I often come across clients who find that dating is a struggle because they always seem to meet people who are not really interested in relationships. ‘Why can’t I meet anyone who is right for me?’ It seems that so many singles are not serious about dating and relationships, or the fit is never really there. It’s hugely frustrating and often demoralising meeting the wrong person again and again.
I’d like to share with you why that is and what you can do about it. Firstly, we need to consider who we are talking about. People who are fundamentally unavailable to date fall into about 5 categories, let’s call them: the traumatised, the rebound, the player, the commitment-phobe and the insecure. Each person will have their own journey with a variety of reasons of why they may not be ready for, or in some cases, incapable of engaging in a romantic relationship. If there are common themes these are what we can see:
The traumatised. There are people who have had a really rough time in their lives, their childhoods in particular. They have sadly sustained deep psychological damage and not had enough resources to carry them through, which make it difficult for them to forge or maintain healthy relationships void of drama and pain. They use unhelpful relational strategies making relationships really difficult for them to sustain. Unless they have support and other resources, you are not likely to have a long-term relationship with them.
The rebound. Then there are people who are temporarily ‘impaired’. They may be experiencing a personal crisis, have gone through a significant break up or job loss, and while they really do want relationships, they are somehow not ready for a deep committed one at this point in time. They engage in relationships, sometimes up to a few years, but are usually not consciously aware that for them it’s only temporary. They are in rebound mode.
The players. The third category of unavailable daters are the players, who can also be any gender. They are fully aware that they don’t want to settle down but want all the trimmings of a relationship. They will lie and manipulate their way into relationships, duping their partners into thinking they feel more for them than they actually do. They may even make their partners feel as if there is something wrong with them and that they are being unreasonable for questioning the relationship. Here it’s all about ‘the chase’ and a sense of validation.
The commitment-phobes. While not an actual clinical diagnosis, referres to people who fear intimacy and emotional closeness. When relationships get serious, they feel trapped and claustrophobic. Panic sets in and they leave, often without notice. Sharing feelings and asking for support feel cringeworthy and shameful. These daters can only engage in relationships that are emotionally shallow and superficial. Long-distance dating is often desirable, as they can have the best of both worlds.
The insecure. While perhaps competent in work and friendships, there are some people who fundamentally believe they are not good enough or deserving enough of romantic relationships. Some overly worry that they are being needy and desperate, or sleazy and creepy. When they encounter people who fancy them, they either don’t believe it or discount it in some way. They may actively go on dates, but their constant second-guessing leaves them at the dating starting gate and ultimately single.
The reason you keep meeting the wrong person is either because you fall in to one of the above categories or you don’t actively work to find out whether your date falls into any of them, as in you are not discerning enough. The reason it feels like there are no good people left to date is that you are unclear about who you should be looking for and therefore giving out signals for anybody to approach you. It leaves you feeling like a lot of ‘wrong’ people crossing your path.
If you, on reflection, can see that perhaps you are not fully ready and able to commit to a long-term relationship (aka you fall into one of the above categories) but want to, there are ways to overcome this. Coaching and psychotherapy is probably the quickest route to restore your faith and ability in romance. Many of my date coaching sessions involves working towards this end. You need to work out what your assumptions are about the world, others and yourself. Figure out what your guiding principles are. In many cases you will find erroneous thinking patterns and a tendency to jump to conclusions, i.e. if someone says they like me they must be mad.
If you fall in the latter category of not being discerning enough, I suggest you brush up on your assertiveness and self-confidence skills. Restore confidence in your self-worth and gain clarity over what partner you are looking for. Learn to spot red flags, say no to them and resist the temptation of being swept up by the excitement of meeting someone new to find out they’re the ‘wrong’ person again. If books and blogs aren’t your thing (to get this information), have some sessions with me and we’ll sort it out.
But there are single people out there ready to commit themselves to a meaningful relationship, get married and have kids. You just need to overcome your limiting beliefs and embrace being vulnerable.
If you are interested in finding out more about our dating and relationship services, get in touch with me today.