Why A Limiting Mindset Is Sabotaging Your Love Life

woman thinking with computer“I can’t date younger people”

“What would my best friend think if I dated him? She wouldn’t approve!”

“He’s so amazing and hot, but he’s not as tall as I’m used to.”

“I really like her, but her family isn’t middle class and I’m not sure I can live with that.”

These are all indirect quotes I’ve heard in my over 8 years of working with dating/relationship and life coaching clients. In each case, the client wanted to be in a relationship and found the person in question attractive, but just couldn’t “get out of their own way!”

Attraction, at least the initial feeling, is almost completely irrational and happens in the older, emotional parts of the brain. When the hot guy or girl walks down the street, your brain just “reacts.”

Logic plays an important part in the attraction process, however. You might meet someone you find insanely attractive. But, that person has been in and out of prison and might be asking for money at that very moment. Logic would step in and say the attraction just isn’t worth it (although sometimes the attraction is so strong to flawed people, logic even fails).

However, there are times when you can use too much logic in dating. Usually, this happens due to the creation of various dating and relationship “rules” or philosophies that guide your dating life, whether consciously or subconsciously. These create a limiting mindset over time.

Some of these “rules” are cultural or learned from family and friends. An example would be “women can’t ask a guy out” or “you can’t date someone significantly older or younger.” Others are generalizations you’ve developed over time like “girls just don’t like nice guys” or “all men treat women like crap.”

woman by the door with phoneOr, they could be self-created rules or things that you’ve convinced yourself you need to be happy. Examples might be “I need a guy at least 6 feet tall” or “I only match with petite girls.”

I’m all in favor of standards, even high ones. But, it’s also important to recognize that many rules, standards, and “facts” about dating have little to do with attraction, connection, and your happiness. Sometimes they represent a limiting mindset that will stop you from finding love.

Let’s look at the previous examples. Would a woman say on Tinder “swipe left if you’re under 182.88 centimeters?” That’s 6 feet in metric measurement, but it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like 6 feet and seems ridiculously arbitrary. Likewise would a guy who supposedly only likes petite women turn down a date with a supermodel who is 6 feet tall and gorgeous? Probably not!

I’m not criticizing height or body type preferences, just noting that if the attraction is clearly there, making dating decisions according to an exact number or particular body type can be very limiting if it guides your dating decisions and excludes people you’d otherwise love.

Let’s look at cultural expectations too. if you think a woman can’t ask a guy out or that you have to date close to your age, you’re also greatly limiting your pool of available partners.

Again, if you feel the attraction and have the connection, a number on a birth certificate shouldn’t be your final consideration (well, make sure everything is legal). And, it’s silly to wait for a guy to ask you out when you could literally just say, “Do you want to grab coffee?”

couple wading in a lakeThe sweeping generalizations are some of the worst types of limiting thinking. They will negatively impact your entire dating experience. If you truly think all women hate good guys or that all men are horrible people, that attitude will be very obvious to everyone you attempt to date. And, it will stop most relationships before they start.

I would encourage you to take an honest look at yourself and find what’s limiting you. Look at your assumptions, choices, and beliefs about dating, relationships, and potential partners. What in there is actually hurting you rather than helping you?

Dating in the modern world can be difficult and tedious. Anyone who tries to find love will inevitably encounter obstacles. Never settle and go for the best! But, don’t make it harder by standing in your own way over things that don’t even really matter to you in the end.

This article is part of our “Find love in 2019” project, so please join us on our Facebook page to contribute to the discussion!

About the Author

Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, and dating/relationship expert. He's helped millions through his articles, speaking, consulting, and coaching. He's appeared in over 500 major publications, including Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today.

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