One of the most important goals in our life is to find healthy love. But a lot of common dating advice actually keeps us from finding the love we want. The majority of common dating advice is based on the fatally incorrect idea that you should improve your attractiveness in order to attract your soul mate. As helpful as this may seem, it is the death knell for actual intimacy because it diverts our attention from the most crucial component of all—authenticity.
Thankfully, there is a lot of serious, fact-based, and practical advice at our disposal, yet the "make yourself more attractive" school of thinking dominates the area. These false recommendations come into two groups:
Shift how you seem.
Change your behavior.
This counsel may include some kernels of truth, but ultimately it promises love while delivering insecurity and disappointment. What causes this? Because trying too hard to play a part makes it difficult to be genuine. The following suggestion is equivalent to holding your breath while exhaling:
Continually keep them guessing.
Become "irresistible" to the gender of your choosing by learning how to do so.
Learn how to seduce women, men.
Learn how to get him to chase you, ladies.
Men, be sensitive, but do it sparingly otherwise you'll come out as weak instead of an alpha man.
Women should be powerful, but not too strong, since this would scare men away.
Play hard to get if you're passionate and enthusiastic about a new person.
Act assured. No, always maintain your composure.
Not to mention the never-ending advice to be in shape, appear younger, and accessorize better. I've heard from several clients in my decades of practice as a psychotherapist that they feel like the walking wounded after attempting to play these games for years.
We're destined to experience disequilibrium when we focus on improving our attractiveness rather than honing our real selves. It like ascending a precarious ladder. Self-acceptance brings warmth, clarity, and a feeling of compassion that just cannot be faked. People who are seeking for someone who isn't us will find us if we strive to be someone other than who we are. Even worse, people can see that this strategy is insecure. This insecurity also serves as a significant attraction for selfish, unreliable, and abusive prospective mates.
However, there is good news, supported by sound research: Healthy love does not result from game-playing, but rather from the actual, hard-won abilities of true closeness.
The attribute that individuals valued most in a prospective mate was not physical appearance, according to a thorough research on the qualities people rank as most significant in finding a partner that evolutionary psychologist David Buss performed in 1985. It wasn't even intelligence, strength, courage, accomplishment, or a young look. People most often want friendliness and understanding.
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Here's one more encouraging realization that defies conventional dating wisdom: In order to develop and maintain a strong, passionate, romantic love, several factors must come into play than only immediate sexual attraction. Indeed, very beautiful individuals are no more likely to discover love than persons with ordinary appearance, according to several lines of study, according to Arthur Aron, one of the most known experts on attraction and love.
According to what the media tells us, having a gorgeous appearance is a must for dating success. Research indicates a different conclusion. According to a wonderful explanation in this New York Times article, the more we get to know and care about someone, the less alluring conventional beauty becomes.
In the end, attempting to "become irresistible" is only a practice in self-hatred. Real success comes from genuineness. We discover the secrets to greater intimacy when we learn to acknowledge, respect, and appreciate the aspects of ourselves that are most distinctive to our nature. I refer to them as the Core Gifts. These characteristics are often the same ones we first attempt to conceal while we're dating, yet they are the place where our soul resides. And in my experience, they are precisely the traits that make us appealing to the right person—not to everyone else.
We discover that we meet kinder, better prospective partners—and that, miracle of miracles, there is reciprocal attraction—when we learn to recognize our sensitive honesty and stay away from those who don't do the same. When it comes to selecting a life companion, we are entitled to make lavish choices.
Relying on the value and beauty of our own authenticity instead of the dating advice that urges us to be different, better, and shinier requires genuine fortitude. However, it alters the course of our future love lives. With customers, friends, and in my own life, I've seen this happen several times.
Indices That Popular Dating Advice Isn't Right For You Love is complicated. One person's solution may not be suitable for another.
Love is complex. One person's solution may not be suitable for another. And it's for this reason that I don't appreciate folks who provide dating advise that is universal.
Up until recently, common dating advice operated in this way. Everyone was expected to adhere to the same rules and be shaped into the same personality types. Not to mention that there was no space for error.
I'm referring to tips like this when it comes to dating.
Don't seem too interested!
