by Dr. Randy Gilchrist, LDS Psychologist
www.LDSdimension.com (FREE LDS online dating site)
Single and LDS? Tired of the singles scene? Tired of the meat market? Then you are not alone. Many others in your situation have similar feelings. Perhaps previous dating has been unsuccessful. Maybe you have been let down, hurt, or frustrated in the past. It could be that previous promising relationships ended poorly and left you negative and pessimistic with the dating scene. Maybe after a previous marriage you never thought you would have to deal with the dating scene again, but here you are.
Whatever your situation and background, there is one pearl of wisdom I would like to share on this subject: stop the negative attitude. Rarely if ever has a negative approach to anything--let alone dating--led to a positive result. As understandable as your negative attitude may be, this approach will almost always lead to more frustration and a continued lack of success. Think about it: whomever you meet and consider dating is also dealing with similar challenges of the dating world. If you are negative, you will probably push them away and end any chance an otherwise promising relationship could have had. So if you struggle with a negative attitude towards dating, what can you do?
Suggestions and Recommendations
*Work on your nonverbals. A lot of the impression you give others comes from your nonverbals: your body language, facial expression, and tone of voice. You may not realize it, but your nonverbals are a strong window into your attitude about dating, relationships, and socializing in general. If your nonverbals come across as closed, cynical, and unhappy, what kind of a reaction can you expect from a potential dating partner (or someone you've started dating)? Usually, the negativity will send a message of "unapproachable" and/or "not interested" and will push others away. The problem is, most people are largely unaware of their negative nonverbals and don't consider these effects on others.
To improve your nonverbal communication, 1) make a list of all of the more positive ways that you would ideally like to come across to others, such as approachable, interested, happy, energetic, optimistic, engaging, etc. 2) Practice having an imaginary/role played conversation with a person you are interesting in getting to know better (real or imagined). Talk out loud, perhaps in the mirror. Video tape yourself. 3) Watch the video of your conversations and watch and listen for how well you seem to be coming across. Do you look and sound like how you wish to come across? Continue practicing until you are better able to project your desired self. Making "getting into your mode" second nature. 4) Practice showing your positive social mode to others in live situations.
*Practice positive self talk. What good, positive, true statements can you practice making to yourself inside about dating, relationships, and your hopes for success? Make a list of as many positive things that you can on these subjects and add to the list regularly. Every day, say them all out loud with conviction. Combat your old negative attitudes and adopt your positive statements. If/when needed, add a list of evidence that the positive statements are true. Some examples of positive self talk statements could include such things as "people like _____ about me", "I've shown that I'm good at_____", "I think my ____ is attractive", or "I have _____to offer". Whatever you put on your list, have it be as positive and true as possible. Don't be bashful. And this is not the time to be overly modest. You are working to build your confidence, self esteem, and attitude, so be positive and generous with yourself. Build yourself up. Others will notice.
*Socialize often. Whenever reasonably possible, take whatever opportunities that present themselves to talk to others. Be as positive, optimistic, and engaging as possible. Show an interest in them and what they have to say. Expand the conversation as much as possible and enjoy yourself. Demonstrate good listening, validation, empathy, and appropriate agreement. Work on bonding and finding common interests and attitudes. Practice this with both men and women. The more often you engage in conversations with strangers and acquaintances, the easier it will be to carry on such conversations with potential dating partners and in your eventual relationships. The more you have positive conversations, the more they become second nature and a true asset to your dating efforts. Aim to help the other has as positive and as enjoyable a conversation as possible. The more the other enjoys these conversations, the greater your social confidence and skills will become.
Dating, relationships, and marriage and wonderful things and ordained of God. He wants you to succeed and will help you. But also remember the old saying, "the Lord helps those who help themselves". Following these 3 simple suggestions regularly will greatly enhance your dating prospects and chances for relational success. And it is worth it because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).
**To readers: to submit a question to Dr. G for a future Q and A column, please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please register for a free account at www.ldsdimension.com for access to previous and future Dr. G articles.
|2016-08-11||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Healthy relationships, Communication, 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).