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5 Reasons You're Not Ready To Date: Common Fears that Lead to Dating Fails

By Edited Jun 12, 2016 8 8

Five Common Reasons for Dating Fails When Starting Over

and how can you mend a broken heart

If you have been off of the dating market for a while, the prospect of becoming reacquainted with dating rules may feel daunting and scary. This could be especially true if you have never tried online dating. Internet dating websites have changed the way that people meet. It’s like figuring out how to start dating all over again. At the same time, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Factors that got in the way of successful connections years ago are the same ones that can cause dating fails today. If you want to increase your chances for success, make sure you are not making these five common mistakes: 

Dating Fail #1: You Have Too Much Baggage

We all have relationship baggage filled with dirty laundry. For some the bags have gotten heavy from years of being dragged around wherever we go. Our well used hampers are filled with heartbreak, date hook ups, tears, jealousy, broken promises, lies, and trust issues. If we’re not careful the contents can overflow, on display for all to see.

The problem with dirty laundry is that it starts to smell. In the vein of being “honest” with potential romantic partners we pull out our stained laundry, piece by piece and share the complete history, much to the horror of the object of our affection. Trying to protect ourselves from future hurts, we swaddle ourselves in the dirty laundry, not noticing the stench that emanates from it frightening all those who might otherwise be interested. If this describes you, it’s time to dump that load in the wash, give it a good cleaning, fold it and put it away. For good.

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Just like laundry, we deserve a fresh clean start. Some good advice for dating is taking what lessons you can from past failed relationships to help you recognize negative patterns and avoid them, but putting the emotion attached to those experiences away. It’s the definition of forgiveness. It doesn’t mean that you forget, but it does mean you are at peace and can move on. People can sense this energy. You’ll want your energy to be positive so that you attract someone who also has positive energy.

Dating Fail #2: You’re Too Old

Yes you’re older. So what? So are the people you are looking to date, right (unless you are Demi Moore)? If getting older is a valid excuse for not dating, then there are millions upon millions

The Line Up.
of eligible single, wonderful men and women who will miss out on awesome relationships. Dating in your twenties has its own set of dating rules. It’s wonderful with all of the effortless beauty, and first time experiences. It was also goofy, silly and sometimes needlessly hurtful. For many it was a time of growth and maturity. We most likely deal with the inevitable conflicts that arise in relationships differently (and better) now than we did then. We’ve hopefully learned necessary skills to make relationships work. We probably have more realistic expectations about relationship perfection. Additionally, older daters should know themselves better than they did in their twenties and feel much more confident and secure in who they are and what they have to offer. In other words, dating when a little older is the perfect time.

Dating Fail #3: You’re No Longer Attractive

Many times this fear of getting older business is related to the fear of no longer being attractive. To this I yell at the top of my lungs, “NONSENSE!” Age is a non-issue when it comes to dating because there are plenty of people in every age bracket ready, willing, and wonderful to date. New dating websites are popping up all over targeting people of every age. We need not spend our time (and money) looking for ways to turn back the clock. No lip fillers, check plumpers, face freezers or hair plugging needed.

This not to suggest that we should not strive to look or feel our best. Indeed we should. There is something exceedingly attractive about someone who projects health, strength, energy, and confidence and takes care of themselves. It really does show and is the reason why putting your best foot forward is a common dating rule.

Walk tall and with confidence (even during those times when you don’t feel that way). Evaluate (or ask a trusted friend or consultant to give their honest opinion about) your “look.”

Rainy Day Inspiration :: You Must Believe In Yourself!
Could you use an update? Sometimes we become blind to ourselves and our style. Owning your look and radiating confidence is extremely attractive. However, there is a difference between owning your look and being stuck in a time warp. I hate to say it, but if you’re still rocking a mullet from the eighties, and you want to get into the dating game, it’s time to change your swag. Scissors are your friend.

