Or, I could manage my attitudes about my relationships in general and take a whole different approach to dating.
I could let myself off the hook and let the dating experiences just be what they were instead of tying my ego to them.
To stop feeling terrible and get off this emotional roller coaster for good, I realized I had a choice.
In the two-and-a-half hours I leave the house each week, is he going to trip on me at Starbucks while I'm nervously palming my skinny hazelnut latte and completely avoiding eye contact?
Will I lock eyes with him at the library while I'm researching just how relationships actually work? I see you're clutching every book on love ever written.
It takes a lot of determination and/or masochism to keep putting yourself out there when Mr. Without fail, I would eventually put my rose colored glasses back on and try again, inspired by a friend meeting someone new or it being the absolute depths of winter.
My best friend called it “going for another round.” It took me years to realize that I was addicted to the experience of dating itself.
I find that super intriguing, want to go get a drink? After a while, it's easy to feel like starting your collection of cats and totally giving up on the idea of ever meeting the right person.
Several times during my dating experiences, I had to shut down my various online dating profiles for a few months and lick my wounds. It often became necessary to stop everything and reflect on why dating experiences had been such abysmal failures. I went on so many dates that I was testing different outfits, different responses to texts, different time frames for everything. I certainly could have won an award for persistence, but why did it still feel like not only were there great people out there, but they were behind some kind of sturdy glass wall?
There is a great deal of novelty in meeting new people and experiencing new things with them while clinging to the distant hope that one of them just might click.
The ups and downs were enough to keep me hooked, as I allowed my feelings about myself to be dictated by the opinions of people I barely knew. Somewhere along the way, I had let my ego get completely tied up in these experiences.
For happily married people, the trials of meeting a mate are ancient history that they've completely glossed over.