Maybe you’ve known a person who has said they’re done with the dating scene, or perhaps you’ve been that individual. It’s quite normal now to see a social media video, read a post rife with frustration, or hear a loved one say that prospects have been so bad and time has been wasted so much, that they no longer see the benefit in looking for love. Chicago-based relationship expert and counselor Love McPherson has heard it plenty.
“It is actually very, very common,” she tells ESSENCE. “I ran a program called The Dating Gym and when the women came in, most of them were already discouraged about dating and had given up. They didn’t feel that they had the competence anymore. They didn’t feel like they knew how to choose. They felt like they had been hurt so often until it became an absolute cry and almost a movement that people are giving up.”
McPherson gets it, noting that it definitely is harder to find a match in today’s dating scene compared to what she experienced growing up. While she says her generation met guys from their hometown, at college, church and more, these days there are many options, often too many, thanks to social media and dating apps.
“I always say it’s like the Cheesecake Factory menu and that’s not really one of my favorite restaurants because it’s too many choices,” she says. “Guys treat the apps like that Cheesecake Factory menu. They just want to go through each one and sample, but they’re not really committed to say, ‘Oh, I want to go get my favorite meal over here on this page at this time.’”
While there’s truth to the belief that it’s just hard to date nowadays, the desire to throw in the towel, according to the relationship counselor, comes from a place of fear. It’s a fear of getting hurt to be specific, and we can’t operate from that when we’re serious about looking for our person.
“What you have to do is how you show up in your business, how you show up when you start a family, how you show up when you are starting anything new, you have to feel the fear and do it anyway,” she says. “You have to literally take courage.”
So once you put on your big girl panties, how does one do things differently in order to have a better experience on the dating scene? McPherson broke down some very useful tips to help those skeptical of what’s out there figure out what they want, how to go about finding it, and how to let things roll off of your back if they don’t end as hoped so you can keep up your search with optimism.
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