Take control of your love life by understanding yourself better. Dating is more challenging now than ever before; this is because we deﬁne our own identities, unlike our ancestors, whose lives were deﬁned by their communities.
We also have thousands of options at our ﬁngertips, which cause us to question our decisions. All this just makes us uncomfortable when making big decisions if we can’t research our way to the right answer.
Great relationships are built, not discovered.
One factor that makes dating more challenging now is social media and how it leads us to believe that everyone else is in healthier and happier relationships. Also, far too few of us have good relationship role models.
Many people also suffer from dating blind spots. Dating blind spots are patterns of behavior that hold people back from ﬁnding love, which they can’t identify independently. Logan categorized the most common blind spots into a framework called “The Three Dating Tendencies.” These tendencies are:
- The Romanticizer
- The Maximizer
- The Hesitater
The Romanticizers have unrealistic expectations of relationships. They want the soul mate, the happily ever after, and the whole fairy tale. The Maximizers have unrealistic expectations of their partner. They love to explore their options and want to feel absolutely conﬁdent they’re making the right decision.
The Hesitaters have unrealistic expectations of themselves, and they feel like they’re not ready to date. Understanding your dating tendency helps you discover what’s holding you back and how you can overcome these blind spots.
Having the right mindset can help you enjoy your relationship even more
Romanticizers believe that love is something that happens to them and that the reason they’re single is they just haven’t met the right person yet. This belief determines their behavior when it comes to dating. Your mindset towards relationships matters. There are two types of mindsets: the soulmate mindset and the work-it-out mindset
The soulmate mindset is the belief that relationship satisfaction comes from finding the right person. On the other hand, the work-it-out mindset is the belief that you can achieve success in a relationship by making a deliberate effort.
The ability to shift your mindset from soulmate to work-it-out could mean the difference between ﬁnding a life partner or not. Romanticizers fall into the soulmate mindset category. People in this category reject promising partners because they don’t match their vision for what love should look and feel like.
They think that love will just happen to them; they expect love to be effortless. If it’s not, they must be with the wrong person. People with a work-it-out mindset know that relationships take effort and that building a successful relationship is a process.
Maximizers obsess over making the right decision. They want to explore every possible option before they make a choice. Even when they decide, they continuously wonder what they’re missing out on. The current dating climate creates Maximizers out of many of us. No one ever seems good enough, and we wonder if we could be happier with someone else. Maximizing tendencies in relationships can lead to mental anguish, costly delays in decision-making, and missed opportunities.
Hesitaters delay dating because they don’t feel 100% ready yet and want to put their best foot forward. Hesitaters are afraid of rejection, failure, and not being good enough. By waiting to date, Hesitaters miss out on a chance to develop their dating skills and ﬁgure out what type of person they want to be with. You can learn to overcome your hesitation by:
- Setting deadlines for yourself
- Doing prep work for your new dating life
- Telling others about your plan
- Committing to your new identity as a “dater”
- Starting with small goals
- Being compassionate with yourself
- Stop talking to your ex
The path to understanding relationships and choosing a partner for the long haul
Attachment theory is a popular framework for understanding relationships. This theory helps to explain why you’re attracted to certain people, why past relationships haven’t worked out, and why you’re trapped in a pattern of bad habits. People can be anxiously attached, avoidantly attached, or securely attached.
You may be anxiously attached if you crave a lot of closeness but are insecure about your relationship’s future and your partner’s interest in you. You may be avoidantly attached if you feel uncomfortable with intimacy and value independence over a connection. A securely attached person is comfortable with intimacy, spending time alone, and drawing clear boundaries.
Securely attached people make up 50% of the population, but not the dating pool, since they tend to get into relationships and stay in them. Anxiously attached and avoidantly attached people often date each other, reinforcing their worst tendencies. Anxiously attached or avoidantly attached people can develop better relationship skills by looking for secure partners and learning to self-regulate by managing disruptive impulses and emotions.
Pay attention to whether you’re attracted to someone and focus less on how society evaluates that person’s looks.
Life partners are trustworthy and reliable and will stay with you for the long haul. Superﬁcial qualities like looks, money, shared hobbies, and similar personalities matter less for the success of a long-term relationship. This is because lust fades, and people adapt to their circumstances. A great long-term partner is loyal, kind, and emotionally stable, a person with whom you can grow, make hard decisions, and ﬁght constructively. In the end, a relationship is about what happens when the two of you come together. Try to focus on the side of you this person brings out because that’s who you’ll be whenever you’re with them.