After 20 Years As A Dating Coach, Here's The Biggest Mistake People Make When They're Single

You may be unwittingly sabotaging your attempts to find authentic love.

Last updated on Dec 24, 2023

Woman, magnetic attracting and deterring people from her life Hassan Khan | Unsplash, Ivan_Neru | Canva

When you're dating, you tend to attract what you put out there.

But what does that even mean, "put out there?" 

Simply stated, what you "put out there" is the energy you project — consciously or unconsciously.

Put another way, we get what we ask for, even when we don’t realize we’re asking for it.

This part is really important, so let me say it one more way: Sometimes, we don't even realize how or why the energy we project attracts those around us.


It's worth taking the time to examine our energy and take control of what we "put out there."

Being what you think you "should" be instead of what you are will sabotage your attempts to find authentic love.

RELATED: The 4 Skills That Are More Attractive Than Any Physical Traits, According To Experts

When I was in my late 30s, finding true love was a priority for me. I was motivated to marry, desired a family, and was a very serious dater. Did that mean I would meet other motivated daters, simply because I took dating seriously?

Not necessarily. I repelled them!

I was so serious that I wasn’t authentic. Instead of being my playful, fun self, I was intense and off-putting.




The idea that you attract what you put out (and not just what you want) hadn’t even occurred to me. In my mind, I was doing what all marriage-minded people do.

In the minds of the single men I found interesting, I was way too focused on my goals. They probably thought I went home after our dates and journaled about our future as Mr. and Mrs.

Sadly, they didn’t get to see the real me because I wasn’t allowing the real me to show up on our dates. I thought I was being efficient and saving time. I was having the opposite effect.


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Remember, relationships don’t just happen. They don’t follow a formula that doesn’t include your input. You have to create relationships. And, if you want them to be authentic, you have to show up with your authentic self, as well.

Think about what attracts you to someone beyond physical features.

Do you share the same goals? Awesome! Do you want the same things in terms of a relationship, marriage, and family? Perfect!

And what about your values and the lifestyle that’s important to you?

Ahhhh. Now we’re getting somewhere.

“Active, healthy lifestyle” is one of my top values. I value being in shape and staying healthy, and I’ve been very active since childhood. So, when I was dating, I participated in a social group called "Bike and Brunch," a group where I could find a like-minded person.


The Biggest Mistake Single People Make When DatingPhoto: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Being active and meeting new people is one of my top interests, so it was easy to stay true to my values in a fun way.

It was in this group that I met my husband, Alan. We connected on many levels and the fact that we met while doing something we both loved made that connection easy.


RELATED: 8 Core Values Shared By Couples In Healthy Relationships

What’s my point in sharing this snippet from my dating history? Only to show you that you attract what you put out, even when you don't realize that's what you're doing.

So, pay attention to who and what you’re attracting as well as where you’re putting yourself out there.


If you’re spinning your wheels and not meeting the right person, something needs to change.

And the first step is to have a good look in the mirror and get honest about how you’re presenting yourself, and the energy you're putting out there!

RELATED: 8 Ways To Attract A True 'Match' By Leading With Your Integrity

Amy Schoen is a D.C.-based national expert in dating and relationship coaching who's helped countless couples find love.