What I find is critical to many of my clients is to surround themselves with like minded people who provide positive energy to their dating efforts. Ask yourself this Relationship Question: “Who is in your support system and how do they support your dating?”
When I was single, I realized I was hanging out with a group of women who were not supporting my efforts. They were critical and judgmental. Also, I found out they would say negatives things about me behind my back. I stopped hanging out with them and made a conscious effort to be with upbeat, positive, supportive people.
You may have well meaning people around and they are really not the positive, helpful influence you need. Your parents want you to be settled and their messages to you may not always be the best for your self esteem. I got, “you are too picky” from my grandmother!
Your friends who are also single may not be in the best place to support you. One of my supposedly “best friends” would go after a guy she saw I was interested in at singles events. (She did not remain my friend after that!) Your married friends are well-meaning and it may be hard to be around them and their kids. It may have been a while since they have had to be in the dating world. Their relationship questions to you may make you feel like you are doing something wrong. They try to give you helpful relationship advice but it may be difficult for them to not sound patronizing.
I joined a coaching group and that was truly instrumental to me being open to dating someone like my husband. I really enjoyed being with people who were hopeful about dating and were open to learning to date in a more constructive way. Through the work I did in my group, I became clear about want I wanted and who would be a good partner for me. Then when I did meet my husband, I was able to recognize someone who would make a wonderful life partner.
My answer to your relationship question is to evaluate your support system which is critical to your dating success and take the steps you need in order to be among those who will truly support you.