A reader asks: “Is it possible to avoid becoming jaded in this highly overstimulating world of too much dating, too much texting and too much of everything else? And if I am already jaded and I can’t look at the world with as much hope and optimism as I probably should because of my countless dating disappointments and my recent painful break-up. Is there a way out of it?” Chelsea, 32, Atlanta.
As negative as the term “jaded” sounds, I believe it’s a very natural human response. The more often you are disappointed in meeting people and dating, the louder your brain will be telling you that what you are looking for is rare and even harder to find than you thought, if at all possible. It’s completely normal for your mind to make this logical connection – if you go out with 30 guys who were boring or who didn’t call you back or cancelled on you, or who cheated on you, etc… the chances that the next guy will be different will necessarily appear slimmer than if you only went out with, lets say, 5 such guys. This is even though theoretically how other 30 guys are says absolutely nothing about the next guy you might meet. Your mind is just trying to protect you from future disappointments by making our doubt the guys you meet now more than before.
I believe that the only way out of this jaded and inevitably less emotionally available state of mind is, is to try learn how to enjoy the dating process without being attached so much to the outcome. This might sounds like the biggest cliche, but if you can embrace the idea of whatever happens, happens for the best – it will really serve you in pushing away the effects that repeated dating disappointments will have on you and on your outlook on your future love life. Many women have a really hard time doing this. They hate dating and it feels like a total waste of time to them. Ironically, this dislike of dating is a self fulfilling prophecy as it creates the type of negative energy and skepticism in those women toward men that pushes any new male prospects away.
However, if you have dated someone who you loved for 6 months or a year or whatever amount of time, and you ended up breaking up for whatever reason, you must not look at it as a waste of time and you must not allow it make our more jaded. Instead, at least try to appreciate what you had while you were together. You were happy as long as it lasted and it was one part of your life that you should be grateful for.
If you were married for a few years and ended up getting divorced, remind yourself of the reasons you got married in the first place. Recall how much in love you were while you were getting along, instead of harping on how bad it is being divorced and getting back into the dating game again. You must enjoy the journey of dating and see the good in whatever adventures life brings to you. Complaining is easy. Being thankful for what you got to experience so far is harder, but it is also so much healthier and more fair. It’s also probably the only effective way to emerge from being jaded.
Often, being jaded is just a defense mechanism that helps women rationalize their bad dating life and inaction with regard to meeting men. Like those men who complain that all women are stuck-up, materialistic bitches, jaded women seek comfort in being alone by trying to convince themselves that all men are cheaters, douchebags and assholes. This type of attitude is as pointless as it is unproductive, and you must snap out of it if you want to have a realistic chance of finding that special connection with a great guy.