Many of my clients are struggling with dating, which has been especially difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. But of course, the travails of dating existed long before COVID and will exist long after the pandemic subsides.
While some of my clients are dating with the express purpose of having casual sex, with no wish to deeply connect, most people who are dating eventually want to meet a life partner. Unfortunately, when the wish is to finally vanquish loneliness, dating can be exhausting and disappointing.
Dating involves having an elevator speech that you gives over and over again to answer the question, “What’s your story?” In and of itself, this is challenging. Lots of us don’t know what our story is, much less feel comfortable sharing it. The experience of having to meet strangers and to appear as appealing as possible is almost sure to promote anxiety and exhaustion.
One piece of advice I give my clients is to date more widely, to look past their initial impression of a person. Robust research shows that in country after country, straight men value women’s looks over other qualities, and straight women value resources (i.e. power and money) over other personality traits. (Most of this research is heteronormative. I don’t know the data for gay dating.)
But the other data about relationship happiness do not find that picking mates for these reasons leads to happiness in the long term. And a large part of staying in love involves actually liking your partner.
Remember that there is nothing about having a beautiful or rich partner that necessarily makes them a loving, giving, reliable partner emotionally, or a person who shares enough of your interests and joys to make them a good companion for life.
© 2022 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.