Heartbreak can happen in any circumstance, whether you were dating for seven years or hooking up for a few months. Your ex boyfriend and “the man who is not your man” can both hurt your heart. But sometimes, we pre-break our heart by telling ourselves stories. Some of these stories are so common, that they have reached myth status. Today, I’ll be working through some of the most common myths about dating and men that make dating so much harder on your heart than they have to be.
Men just want sex.
We’ve heard it so many times before. Maybe it’s your friend, or maybe it’s you who gets stuck in a pattern with a guy where he ‘doesn’t want a relationship right now’ but it’s said in such a way that makes it seem like maybe, if you were just cool and understanding, that it might actually work out for the two of you?
You never get the relationship you want; you just get jaded and start to believe the lie that all men want is sex.
Is it realistic that every guy on the dating apps, every cutie who gives you his number, every man without a partner is only interested in sex? No, it’s not realistic. It’s impossible.
Reframe: Some men just want sex, AND a lot of men want connection, shared interests, a companion, commitment, monogamy and sex. If you want a relationship, the guy who wants a one night stand is not your soul mate. Thank you, next.
Affirmation: “I thank men for their honesty when they only want sex, attach no meaning about myself to their choice, and now make room for a man that wants a long-term relationship with me.”
My city is bad for dating.
I’ve lived in Santa Barbara, California for the last 8 years. People say that dating in Santa Barbara is hard because it’s either college students who will return to their hometowns post-graduation or retirees. The people who are single and in the 25 to 35 year age range are either trust fund babies afraid of commitment or certifiably crazy.
Then, I visited my friend in Denver, Colorado. “They call it ‘Men-ver’, because there are so many men here”, she laughs. “But it’s notoriously bad for dating; I think because people are just busy with their own thing and don’t need someone if they take time away from their hobbies.” The lesson: there will always be a reason that a city sucks for dating if you look for it.
Test it for yourself. Go to my best friend Google. Type in your city and ask if it’s bad for dating. You’ll find confirmation. Type in another city. Confirmed. Type in another city. Sucks for dating! There will always be a reason someone can find for why a city sucks for dating. From my experience, it’ll vary city by city, but if you want confirmation that your city sucks for dating, you will always be about to confirm it.
Bad dates happen everywhere. Your city is not an exception. Your city is not a barren wasteland void of decent people.
Reframe: Just like there will always be a reason that the dating scene in a city is bad, there will also be reasons that dating there is awesome! If a date is bad, it’s because the date was bad. You didn’t have compatible humor or maybe he had a weird way of slurping his beer that made you want to walk out. And the awesome dates will be awesome simply because they are.
Affirmation: “Geography has no effect on my dating experience.”
There should be immediate fireworks or no deal.
Movies and books have taught us that love should knock you off your feet without warning. There should be sparks, fireworks, the angels descending from the heavens in joyous song, etc. You will just KNOW. You’ll lock eyes from across the room, you’ll recognize your soulmate, the sparks will fly and after the date you’ll call you mom and tell her that you found your future husband.
Did someone in the back say ‘unhealthy expectations’? Yeah. Yeah, it is.
Chemistry is amazing, but it should not be your measuring stick for whether to go for a second date. Obviously, if you hated the first date, don’t go on a second one!
First dates are high pressure situations. You didn’t become best friends with your BFF after one meeting, did you? (Cool, if so, I guess this example won’t work for you). Relationships are built on so much more than chemistry. Feelings should take time. Trust should take time. If you feel like those things are coming super fast, take a mental note and read Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. Growing feelings for someone in a slow burn can be a much better indicator of compatibility and long-term success.
Reframe: If you had a good time, but felt like you had friend vibes or the absence of butterflies, try another date. And then you can decide if it’s worth another one. Just don’t write them off immediately.
Affirmation: I am open to my feelings for someone growing from a pace of ease, enjoyment and possibility.
I’ll scare him away if I ask what we are.
You really like this guy. You want to spend time with him, you want to call him yours, you’re just so into him! Things are fun and good, it’s just there’s this ambiguity; you don’t know how he feels about you. You don’t know if this is just a fun thing for him or whether he thinks you’re going to be his girlfriend.
You feel like if you ask, he might say that this isn’t going anywhere. Your heart will break. You can’t stand the idea of losing him. It’ll fucking hurt. So, you play the cool, easygoing girl with no needs, slowly cracking and cementing over your heart because it’s better than blasting it to pieces.
Brutal truth: if you’re confused, it’s a no. If he wants you to be his girlfriend, he will ask you.
The above statement is true if it’s been enough time, for instance if it has been months of dating and you are scared to ask if he is sleeping with other women or if he’s your boyfriend (because it feels like you’re a couple just without the title or the talk).
Here’s the thing: You’re scared to ask for a reason. You’re scared, because you know. You know that he isn’t interested in putting a label on it. He isn’t interested in cutting off his options. He’s getting what he wants so why change? If you ask, it’ll change.
So ask. Just ask.
Ask for you. You are worth asking.
You are over being confused, so end the limbo. He’s either with you or he isn’t. You are worthy of what you want. You are worthy of someone who is sure, someone who wants you.
Plus, there’s always the chance that you both are actually on the same page.
Reframe: Having an answer, regardless of what it is, will be a relief. If you now need to heal, you can start healing. If you’re now a couple, yay! If you decide to keep hooking up and hanging out, you can do so with the full knowledge of where you stand. Having an answer is a good thing and nothing to be afraid of.
Affirmation: I am worthy of clarity in my love life.
What are some myths about dating that you’ve been telling yourself? Comment below!