We all know a desperate person or two. They make frantic phone calls to men they barely know looking for reassurance. They need to know "where things are going" after a few dates. They obsess over why they're stuck being single. They talk nonstop about men, love, relationships and rarely, if ever, take a break from the dating scene. When you call to talk about your love life, they overflow with their disappointments and anger about why life has dealt them the relationship cards they're holding.
Most of all, these women spend hours and hours feeling trapped inside a miserable, unfulfilled single life that they desperately want to get out of if they could only figure out how.
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What defines a desperate person? Desperate people make decisions that are not in their best interest out of fear.
Some common fears that single people grapple with include:
- Fear of being alone
- Fear of being forced to settle
- Fear of repeating the past
- Fear of never experiencing true love
- Fear of never being accepted (flaws and all)
When someone makes choices in life because of one of these fears, they risk damaging their positive image of themselves. What seems like a good idea in the moment, because it pushes the fear away, ends up packing a double whammy because it reinforces both the fear and the belief in that fear.
For example, when a woman who is afraid of being alone chooses to get into a committed relationship with a man who is not her equal, the message she send to her self-esteem is that she’s not worth a better man. She’s not worth her equal. She’s worth less.
How do you stop this cycle? To stop being desperate you have to end the pattern of inaccurate, negative beliefs about yourself. You need to begin to believe that you have something wonderful to offer and that the person you're "meant" to be with is actually out there. In other words, you need to begin to re-train your brain.
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Here are a few ways to start:
1. Take a break from dating and focus your attention exclusively on things you're confident about and good at doing. If you regularly score points at work, consider spending an extra hour or two at the office each day. You could take a work-related class or do some career-related networking. The point is to practice experiencing what you're like (how you feel and behave) when you're in a more confident, relaxed place. Begin to teach yourself through this example that you have a lot to offer. When your fearful feelings come back, remember what it feels like to be good at something and imagine that you're just as good at dating. Use this experience as a template for how you want to behave and what it feels like to not be desperate.