I try to believe that people mean well, but a lot of dating advice we grew up hearing and is still perpetuated today does a lot more harm than good. Especially for people who feel anxious about dating.
There's nothing wrong with being someone who is sensitive, worries, and has a hard time staying in the present. Kudos to you if you're working on changing some things you struggle with, but what's just as important is ignoring dating advice that will only make you feel worse.
Let's talk about what those are:
"You have to love yourself before someone else can love you."
*Insert Taboo buzzer sound* Wrong! There are plenty of people who are in relationships and struggling with their self-worth.
And let's be honest-- does anyone ever get to a point where they love themselves 24/7 without ever faltering?
What's more important than loving yourself completely are things like being open about your struggles, wanting to grow, and not hurting people along the way by projecting your insecurities. If you have all those bases covered, then it's okay to be your authentic, messy self!
"Everything happens for a reason."
I've never liked this advice, though I'm sure at some point I said it to someone. But imagine saying this to someone who lost a loved one or was in an abusive relationship. That's pretty messed up.
It's okay for things to suck. It's okay to feel wronged and wish a painful memory from your past hadn't happened. For the sake of your happiness, though, I hope you seek guidance to process and move forward instead of letting it hold you back.
"If they wanted to, they would."
One of my least favorite pieces of dating advice is, "if they wanted to, they would." People with dating anxiety often struggle with overthinking. You know what leads to confusion and ruminating thoughts? Seeing a bunch of videos on social media talking about "a man should do this" or "someone would love you if they did that."
Essentially: "if the person you're dating doesn't do [insert behavior], then they're not interested.
But if there's one thing that's true about life, it's never that black and white.
That's why I always advocate erring on the side of more communication. Tell the person you're dating what your needs and expectations are so they can actually be met. Everyone is different, so don't assume that the person you're dating should just "know."
"Asking them out is taking you out of your feminine energy."
I'll out myself now and say that I don't subscribe to most of the feminine/masculine advice. It feels like disguised sexism to me.
When I hear things like, "asking a guy out is a masculine behavior, and I want to be feminine," it irritates me. Who decided that taking the initiative isn't a feminine trait? If anything, the most badass females I know of are the ones who took their lives into their own hands!
Instead of worrying about how feminine and masculine energy affect your dating life, focus on what feels authentic to you.
"If you take a break, you may miss someone great."
This one technically isn't a lie. You might miss someone great if you take a break from dating! But around here, we don't operate under a scarcity mindset.
If someone who could've been a good match for you gets snatched up, that's okay! Because there are plenty of other people out there who could be a good match for you, if not a better match!
What I don't want you doing is exhausting yourself to the point where you feel jaded when you date and can't show up authentically. That's not going to help your dating life OR your overall mental health.
So if dating feels overwhelming and it's making you triggered AF, then take a break! Many great matches will be waiting for you once you're ready to get back to dating.
Check out my free dating anxiety journal prompts to help you understand yourself more and the changes you want. to make in dating.
If you want to move towards feeling confident and secure when looking for love, grab your copy of my 30-day dating guide "From Anxious to Secure."
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