Stay Positive: It Doesn't Have to be About You

BlogHer Original Post

On more than one occasion, a guy that I've gone on multiple dates with will suddenly break off contact with no explanation. Sometimes I don't think anything of it, but depending on how much I liked the guy, there are occasions where my feelings might be hurt a little bit. However, I have a self-defense mechanism that I employ, and so far it's worked very well.

Do you know that saying, "No matter how good you are at something, there will always be someone who can do it better?" That's the same mentality I apply to dating. You see, we make choices all the time -- who we do and don't want to meet, whether we want to go out with someone more than one time (or a third, fourth, or fifth time, depending on how long it takes us to make a decision). Because there are so many choices available to us, it's hard not to think that there's someone "better" out there.

Rather than getting upset, I'm actually okay with knowing that I wasn't someone's first choice. I'd rather that person be with the girl who makes him happy. If I don't make him as happy as he could be, he'd figure that out at some point and then we'd have to deal with it later rather than sooner.

This scenario happened with a guy I dated last fall. We went out four or five times and then I didn't hear from him for a few days. I emailed him and he responded, but it was short. I didn't try again, and neither did he.

Because I'd mentioned him to a few friends, they asked me about him over the next few weeks. I gave them my typical response: short, no bad-mouthing, just a statement of fact that things had fizzled out and we were no longer seeing each other. "But why?" one of them asked. "It seemed like things were going well."

My response: Yes, things were going well. We had a good time together. And because I know that, rather than erroneously assume that I did something wrong, I'm just going to assume that he found someone he liked better.

(See the positive thinking in that? It's not something I did wrong, he just had a different preference for the person he wanted to be with. Just because that person isn't me doesn't mean there's anything wrong with me.)

That train of thought not only makes me feel better, it tends to stop the questions from other people, too. At that point, there's no need to start the nitpicking, trying to pinpoint exactly what we might have done wrong to turn the other person away. Screw that. I'm moving on.

(Please note: I'm only speaking in terms of short-term dating, not long-term relationships. Another note: yes, the above example could be completely flipped around -- when I know things aren't working out, I've been the one to suddenly stop contacting someone just as often as it's happened to me.)

Is this what you tell yourself when someone stops calling? If not, how do you react?

Related Reading:

I started thinking about this subject after I read dating coach Jag Carrao's "10 Lies Women Tell Themselves" (broken into Part 1 and Part 2).

CanuckJacq, a lesbian in Ireland, describes some of her online dating adventures.

On the Huffington Post, Julie Spira talks about Finding Love on Facebook.

(Contributing editor Zandria blogs at Zandria.us.)

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