When dating, relationships, and marriage have not gone well in the past, heartache, heartbreak, and scars are common and understandable. It is also understandable that these challenges could result in a person’s self-protective mechanism inside superseding the part of themselves inside desiring relationships and connections with others. When this occurs, relationship pessimism, cynicism, avoidance, and sabotage is common. The problem is that when we are alone and lonely, depression and other emotional challenges will commonly result. We were meant to date, have relationships, and marry. Adam and Eve were the first people on earth. They were married by the Lord and this is the way we were meant to live: as men and women together in loving and committed marriages. Accordingly we read that “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.... Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
--Genesis 2:18, 24
Keeping an Optimistic Attitude About Dating:
*Remember that this is the Lord’s way: for man and woman to be together. In addition to the Adam and Eve scriptures noted above, there are many other great scripture and general authority quotes clarifying the same thing. The scripture I leave at the end of each of these articles applies here: “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1. For more information on marriage being the Lord’s way and ordained of God, see my earlier article on the subject at: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/men-and-women-meant-to-be-together-81/.
*Focus on and remember your successes. From the early days when you first became interested in the opposite sex, what were the better times and moments? Do you remember the butterflies and the tingles? The excitement? The fireworks? How about when you started flirting with the opposite sex and it was well received? How about all of your earlier relationships and even marriage(s) when things were going well? Things generally went well…until they didn’t. Why overly focus on the bad ways many of those relationships ended? Instead, when you focus on and remember the better aspects of these relationships, it will uplift you. It will remind you of the positive reasons for why to want to be involved with the opposite sex. Otherwise if you focus on the negatives of relationships, trying to have a future relationship with the opposite sex will be like trying to hug a porcupine. Or trying to fight an uphill battle. Or trying to swim upstream. It just all much harder, even miserable.
*Redefine your previous relationship failures and frustrations as learning experiences. Rather than focusing on old relationship pains as traumatic and being stuck in old grief, work it out and learn to forgive and let go. This may require therapy and/or self-help. Then as you heal, practice thinking back on all previous relationship pains and problems as valuable and helpful learning experiences. Things that have given you knowledge, wisdom, and experience. Things that have toughened you up and helped you learn how to better select a healthier future partner. The self-talk you have on your relationship past will largely determine what it all means to you.
*Learn more about the relationships and appreciate them: Men and women are made differently. And that is the way it was meant to be by design. Like they say in France, enjoy the difference! Why be mad and frustrated towards the opposite sex? It doesn’t help and we will always be different. Why be mad at a dog for not being a cat, or being mad at a cat for not being a dog? That doesn’t make any sense. Yet how often have we been mad at the opposite sex for being different? It doesn’t help anything. There are many good and bad character men and women out there, both ways. It is about character, not gender. So learn about and choose a healthy member of the opposite sex for your future relationship. And learn to understand, like, and admire the opposite sex.
In previous articles I have given some ideas and suggestions for doing this research. So, I recommend reading the following:
When you maintain optimism and a positive attitude towards the opposite sex, dating, relationships, and marriage, the journey is much more enjoyable and you are much more likely to be successful. You will also be more likely to have consistency and persistence in your relationship efforts. It makes sense: you pursue things you associate positive feelings with, and you avoid things you associate negative feelings with. Keeping optimism with relationships will serve you well, so please work on this. And remember, “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com).