Valentine’s Day might be a “Hallmark holiday,” but many of us (singles) felt pressured to meet someone and have a perfect date. For those of you that had a fantastic date on Tuesday — we wish you and your match all the best! For those of you who are still single and unhappy about it, read on. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is.
There is nothing more frustrating to us than meeting someone who is single and believing (s)he wants a relationship, yet won’t let go of the past. Unfortunately, you are probably single for a reason. We’ve noted recurring issues that LGBT singles face, how to get over them, and move on.
Issue one: You decide to be proactive about dating, and then bail when it’s time to make moves. Sure, dating again is scary. Yes, pushing yourself outside the “box” is intimidating. The only way you’re going to meet someone special is if you actually do something about it. For example, you’ve been promising yourself since New Year’s Eve you would update your match.com profile or hire a relationship professional to help you reach your relationship goals. At the last minute, you’ve backed out because you read letters from your ex, and decide to hope (s)he will come back to you. The reality is that your ex has moved on, and it’s time for you to do the same.
Issue two: You’re over-thinking everything. Maybe you‘ve netted out why you had a hard time getting past your last partnership. You’ve seen a therapist or dating coach for a few months. Are you afraid of what your therapist has told you (that you won’t meet anyone new unless you make changes)? This is normal — but don’t let your fears keep you in the single status you’ve been hiding in for years. Your coach and therapist are right — what you are doing isn’t working for you. Step up, make the changes, and push yourself outside your comfort zone. Dating isn’t passive; it’s an action.
Issue three: “I had a great date, but now I’m afraid of navigating a new connection/relationship.” Again, dating can be daunting, especially for those of us who are mature and selective in our search for a partner. Unfortunately, a crystal ball won’t appear on your desk tomorrow morning. Take the action, exchange phone numbers, and make plans for a second/third meeting. You never know how chemistry might develop, even if sparks didn’t fly the first hour you spent together. Don’t be afraid of the unknown — it can be what is exciting about dating and new relationships.
Issue four: I need a “second opinion” from friends or family. Yes, we like to bounce ideas and potential partners off the ones we love and trust in our life. However, we’ve seen this backfire so many times in our work. Sometimes your friends and family don’t realize, but they could be keeping you in the single status, inadvertently. They want the BEST for you always. Unfortunately, they may be a little too picky for you or secretly don’t want you to meet someone because they will be the only single one left in your group.
Issue five: You want a relationship, but you’re scared to death of being hurt (again). Guess what? The “hurt” experience has helped shape you as a mature single person to make better decisions. The more you can be real with yourself and your expectations, the sooner you’ll meet someone well suited for your lifestyle and life stage.
A friend recently wrote, “After all these years, there’s a reason why you are still in the same predicament as you were way back!” in his blog (thanks, Alan!). Recognizing this as a continual problem with clients was the inspiration for this week’s column. For specific advice, please email us, firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll respond personally, and refer you to the right people to help you accomplish and flourish in your relationship goals.
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