I tend to be an optimist; I think people are genuinely good and would not want to inflict pain if aware their choices could hurt others. Unfortunately, we live in a society that unconsciously condones objectification. Social media only intensifies this trend-as does the use of dating apps. Potential partners become two-dimensional and features honed in on. Rarely does one see the person as the gestalt they are or feel their energy (something that happens in seconds in real life).
We have a responsibility to be kind to one another and to imagine how our actions could make others feel. Breadcrumbing, ghosting, and leading people on all cause psychological damage. This damage tends to be minimized when a person lives on your screen rather than in your day-to-day life. And yet, their usually is a tinge of guilt felt deep within. Listen to it and honor it. That tinge of guilt is your conscience.
Honest communication is one of the greatest gifts to give. Many people feel bad telling perspective partners they are not interested. Instead, they choose to fade away. Interestingly enough, when polled most people state they would want to know the truth rather than be left in the dark. Why can it sometimes be so difficult to treat others the way we would like to be treated?
It may sound simplistic but a powerful thought exercise is to flip the script and imagine yourself in a given scenario as the other person. Imagine you are in their shoes. How does it feel? How would you want the situation to be handled? There is great power in taking these steps and self-knowledge to be obtained. Empathy is one of our most divine gifts as human beings and we make the world a better place when we utilize it.
If on the other side of a painful message, it is easy to take the information personally. Remember, so much of dating success has to do with chemistry, timing and the alignment of values. Check in with yourself to see if you are choosing wisely. For example, many clients I see disclose they knew someone wasn’t pursuing a relationship or did not believe in monogamy. If looking for a more committed partnership either adjust your expectations or perhaps choose to stop dating said person. It can be painful to accept someone may not be on the same page but even more painful to deny the facts. Listen to what he or she is saying and pay equal attention to the messages in their behaviors. When someone is interested, you will know it.
If you continue to hit dead ends after several dates it may be fruitful to reflect and see if there are areas of opportunity for improvement. Friends and family often hold invaluable personal data in this area. Could you ask a trusted confidant for honest feedback? Most importantly, when you show up bring your authentic self and remember we are all unique beings deserving of love and companionship. Follow the golden rule, clearly communicate expectations and, most importantly, have fun!
Posted In Dating