I used to think finding a romantic partner was about being super-hot and charismatic. Either that, or just a game a plain old luck. But while those things can definitely help, I think a lot of it comes down to attitude. This is a topic worthy of an entire blog post series in its own right, and who knows, I may go on to write about it in future when I have acquired more knowledge on the subject, but right now for simplicity’s sake, I’m going to stick with 5 toxic dating mindsets to avoid.
“Nice Guys Are Boring, Bad Boys Are Interesting”
“Women don’t like nice guys” is the trope we hear All. The, Damn. Time. And perhaps there’s a grain of truth to it. Sometimes, we meet guys who are nice enough but we just don’t fancy. And being a pushover isn’t attractive. We a MAN who can fight out battles on his noble steed. And there are some men who CALL themselves nice guys, but actually aren’t that nice.
However, because it’s such an ingrained mindset in our culture, I feel like we’ve been conditioned to think of dating certain kinds of people as “settling”, although that person could actually make you happy long-term. Being “too nice” is seen as a negative, and we’re under pressure to look for “edge”, but what does that even mean? Are we supposed to overlook the men who call when they say they will and remember your birthday for some brooding starving artist type with a motorbike? Because hate to break it to you, but that’s probably not a recipe for lasting love.
“I Am Not Good Enough”
If you’ve been single for a while, it’s easy to fall into this thought trap. I’ve fallen to it many, many a time. When I was living in London and dating (unsuccessfully) a lot, I used to lie awake agonising about what could be wrong with me. My friend on the other hand, who is very attractive, was like a boy magnet on a night out. If only I looked LIKE HER, I thought, I could find love.
But it doesn’t work like that. Most people in relationships aren’t exceptional. They’re just average people who find other average people they click with. If you’re struggling romantically, it’s more likely to be due to your attitude or approach, or perhaps you just haven’t been lucky enough to meet someone who is a good match yet.
“He/ She Is Not My Type”
I covered this one in more detail in this post. But one big mistake you can make in dating is limiting yourself to one type of person. To paraphrase the aforementioned post: if you restrict yourself to just one sort of person, you can close yourself to people who may be a good match. And if you’ve dated a few people who were very similar and it didn’t work out, perhaps your “type” isn’t actually what’s right for you.
“Love At First Sight”
Back in my London-living days, I used the friendship app Bumble BFF to try and find myself a girl squad. And I went on plenty of friend-dates. There were plenty of people I felt I clicked with and was looking forward to making my new BFF… until they stopped responding to my messages. The only time an instant click led to a lasting friendship, the girl turned out to be a psychopath. The first time I met my best friend Zey, I liked her, but I wasn’t in love with her… yet. It was only on the third time we met that I realised I’d met a fellow traveller, and the friendship slowly grew from there.
The same can be true for romantic relationships. Plenty of couples who met the old-fashioned way didn’t fancy each other to begin with. The problem with online dating is that there’s pressure for an immediate spark. But often an immediate spark can go down in flames, while a slow burn can last a lifetime.
“I’m Happy, But I Could Be Happier”
Back in the 1950s, people would have a small pool of people to pick from in their social circle. You’d just pick the person you liked the best out of that selection, and make it work even if they wound you up sometimes.
Nowadays, we have a lot more choice. People are more picky about who they date. We don’t have to put up with a bad relationship. Which is great… in theory. In practice, we often end up TOO picky and end up churning through first dates in the hunt for out “ideal” partner… who may not actually exist. Sometimes, it’s worth giving a shot to the people you have in front of you, rather than holding out for a unicorn.
Have you fallen into any of these toxic dating mindsets to avoid in the past? Can you think of any more? Let me know in the comments!