How do you feel about dating? Do you ever find yourself thinking:
I hate lesbian dating
Dating is so hard
I wish I could find someone decent to date
All the good ones are taken
I just can’t seem to find anyone
If that’s you, you’re not alone. It can be easy to blame others for how hard dating is, and while there probably are some reasons outside of yourself that make it challenging, many people out there do not struggle to date and do successfully couple up – and many of them are just like you.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t control, it’s time to focus on what you can: yourself. Why, to you, is dating a struggle? What if it isn’t dating that’s hard, but something about how you’re dating that makes it hard?
That’s right: you might be making dating harder than it needs to be.
Attitude is everything. Plenty of people date and don’t immediately end up with partners, strong connections, or even second dates, and yet they still enjoy the process. If you hate the process, getting in touch with your patterns and thinking about what else is going on for you can help you overcome this obstacle and maybe even start to have fun.
Are you self-sabotaging your dating life? Check out these common lesbian dating patterns to find out.
You Let Your Ex Haunt You
Your breakup is final, but emotionally your ex is a ghost who haunts every dating interaction you have.
You can’t open a dating app without swiping left on anyone who also wears button-ups or hats or that one type of dress she always wore. If your date says or does anything that even remotely reminds you of something your ex said or did, you unintentionally react to her like she’s your ex instead of the person in front of you. (Or, you tell your date about the time your ex said or did that thing.) You treat this new stranger who has not hurt you like they broke your heart when they haven’t done anything wrong.
Your first date is not your ex. Your new dating partner is not your ex-partner. Reacting to someone who isn’t even there sabotages your dating life, your potential new relationship, and yourself.
If you find yourself approaching people like this, it’s worth seeking therapy so you can unpack those dynamics, heal, and move forward.
You’re a Scaredy-Cat
One day you truly believe your date is the greatest person in the world and you want to be with them forever and you’re telling her that at length; a few hours later you’re picking a fight or seeing the fact that they order ice cream in a cup instead of a cone as a sign that you have fundamentally different values and won’t share a future past next week.
It doesn’t take long for that approach to destroy any foundation you hoped to build. Inconsistency makes other people feel uneasy and leaves them wondering where they stand with you from moment to moment. If you act like your feelings change based on arbitrary words or actions, you cast doubt on the entire connection.
You also aren’t being true to yourself.
Feelings for others shouldn’t hinge on a second-by-second play-by-play. If yours do, it’s possible you’re sabotaging the possibility of a future relationship because you’re afraid to get close, afraid of vulnerability, or afraid of rejection. You might also need to introduce some stability into your life to avoid that all-or-nothing false urgency.
You’re Too into Commitment, Too Quickly
If you have a good first date with someone, what you have is someone with whom you’ve had a great first date and maybe want to see again. What you don’t have is someone who is now your partner and your everything. (Plus, your partner should never be your everything.) If you find yourself treating people you’ve had a few dates with like they are now your perfect partner, like they could be your partner, or like you are now part of each other’s lives in a forever way, you might be a romantic – or more likely, you might be projecting an idea of who you think they are or want them to be, rather than taking them for who they actually are. You might be looking for another person to fulfil you, rather than seeking fulfillment within yourself first.
People who want to create healthy relationships don’t want to move in after two dates, don’t want to spend all their time together right after meeting, and don’t find themselves acting like they’re suddenly married to someone they’ve known for 45 minutes. If you move way too fast, stop. Pause. Reflect. What’s going on in your life that’s making you want to jump in so quickly? Where can you take care of your own needs first, instead of putting them on someone else?
Your Words and Actions Don’t Line Up
Do you say one thing but do another? If what you say you want and how you act are different, it might be worth thinking about whether what you say you want is what you actually want. For instance:
- Do you typically avoid making plans with the person you are dating until the last minute, saying things like “I don’t know what’s going on yet” or “I am sure we will figure something out”? Unable or willing to commit your time to this person in case something or someone else better comes along, this is your way of never really allowing any emotional intimacy, connection, or bond to form.
- Do you talk with the person you are dating about going away on a vacation or long weekend, yet always put off making the plans with work, family, or financial obligations?
- Do you allow yourself to get close in some ways but not others? Never having sleepovers, never answering when they call just to say hi, not sharing how you’re feeling, and brushing over moments of potential intimacy are all ways to keep someone at a distance.
- Do you say you want this person to be part of your life, while not actually making them a part of your life? Reluctance to post about the relationship on social media; not telling friends about this person; and not attending social or family events like holidays, weddings, Pride, or other celebrations together can be ways to avoid committing to this person.
So, What’s Actually Going On?
Hating dating is a state of mind. If you think something you’re doing or thinking might contribute to how much you hate dating, consider the following questions:
- Are you really ready to date right now?
- Are more afraid of getting hurt again than you are excited about getting close with someone new?
- If you feel commitment-phobic, wouldn’t it be a good idea to address that before pursuing a committed relationship?
You don’t have to fully recover from your past pain and trauma to date successfully. Healing is a life-long process, after all. But if your pain and trauma are getting in the way of your happiness, actively engaging in recovery first might be a good place to start. Therapy, AA or Al-Anon, regular meditation, support groups, and learning more about healthy dating can be great places to start.
If dating is hard, you might not be doing it right. Slow down and figure out what’s going on. It just might be what you need to move forward.