least one thing you really like about her. I can guarantee that you’ll always find something. Everyone has good points; you just need to be open to them. In most cases, you’ll probably find more than one thing.
This applies to looking at profiles, too. Rather than searching for deal-breakers, critiquing spelling and grammar, body type, clothing and hairstyle, challenge yourself to find at least three good things in every profile you look at. Instead of pages and pages of unsuitable matches, you’ll start to see a lot more people as potential dates, and will be more excited to meet them.
Have boundaries and enforce them
Of course, prevention is always the best cure. By having boundaries in place and enforcing them consistently, you’ll simply avoid a lot of negative experiences. While you should definitely be open to giving everyone you come across a chance, you should also be willing to draw the line when it’s needed.
Boundaries are most important when it comes to disrespectful behavior. Start as you mean to go forward. If a guy you’re corresponding with becomes crude and sexual within your first few exchanges, politely let him know you’re not into that (if you’re not into that), and if he persists, cease communications.
This sounds really straightforward, but we’ve talked to far too many women who put up with behavior that made them uncomfortable, and then were surprised when he acted inappropriately on a date.
So, go easy on requirements, but keep a low tolerance for unacceptable behavior. You’ll have a lot more good experiences that way.
Believe people when they tell you negative things about themselves
Along these same lines, if someone tells you something bad about themselves, believe them. If he tells you, “I have a really hard time with commitment,” then don’t be surprised if he has a hard time with commitment with you.
If she says, “I’m having a lot of drama with my ex over the kids,” it shouldn’t be the least bit surprising when drama ensues.
It’s actually pretty amazing how truthful a lot of people are; we just don’t want to see it. But, by paying attention to these types of statements and deciding that you don’t want to continue seeing someone who openly admits to some serious issues, you’ll save yourself a lot of bad experiences.
Often, people say these things because they want to get points for being honest. Being honest is great, but their confession in no way obligates you to continue in a situation that really doesn’t work for you.
Think of dating as fun
Another way to turn your dating experiences in a positive direction is think about dating as fun, rather than drudgery. If you see it as a chore, you won’t get good results. Instead, create the intention to have a good time on each and every date. It helps to choose activities that you enjoy doing anyway. That way, even if you quickly discover that you aren’t a match, you can still enjoy yourself.
Never think of it as a waste of time. Every date, good or bad, is a learning experience, and getting to know new people while enjoying and activity is never a waste of time. It’s part of enjoying life.
In the end, what it comes down to is this: if you are a happy, positive person, you will attract similar people. (Apparently, this is our theme lately) Being negative will simply set up more obstacles between you and a happy relationship. You get what you expect.
A great many people would encourage us to avoid disappointment by expecting the worst. This is probably one of the biggest causes of underachievement in this country. People who expect to be successful, usually are. Those who fear failure, often are afraid to risk anything, and never get anywhere. If you start looking at your dating experiences in a more positive light, you’ll be surprised at how much less disappointment you’ll experience, and how much more success you’ll have.