One of the hardest things to do in life is to keep trying after past frustrations, failures, heartache, and heartbreak. This is especially true in the case of the dating world. Unreturned interest, ghosting, tough break ups, divorce and custody situations…there are many ways relationships can go badly. Understandably after such pain and disappointment, many people are tempted to give up the dating and relationships in general. Once a person feels snake bitten, it can be tough to keep trying. So…should you?
Well, as a reminder, we understand from the plan of salvation that we possess agency—the ability to choose and decide for ourselves. So, no one “has to” do anything—dating and relationships are all optional. So, the real question to consider is, what do you want? Do you prefer being single or do you want romantic companionship, connection, and commitment? Do you like being single and would like to remain that way, or do you want a special someone in your life? That is up to you.
We understand that worthy, valiant members will inherit the celestial kingdom. We also understand that in the celestial kingdom those in the first degree will be married, and those in the second and third degrees will be single (see Doctrine & Covenants 131:1-4; 132:15-21). So again, the choice is yours: if you desire a relationship and marriage—especially an eternal marriage--you need to keep trying to date and eventually marry. If that is not the case, then dating and relationships need not be pursued.
Ideas to Keep Going:
Although a portion of people desire to remain single, most people do desire a relationship and marriage in spite of prior pains and future anxieties. So how do you press on and keep trying in spite of such difficulties? Here are a few ideas and suggestions—
*Get help to overcome your prior pains. This could include meeting with the bishop and getting a blessing, meeting regularly with a qualified psychotherapist, reading/listening to/watching some quality self-help materials, and/or possibly meeting with a relevant self-help support group.
*Improve your self-talk to boost dating and relationship esteem, confidence, and optimism. Be aware of how you talk to yourself. Catch yourself when you tell yourself negative things about relationships, dating, and the opposite sex. Challenge such self-talk and practice having more positive, optimistic conversations with yourself about dating, marriage, and life in general.
*Find relationships success stories to act as role models. Do you have any friends or family members who seem to be in a decently healthy, happy dating relationship or marriage? If so, spend time with them, ask questions, and learn how they make it work. Learn from and be inspired by people who are succeeding in this way. Let their positive role modeling lead, guide, and inspire you to follow in their footsteps and have relational success as well.
*Surround yourself with positive, optimistic people. If you are isolated or around people with a negative attitude towards dating and relationships, it becomes much more difficult to continuing trying in the dating arena. Eventually you could start saying things to yourself like, “why try, it’s just going to go badly anyway?” Instead when you are around those who keep a more positive, optimistic attitude, dating success feels much more like a “when” instead of an “if/if not”.
*Find some positive Hollywood role models. No, I don’t mean politically. I mean, find some happy couples played on TV or in the movies to at least get used to the idea that men and women can actually enjoy being with each other. Find couples where there was not only romantic spark and connection, but more importantly, they treat each other with dignity, respect, and caring. For example, the Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser in the 1990s TV comedy Mad About You is fairly positive. Or perhaps a positive, loving couple in your favorite romantic movie. People will sometimes say, “yeah, but that’s just make-believe and doesn’t exist in the real world”. No, not true. If the divorce rate is around 50%, and about half of couples staying together are decently happy, that is about 1 in 4. Not too bad. So look for and study examples of what that would or could look like to help you have that in your life too.
*Make a decision and commitment to yourself. If you aren’t sure if you will keep trying, make a commitment to yourself to keep making reasonable, regular, consistent efforts at your dating and relationship life. Perhaps you can put your commitment in writing and sign it. Remember, all commitments were designed to help you to keep you trying, even when you don’t feel like it.
Continuing to try is what will lead you to eventual dating and relationship success—hopefully resulting in a future marriage. Quitting only assures you will not find anyone. As needed, take some light and moderate breaks along the way, but keep trying. Man and woman were meant to be together, and that applies to you as well. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2019-05-06||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Psychological health|
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 (www.dr-rg.com), 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 email@example.com. 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 www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).