The Viral Empowerment Meme That Sets Women Up For Loneliness & Frustration

How a 'black or white' approach to love sabotages your chances at finding your soulmate.

young woman with long blonde hair reads a book by a window, coffee cup nearby Dean Drobot / shutterstock 

There is a popular meme that says: “Choose me or lose me. I'm not a backup plan ... and I'm definitely not a second choice.”

It sounds like such a positive sentiment, a statement of your self-worth and value — like you’re taking a stand for yourself and what you deserve.

The confidence and commitment expressed in this meme are awesome.

The deeper question is this: is "choose me or lose me" a good approach to creating lasting love? Or is there a way in which it's self-sabotaging? 


Your ability to set and keep boundaries and to ask for what you want requires you to have healthy self-confidence. But sometimes an outward attitude of confidence is used to cover your fears and insecurities. If it's a form of self-deception, then you're setting yourself up to struggle.


"Choose me or lose me" is a type of all-or-nothing thinking that causes you to have a black-and-white approach to life and love. Moving through the world with this binary thinking can cause you to jump into relationships too quickly or reject a good match for you for the wrong reasons.

Are you getting trapped in an all-or-nothing approach to love? You need to evaluate and decide whether or not you’re setting yourself up for frustration.

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Three ways 'choose me or lose me' sets you up for failure 

1. You may become rigid & frustrated

An all-or-nothing approach to love prevents you from growing, adapting, and generally enjoying any relationship that isn’t perfect. It oversimplifies your search for love by separating every dating experience into two categories: good or bad, perfect or terrible. Since all human beings are imperfect, all-or-nothing thinking creates an unrealistic expectation to which no person can measure up. Plus, this methodology creates frustration and drains your enthusiasm for dating and over time will create apathy.


You’ll end up feeling like a failure after every bad date, or sour on dating altogether.  Ultimately blaming your troubles on dating apps and believing that there is no one out there for you. This black-and-white thinking puts too much emphasis on each new person you meet — either you’ve met your soulmate, or you’ve wasted your time.

2. You may commit too quickly 

The other common mistake is to rush to exclusivity the moment you have chemistry with someone. You let your feelings drive your choices and don’t take the time to evaluate if they’re an ideal match for you.

‘Choose me or lose me’ traps you into magical thinking. The intensity of your attraction must mean this is “The One” and you end up ignoring the red flags right in front of you. When it doesn’t work out you believe that love isn’t meant to be for you. You feel frustrated and broken every time this cycle repeats.

3. Your self-esteem may suffer

Because love feels elusive and you’re struggling to meet your soulmate, you think there’s something wrong with you, or like you missed the memo everyone else got about love. You think you’re the exception, that no matter what you do, nothing will change your luck for the better in love. Your confidence and self-esteem get worse with every dating experience.


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Four signs you're stuck in all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to love

1. You use absolute language

“Always” and “never” are the most common examples of absolute language. “I always pick the wrong person.” “I’ll never meet someone online.” This binary thinking drains your energy and puts you in a negative mindset.

2. You give up easily

One bad date can cause you to delete the apps from your phone and decide dating apps are a waste of time. Your unrealistic mindset deceives you into believing love should just happen effortlessly.

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3. You don’t feel motivated to date

Each lousy experience drains your motivation and eventually, you’re convinced that love isn’t going to work out for you. You desire a loving partner, but you aren’t motivated to act on that desire.

4. You ignore the positive experiences

Because you’re so focused on love feeling exciting and magical, you downplay or ignore other positive experiences. You meet someone nice and because it isn’t a perfect match, you see it as a bad experience instead of a sign that there are plenty of kind people in the world.

RELATED: Why There's Something About Dating That Makes Me Dislike Myself

Breaking free from the 'choose me or lose me' trap

To get out of the choose me or lose me trap, practice slow love. Taking things slowly allows you to evaluate if someone is a good match for you. Ironically it speeds up the process of finding your soulmate.


Look for reasons to say “yes”

Many people browse through profiles trying to identify their soulmate on a dating app (without going on a lot of dates IRL). Instead, look for reasons to go on a first date. One date is just 60-90 minutes of your time. You’re not making a commitment to spend your life with this person. You're just getting coffee, a cocktail, or just lunch.

You’ll have a much more positive outlook on the number of prospects available to you when you look for reasons to say “yes,” instead of rejecting someone because they’re not great at writing an online profile or didn’t take the best photo.

Date with curiosity

Reset your expectations for a first date. Instead of fantasizing and hoping that they’re “The One,” approach every first date with the intention of simply getting to know a new person. By being curious, you won’t feel self-conscious, and you’ll show up open-minded, with positive energy, making you naturally attractive. People are drawn to someone who is curious about them.

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Delay exclusivity

Instead of rushing into a commitment when you feel a lot of chemistry, delay exclusivity. Don’t wear rose-colored glasses and pay attention to how your date is showing up over time. The person who wants a relationship with you will wait for you. If they won’t wait, they’re not a good match anyway.

Putting off exclusivity also breaks the pattern of short-term relationships that never pan out. Date multiple people for a longer period of time, and only go exclusive with the person who has put time and effort into winning your heart.

RELATED: How To Get A Guy To Like You Using 20 Psychology-Based Techniques

This or better

Don’t get trapped by the false belief that you’ve captured a unicorn and if this one gets away you’ve missed out on your one and only chance for love. You don’t have to scour the earth trying to find your other half — that’s from a Greek myth and has nothing to do with the truth. You are a whole and complete being.


Use the mantra, “This or better,” because it reminds you that if this doesn’t work out then something better is coming along. Dating is a process and it’s just as important to know who to select as it is to know who to deselect.

Trust that if things don’t work out, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to create a soulmate relationship.

RELATED: How To Get A Man To Chase You (No Games Required)

Know when to embrace choose me or lose me — and when to let it go

You deserve a relationship with someone who loves you as much as you love them. Even in the best of relationships there will be conflict — it’s how you each behave when there’s a conflict that makes or breaks a relationship. Soulmates aren’t born, they’re made. Never settle because you can’t settle for a lifetime.


If your partner is not moving the relationship forward or planning a future with you then it’s time to say, “Choose me or lose me.” In an ideal relationship, you’ll both know you’re better together than apart.

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Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker. Their dating strategies report, The 7 Steps To Soulmating is available via their website.