Being Optimistic vs Pessimistic

Being Optimistic vs Pessimistic In today’s dating and relationship world, it is very understandable why someone would choose to be more cynical, negative, and discouraged instead of optimistic, positive, and hopeful. However, it’s up to you which of these options will be your primary approach to the opposite sex and relationships. According to Google, being optimistic is defined as being “hopeful and confident about the future”; with optimists “…seeing the positive side of things. They expect things to turn out well. They believe they have the skill and ability to make good things happen.” Conversely, being pessimistic is defined as “tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen”; with pessimists “…being one who is often seen as lacking hope and joy and is marked by disbelief or distrust. Basically, to be pessimistic means expecting the worst in all situations.”

After frustration, heartache, heartbreak, and disappointments in past relationships, some pessimism can be expected—at least temporarily. That is our “self-protective” part trying to defend ourselves against future hurt, letdown, and pain. However, the problem with being so over-protective inside is that we also block against our ability to allow good people into our lives. Sadly, relational walls keep out both the bad and the good people. So, in the dating arena, being pessimistic and cynical can (and probably will) ruin opportunities to have a relationship with an otherwise healthy, promising person. Again, it is impossible to both self-protect and connect with others at the same time. Another relevant saying here: nothing positive ever came out of something negative. So, in short, I encourage you to be more optimistic than pessimistic. It just works out much better and maximizes your chance for both relationship success and a happier life in general.

Ideas to Increase Optimism (and Lessen Pessimism):

*Choose more positive, optimistic friends and associates. Be careful with who you surround yourself with. There is another old saying that is relevant here: birds of a feather flock together. Those that you keep company with will affect you, and you will affect them. Do the people around you elevate you, pick you up, encourage you, and motivate you? Or do they tend to bring negative energy and bring you down? Be aware, choose and refine your associates accordingly.

*Ask yourself better questions and improve your self-talk: If you ask yourself a better question you will give yourself a better answer. Stop asking yourself a negative question like, “why do people always hurt me or let me down”? Instead, consider a more positive question like, “what high quality people can I surround myself with that would treat me well and uplift me?” Beyond that, just be careful with your self-talk in general. Keep it as positive, optimistic, and encouraging as possible.

*Focus on successes in the past: Too often when we feel pessimistic or cynical, we overly focus on the pains, problems, and failures of the past. But…why? There is no time machine to go back and change and improve those moments. So why focus on them? It doesn’t help. Please don’t. Instead, if you are going to focus on the past, focus on the better, more positive, more happy moments and successes. That will leave you uplifted and happier. That which we focus on, we amplify. So be careful what from the past is focused on.

*Focus on hopeful things in the future: What are things you can focus on in the future that you can have hope about? What are some future positive, encouraging, optimistic things you could choose to think about? Create as much of a positive self-fulfilling prophesy as possible. Shore up your confidence, generate as much optimism as possible, and refine what you spend your time on regarding the future. And instead of concentrating on the bad things that might happen in the future, focus on what can go right. Think of optimism as a choice, a skill, and a lifestyle. If hope and a positive future focus has not been a part of your past before this point, it can now. Please adopt and commit to optimism. It will serve you far better than the opposite.

Final Thoughts:

Whether or not you are more of an optimist or a pessimist person from here on out is up to you. However, I would highly recommend optimism. It will energize you, increase hope and faith, and drive you towards success and goal accomplishment. Not only will a more optimistic you help you to better attract and sustain a better future relationship, it will also help you be a happier, healthier person in general. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Dr. G
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at

2023-11-20 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Communication, Conflict resolution

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to