The dating pool is full of undatable people — either they don’t care, or they just don’t know it yet.
Are you wondering why modern dating is so painful and makes you want to punch everyone in the face? It’s because the dating pool is full of undatable people — either they don’t care, or they just don’t know it yet.
Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever before to connect with someone and make something happen. But what that “something” turns out to be is subject to a number of factors. Even if you’re on a dating app that’s designed specifically for marriage-minded people, it’s not guaranteed that you will end up with a spouse.
It’s all up to the single people who participate in the dating market.
In other words, it’s all up to you.
While you can’t dictate the quality and behaviours of other daters, you have control over you. It’s not unwise to make yourself as mentally fit as possible to navigate the dating world with confidence and success.
If you ever wonder whether it’s a good time for you to put yourself out there, here are 7 reasons why you might want to hold fire.
1. You’re Emotionally Unavailable.
You’re likely emotionally unavailable if you have recently gotten out of a long-term relationship (including marriage), you’re currently romantically involved with someone unavailable, or you’re still not over an ex.
If you date under these circumstances, you do not have the emotional and mental capabilities required for a new relationship. You won’t be able to process information about someone new — who could be an excellent match for the healthy you — and express your feelings for them.
Even if the nature of the relationship is purely sexual, you will end up feeling hollow and be reminded of what you’re hung up on but can’t have — it’s soul-crushing.
- Take your time to come to terms with your breakup and heal yourself.
- Focus on doing what you love and building yourself for the time being.
- Surround yourself with healthy love from friends and family — learn to show your vulnerability in a safe environment
- Challenge your negative beliefs on love and relationships and commit to opening up emotionally.
2. You Can’t Specify What You’re Looking for.
The key to getting what you want is knowing what you want — it’s simple.
When you put yourself out there and have no idea what your dating goal is, you will end up in a situation that serves someone else’s interest at your own expense.
You will get attached to the wrong people for superficial reasons and miss out on suitable partners who could make you happy in the long run.
On the other hand, you might lead someone on and waste their time when you realise you’re not ready for a committed relationship after months or years of dating them exclusively.
- Set your dating goal and adjust your approach accordingly.
- If you’re looking for a relationship, make two lists — qualities of your dream partner, and what the bare minimum of a good relationship looks like for you.
- Ask yourself why you want those qualities in a partner and keep asking until you can specify the real value it would bring to your life so you can avoid overvaluing superficial factors.
3. You Don’t Know What You Can Bring to the Table.
When you browse through the dating apps, you don’t know what a suitable prospect for you looks like. You respond to everyone’s messages, and when you come across someone who you think is more desirable than you based on superficial factors, you feel insecure and anxious while disregarding everything good about yourself.
The sad news is, if you don’t know your self-worth, you won’t be able to set high standards and you will settle for just anything. You will also be vulnerable to mistreatment as you doubt yourself and don’t feel confident enough to stand up for yourself when your boundaries are pushed.
Worse, you believe you don’t deserve any better and end up getting stuck in an abusive relationship. Don’t date if you don’t have strong boundaries and firm standards.
- Look at facts about yourself and find something positive about each of them.
- Go through your past experiences and find a valuable takeaway from each of them.
- Write down your strengths and weaknesses — for your weaknesses, see them through the lens of a growth mindset.
- Invest in yourself by picking up new hobbies, reading books, signing up for courses, etc.
4. You Don’t Understand the Risks Associated with Dating and Sex.
When you go on a date, especially as a woman, and you don’t understand the risks you face, you will likely put yourself in a vulnerable position, and a mindless decision might lead you to heartbreaking and traumatising outcomes.
Dating and sex are not all roses. You don’t have a great time every time you meet a stranger. The strangers you go on a date with might not be as nice as they appear to be. Having sex with them too soon might get you emotionally attached to them when you’re not at all ready.
- Prepare yourself for what might happen on a date and at the end of a date.
- Check with yourself before you do something whether you’re truly ready for certain outcomes.
- Keep your dating goal with you at all times to make sure your decisions help you move closer towards — not further away from — this goal.
5. You Haven’t Addressed Your Emotional Issues.
More often than not, the thing that stands between you and your dream is none other than you. And one of the big reasons why you’re standing in your own way is because you are blind to your own emotional issues.
There’s some merit to the saying, “The common denominator of all your failed relationships is you.” You can’t bring the same you to every new relationship and expect all your issues to magically disappear and the relationship to work perfectly. You need to face yourself and work on your issues before getting out there again.
- Be honest with yourself about your struggles in relationships and own up to your parts.
- Identify your emotional issues through your observations of yourself or by getting feedback from people close to you (or even your exes if possible.)
- Find resources about psychology and attachment styles.
- Pick up hobbies that promote your mental well-being.
- Go to therapy if possible.
6. You Haven’t Reflected on Your Past Relationships.
After a breakup, many people tend to get themselves into a new relationship as fast as possible to bandaid their pain and avoid loneliness. Or they believe they’re a victim in all of their past relationships and the wrong one is always their ex.
If this is you, you haven’t learned a thing about yourself and all your experiences are going to be a waste. Dating now is pointless because you will choose the same people and make the same mistakes and ultimately hurt yourself.
See, your past relationships, regardless of the outcomes, could give you excellent insights into your inner working and core needs. Even if you were in the right, there was always something to learn — for example, which type of daters you should avoid in the future.
- Look at your past relationships and try to recall moments when you feel anxious — it’s a sign of your need not being met. Identify that need.
- Find the patterns in the people you were attracted to and in your relationship decisions — make a plan for how you can do differently next time.
- Give your past relationships a narrative that promotes your personal growth.
7. You’re Not Attached to Anything in Your Life Right Now.
If you hate your life, you can’t be alone with yourself, and you just want something to help you escape, do not date. I repeat — do not date.
Dating when you are not attached to anything in your life is extremely dangerous because you will feel drawn towards the most toxic relationship and you will develop codependency with the new partner.
When you can’t be on your own, you will hold onto the wrong relationship out of fear and desperation. You will end up losing your dignity and whatever is left of yourself — it is not worth it. It’s a disaster.
- Take a dating hiatus — you have no business dating and focusing on anyone right now other than yourself.
- Press a hard reset on everything you’re doing so you can identify what might be going wrong in your life and work on it, instead of burying yourself in a romance that will leave you much worse.
- Find an anchor — you can go to therapy, commit to a weekly schedule, nurture relationships with close friends and family, or journal to get to know yourself better.
The Key Takeaway
Remember that being single is 100% better than being in a bad relationship.
In this article, we have discussed all the reasons why you might need to hold off dating and what to do to prepare yourself better for the modern dating world.
Based on those points, here are the 7 signs you’re ready to find yourself a happy relationship:
- You’re emotionally available.
- You know what you want.
- You know what you can bring to the table.
- You understand fully all the risks associated with dating and sex.
- You are aware of your emotional issues and are working through them.
- You have reflected on your past relationships and understood what you could do better next time.
- You feel secure about yourself and you love your life.