Have you ever had – what you considered – a great date, and then you never heard from the guy again? Then you start thinking about everything that you said, how you “blew it,” what you did to scare him away and so on. You may even reach out to your friends, divulging every detail of your date to see if they could pinpoint where you went wrong?
Ladies, some of you care and overanalyze waaaaay too much about one little date. Not only do you examine every interaction and second-guess your behavior, but then you become your own worst enemy and critic. Instead of thinking that there might be something off with the guy, you look at yourself and just pile on blame and self-loathing. You take things too personally.
I coach a lot of smart and successful women. Whether they’re in their 20s, 30s or 40s, if they’re single, the goal I always hear is: “Anita, I want you to find out what’s wrong with me.” You look inwardly and put yourselves down instead of looking outwardly at the guy or the situation. Maybe the guy just wants to date around so the timing is off, he’s been through a recent breakup or he just started a new job that is very demanding. Or maybe he’s super picky and judgmental and no one would be good enough for him! Who knows? Sometimes you won’t get closure about why someone cut contact and didn’t ask you out again. You can either beat yourself up over nothing or just let it go and move on, keeping your self-esteem intact.
That’s not to say that a little reflection after a date can’t be good. Maybe you shouldn’t have been 45 minutes late to your date or had two more cocktails than you planned on having. But dissecting every little detail is pointless, exhausting and won’t lead to happiness – or a relationship.
There are several risks to these self put-downs. You may start doubting your own likability, so when you meet someone who shows you any interest, you latch on because you think he’s you’re only chance at love. Or conversely, you can make assumptions and create a problem that doesn’t actually exist. You can stop a budding romance just because of your worry! You can also suck the fun out of dating. The next guy you go out with, instead of having fun with him, you’re going to be too worried about what you say or do to not scare him off. You may come across as stiff and awkward and then boom! You have just created a self-fulfilling prophecy because the guy won’t ask you out again. But he’s not rejecting the real you, just the over-analytical you.
If you’re prone to over-analysis, try keeping a few men in your dating portfolio. It’ll help to avoid focusing on the details of one date. Also, if you don’t hear from a guy, challenge yourself to think of reasons that have nothing to do with you. What he does or does not do is not a direct reflection off of you! And don’t forget, there’s nothing wrong with you. Really.