Get in shape before you start dating.
On the first date, "be your best self."
"Low-Value Man" and "High-Value Woman"
"You'll immediately know whether it's correct"
Never accept anything less than perfection.
Never seem overly dependent.
You're not alone if reading that list made you feel uneasy or even queasy. The bad dating advice we grew up reading in publications and seeing on TV is beginning to get a lot more attention.
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Sure, some folks could benefit from the counsel I provided. But many of us, particularly those who are self-aware and want to live an honest life, find such counsel to be unhelpful.
So let's discuss ways to determine whether it is no longer effective for you:
You're worn out looking for the "ideal" person.
There are several proverbs that support the notion of the "ideal" companion. A few examples are "never settle," "when it's right, you'll know," and "you should sense a spark on the first date."
It's likely that your worries are justified if following such advice makes you feel like you'll never meet the "ideal" mate. No one you date will ever be flawless, thus you won't find that ideal person.
The new guidance will be helpful:
Finding someone you can develop a connection with is more essential than trying to find someone who constantly agrees with you and checks off all of your boxes.
You should be mindful of the virtues of honesty, tolerance, and respect.
Having stated that, be aware that love develops. On the first date, there may not be a spark (I didn't with my partner). Go on more second and third dates, however, as long as you're enjoying yourself and keeping an eye out for their personality.
You could be surprised by the real appearance of your "ideal" companion.
You're not getting what you need.
I used to strive to be as "cool" and emotion-free as I could while I was single. Every time I heard about how much males adored "cool girls," I wanted to be just like them.
I thus tried to control my feelings. I feigned that I approved of the other person's decisions. Years later, I still regret not advocating for myself, and I couldn't be more sorry for my choices.
Acting as if I didn't care what occurred led to my being in a lot of non-committal relationships. I experienced emotional deprivation and the notion that my value depended on other people's behavior.
The new guidance will be helpful:
It's OK to have wants, whether you're in a new relationship or actively dating. In fact, being clear about your demands from the start will make it easier to discover someone who can meet them.
Therefore, state it if you desire a committed relationship. Text them if you had a good time on a date and want to go out with them again. The model that for them if you desire constant communication (and see how they respond).
Playing video games is draining.
Checking your phone often to see whether the person you had dinner with last week responded to your text is a bad habit, right? Do you compose a message when you get a text but feel like you need to wait a few hours before sending it?
Does maintaining constant contact with someone from the beginning seem like a (great) dream?
Then playing games is clearly not for you at this point. Furthermore, although some individuals will die thinking that playing games is vital for dating, this is untrue.
New guidance will be helpful:
His constant contact when my partner and I initially started dating was one of the largest breaths of fresh air. I never pondered his emotions or if he would respond to my texts. All of that fear was gone.
As a result, avoid playing video games. Be as open and honest with someone as you would with a friend or member of your family. Be sincere instead of waiting to send your text or planning the ideal thing to say.
Your romantic interests are unaware of who you really are.
Consider the folks you've dated in the past. Do you think they have you? When you were with each other, did you have to conceal any aspects of yourself, or were you free to be yourself?
A red flag that you could have been concealing the real you is the feeling that the individuals you dated didn't comprehend you. And the guidance we were exposed to as children is likely the source of such advise.
Do your utmost to stand apart.
Don't act strange or you can frighten them off.
Be a "High-Value Woman,"
simply to mention a few.
Helpful new advice: Lean into your real self rather than straying from it. Decide what brings you joy, whether it be hiking or painting miniature action figures. Determine what aspects of yourself you thought you had to conceal.
Then, focus your thoughts on them. Lead with such characteristics and interests rather than hiding them. Anyone who isn't interested in getting to know the real you will leave as a result.
However, those that do are the ones in whom you want to put your time.
You feel ashamed of your identity.
It's generally not a good idea for you to follow any relationship advise that makes you feel insecure about who you are, whether it comes from your mother, sister, friend, or someone on Instagram.
Love and dating are complicated, as I said at the opening of this post. What works for a self-assured, extroverted woman in her 30s won't work for an anxious, introverted woman in her 20s.
Everybody operates in a distinct way.
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