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Even more important than your physical appearance is your inner beauty. Cliché but so true. The best way to attract someone is to know yourself, like yourself and to be a good person. If you don’t have these qualities, you can’t hide that (for long). You should not and cannot count on others to pump you up to make you feel confident and attractive. First, it’s not their job. Second, if you don’t believe this about yourself, why should anyone else? If you are looking to attract someone who has these qualities, be the person that you want to attract and tune out all of the noise from people who are trying to convince you otherwise.

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Interesting Rules for Dating

Dating Fail #4: No One Will Be interested in You

You’re right. If that’s what you really believe. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” With online dating websites and social

networking services helping interested people cast a wide net, there are opportunities to meet more people than ever before. Not the norm just fifteen years or so ago, online connections are a major way to meet others interested in dating and should be a part of anyone’s dating rules. Even so, there are still many people who have not ventured into the online dating game. Fears that it is an unnatural and unsafe way to meet people are still prevalent. In truth, it’s no more strange or dangerous than some of the more accepted traditional places that people go to meet.

As far as feeling like no one will be interested in dating you, why is that? Do the reasons fall within any of the above categories? In order for anyone to be interested, it’s important to be able to show why they should be interested. That doesn’t mean doing wild and crazy things. On the contrary, you should most definitely be yourself. As with sports, the best defense is a good offense. If you know how to let people see and hear the real you, if you are proud of your accomplishments, your interests, your personality, and your style, there are people out there who will find you amazing.

Dating Fail #5: There are No Good Men or Women Left in the World To Date

Crossed fingers I
Did you read what Henry Ford said above? The same is true here as well. We get what we ask for, whether we want it or not. If we think there are no good dating partners out there then chances are the people we meet will fulfill that assumption - which would be a shame because just the opposite is true. Where are we getting the message about lack of dating prospects? We’re probably using our past experiences as a marker. Media portrayal of women as gold diggers and men as narcissistic among other negative stereotypes may also play a role.

These beliefs, however, like all of the common fears above come down to how you feel about yourself. What would it mean if you actually believed that there were many wonderful people out there to date? Would that reduce the anxiety about dating or would another fear replace it? It can be easy for these common fears and more to be used as weapons to protect yourself against rejection. Don’t let these weapons, which are a dysfunctional method of self-protection, stop you from entering the dating game and having a lot of fun. Dating fails are not your destiny.

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Decrease dating fails. Increase dating success.


Apr 15, 2013 6:01am
Kim I love this article, it's really uplifting and positive. The thing about getting what you think,say or expect to be true is right on the money... It really does happen like that.
Learning from past relationships and dropping the baggage...good advice. Wonder why so many people don't learn from past mistakes and keep getting into the same scenario as far as relationships go though? Thanks for a really feel good read.
Apr 15, 2013 7:55pm
Chops, thank you for the lovely comment! I appreciate it. It is so easy to get stuck and takes real strength to move onward and upward. But so worth it! :)
Apr 15, 2013 12:20pm
Hi--Bravo, great article and great insight--As a person who delves into psychology as an innocent philosopher, really enjoyed your article-2 big thumbs and a rating from me.
Apr 15, 2013 7:57pm
Hi Marlando! Thanks for reading and commenting. I am glad that you enjoyed it. These are things I have wanted to tell some friends, but knew they wouldn't listen (couldn't hear). I feel better having gotten this out. :)
Apr 19, 2013 7:21am
I recently had to break off a relationship because I was in a healthy place and she had a few things she needed to work through. Having that strong sense of self worth has been challenging but important to not continue in a relationship when you have the warning signs. So adding to Kim's wonderful article is to respect yourself and you will attract that too!
Apr 19, 2013 2:49pm
animapaper, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Your point is so spot on. You get what you give. I am a true believer of that. Even when it's the right thing to do, ending a relationship can be sad. I wish both of you happiness and tons of positive energy!
Apr 24, 2013 1:37am
These five points are so true and applicable to all ages. It's really all in the mind, especially the age issue.
Apr 26, 2013 4:40pm
Trufflehunter- thanks for reading and commenting! It really IS all in the mind as you say. I know so many people who look at younger pictures of themselves and realize how attractive they were then. The trick is to know how attractive you are (inside and out) now!
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