Usually around three months after people have got their profiles sorted, some return to tell me “it’s not working”. And it’s a valid statement.
It’s a frustration that is totally valid and I feel an enormous amount of empathy for those who feel it. I’ve felt it and I’m sure many of us would attest to the fact that when it comes to wanting something specific with love or romance or relationships, and you can’t find it, it’s very easy to turn inwards.
Turning inwards is actually not a bad place to start as it shows you have self-awareness and the ability to take responsibility.
When you scratch the surface of someone and pull out their thoughts, these are usually the most common ones.
- I’m too fussy
- I’m not fussy enough
- Everyone else finds it easy
- I should find it easy
- It only happens when you’re not looking
- It only happens when you’re looking
- My attachment style is too avoidant/anxious
- I’m not good looking enough
- I’m too good looking (I’ve heard many people say this to me)
- I don’t like that many people
- Not that many people like me
- I’m not trying hard enough
- I’m trying too hard
- I should settle
- I should not settle
- I’m a failure at this
- I overthink it all
- Maybe I should just settle for sex
- Maybe I should give up
- Maybe I shouldn’t have any expectations
These are all variants of the same truth around ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ and ‘I want a formula to help me succeed in this area’ and limiting belief about yourself and the people around you.
Relationship expert Esther Perel put it very beautifully once when she talk about our struggles not being ‘problems to solve but things we manage’.
Maybe some of those truths above are true, and if they were, then you’d probably know about them – if you don’t then ask a friend for some hard, honest words.
The culture we live in today demands we have ‘’7 steps for success’ or the ‘3 keys to getting it right’. But because we are all such complex creatures with varied backgrounds and needs and wants, a simple cure-all solution is not the solution at all.
The hardest truth of them all, may just be that there isn’t an ‘ultimate truth for finding someone’.
You should set yourself up as well as you can, and by that I mean having a great profile ;), learning about your weaknesses, getting some hard truths about your character and how you present in the world and sorting out any childhood baggage you may be carrying around.
But what you shouldn’t do is look too much to others to give you a template for how it’s supposed to be and supposed to work. Everyone is different, every life is unique.
If you keep encountering the same problem, then by all means, work through that. But don’t keep trying to work out the ‘why’. Too much introspection can actually do more harm than good. See this Ted blog on the topic.
So stop the negative self-talk take a deep breath and take the next stop forward.