7 Conventional Dating Lies that are Holding you Back in your Dating Life (and How to Fix Them)
Navigating the dating world can be daunting (seriously why can’t it be as easy as the movies?!) On the path to our own happy endings, we sometimes get stuck along the way. That’s why we brought in dating guru and matchmaker extraordinaire, Lily Womble to help overcome dating lies that could be holding you back in your dating life.
Lily is the founder of Brazen (your go-to dating-made-awesome resource.)
Dating is tough.
But conventional dating wisdom makes it tougher than it needs to be.
These seven dating misconceptions might be why you feel like you’re “not good at dating,” or why you’re stuck in the downloading and deleting cycle with your dating apps.
The truth is when you move forward from these conventional wisdom lies, you’ll find a more confident, joyful and fulfilling dating life waiting for you at the other end.
1. “Dating should be easy.”
With internal messages screaming, “There must be something wrong with me, dating shouldn’t be this hard!” Plus your parents and coupled friends who say things like, “Just put yourself out there!” no wonder you hate dating. Here’s the deal, dating is vulnerable.
And as researcher Dr. Brene Brown shares, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”
So the minute you accept that dating is one of the most courageous things you can do (instead of judging your efforts), the minute you can give yourself permission to quiet the anxiety. You’re putting yourself out there. In whatever way, at whatever level, this is enough.
2. “It’s a numbers game.”
Dating apps are designed to bring thousands of options to your fingertips, and conventional wisdom says the more you try, the more opportunity you have to find a relationship. But treating dating like a numbers game leads to the biggest problem with dating today: Cognitive overload.
As Dr. Helen Fisher, Match Group's scientific advisor explains, “The brain is not well built to choose between hundreds or thousands of alternatives.” So basically, when you buy into the “dating is a numbers game” myth/lie, you’re guaranteeing cognitive overload, meaning dissatisfaction and burnout.
The solution? Swipe as little as possible. Try putting the app down before you get overwhelmed. You’re not for the many, you’re for the few. Try swiping like it.
3. “You should use all the dating apps.”
Bumble probably worked for your neighbor, so you downloaded it. Your coworker swears by Hinge, so that went on your phone, too. Conventional wisdom says that there are a bunch of dating apps and that you should try them all.
Real talk- There is no dating app that’s empirically better than any other. And the pools of people on each app are pretty much the same. So, what can you do?
Just choose one dating app and delete the rest. Your brain doesn’t have the real estate, and you don’t have the time for endless options.
4. “You need to swipe as much as possible.”
Let me paint a picture: You open a dating app, you swipe until you’re angry, or sad, or overwhelmed. You don’t even know why you feel that way… it just sort of happened. Your fingers are numb and you suddenly feel really hopeless about your dating life.
If you feel this way, you’re not alone.
Try swiping as little time as possible when you feel cozy and awake. Then try putting your phone down as soon as you start to feel icky. This will help you reduce the swiping-induced stress. You’ll get fewer matches, but those few matches will be more exciting than the hundreds you’ve wracked up with unintentional swiping.
5. “Meeting people in-person is dead.”
Most people are fed up with dating apps and are unsure how to find dates without them. Dating apps shouldn’t be your only dating tool, and meeting someone in person isn’t a dead art.
However, in pursuit of an “in-person” search process, dating apps are useful because they’re the easiest, most accessible resource available to get to know your dating personality and to meet someone outside of your social circle. When you create a swiping strategy with boundaries and swipe with intention, your dependency on dating apps will decrease and you’ll be more aware of people who are right for you IRL.
6. “Venting will always help.”
The dating stress cycle is only made worse by constant negative talk about dating. Positive, intentional energy is hard to come by, especially when vulnerability is involved. Ask your friends to take a “negative talk” vacay with you for one night. Changing the dating narrative in conversation with your friends will reduce your stress, increase your feelings of hope and will put you in a mindset to be proactive about your dating life, instead of being a victim of it.
7. “I have the ‘wrong’ dating history to find love.”
Whether you’ve been on a ton of dates, or none at all, everyone feels like they have the “wrong” dating history to find love.
What is meant for you will not pass you by. This doesn’t mean you should stop taking action. It’s possible to get in control of your dating strategy by swiping with intention. Find a community that boosts you up and knows how amazing you are so you can bring that awareness into your love life.
Dating doesn’t have to suck. And you’ll find that dispelling even one of these lies in your dating life means increased fulfillment, more hope and more control along the way.