Do you feel like you have bad luck in your dating life? Maybe you’ve had a string of awful first dates. Perhaps you blame online dating apps for your inability to connect with anyone.
Sure, it’s easy to blame bad luck when you have a series of lousy dates. In a perverse way, it’s even comforting to believe that your destiny in love is beyond mere mortal control.
If like me, you find yourself in your sixties after a series of unsuccessful relationships, your confidence in re-entering the world of dating is undoubtedly shaken.
You end up blaming yourself, thinking there is something fundamentally wrong with you that can’t be fixed. The problem with this thinking is that it absolves us of any responsibility.
The truth is that you can indeed re-program how you deal with relationships. In my case, a professional therapist helped me work through it.
The belief that bad luck is in control of our love life is a mistaken notion. It reminds me of what Henry Ford said about our thoughts, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
The fact is we always have control over our choices and in how we react to things going on around us. This includes our search for love.
I admit there is an element of luck and serendipity in life that’s not in our control. Think of your life as a ship on the ocean. Yes, you’re at the mercy of wind and currents. Yet you can steer the ship and set the sails to follow the course you want, despite the uncontrollable wind and currents. The same is true of your dating life.
How Do I Get Lucky in Love and Get Control of My Dating Life?
How then, are we to take control of our dating destiny?
In a recent article I talked about finding the best mindset for dating when you’re over 50 or 60. Without a positive, growth mindset, we become our own worst enemies by closing ourselves off to new experiences. In a sense, our own thoughts are laying the groundwork for being “unlucky in love.”
If you want to correct the course of your love life, a good first step is to adopt a growth mindset.
Stop Playing the Victim in Your Relationships
Next, ask whether you’re playing the victim. A sure sign you’re playing the victim is you blame others for your circumstances. If you’re judgmental and frequently use the word “should” about others, you’re being a victim. Playing the victim sabotages all your chances at having a good dating experience, never mind a good relationship.
Blaming other people or outside forces always positions you as a victim. According to Psychology Today, playing the victim game doesn’t serve your needs because it shifts responsibility and power about your situation to others. It bottles up your feelings which can lead to depression and other disorders.
In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl writes that many concentration camp survivors endured because they refused to feel victimized. They clung to their one remaining freedom, “to bear oneself ‘this way or that’…” in reaction to the horror going on around them. They never gave up that choice.
In contrast, a few bad dating experiences is nothing. We still have an incredible array of choices in how we play the dating game.
Being the victim is not an attractive quality to prospective dates who are emotionally healthy. Not only does it repel them (the right kind of partner), you attract precisely the wrong kind of partner.
When you believe you’re a victim, you trick yourself into believing that you have no control.
You always have control of how you react to whatever’s going on in your dating life.
You always have control of the steps you’re going to take to ensure you don’t repeat past relationship mistakes.
Don’t be a victim. If you find yourself indulging in the victim game, it’s a good idea to talk about it with a licensed therapist.
Examine Reasons Why Your Dating Life is Off Course
If you’re not happy with your dates, try to figure out why. Then make changes to get back on course. Some possible reasons:
Your online dating profile doesn’t really reflect who you are.
Perhaps you left the generic version of the online dating profile that came with the app, or you never bothered to fill in the details. You can’t attract the right partner if they don’t know who you are.
You don’t really know what you want in a partner.
Maybe your idea of who you want is more fantasy than reality, based on pop culture, TV shows, or movie personalities. If so, take some time to define what you sincerely want in your date. If you don’t know what you want, you’re likely to fall for anyone, compatible or not.
Are you clear on your dating goals?
Maybe you’d rather just date than search for your next true love. If you only want to date but your dates are looking for partners, your dating experience isn’t going to be so great. Once you’re clear on your goals, the right kind of dates will be able to find you.
You might be living in the past.
The way you dated when you were a teenager is probably not going to work well when you’re dating and over sixty.
You might be attracted to people who need fixing.
If you have a history of failed relationships, it’s a sure sign your relationship programming needs a little tweaking. Believe me, this is some of the best work you can do for yourself and your love life. A good therapist is essential here.
You’re recently widowed.
If the grieving process isn’t complete, you’ll have a hard time connecting with your dating partners.
You’re recently divorced or separated.
The aftermath of a breakup is a time for self-reflection and work. Work to discover what went wrong and why. If you don’t do that kind of work, you’ll simply repeat the process. I know that myself from a few personal experiences!
Final Thought on Being Unlucky in Love
Sure, things happen that aren’t in our control. The key to happiness and an awesome dating experience is in how you react to the unexpected. Don’t fall prey to blaming and the victim game. It’s one you can’t win. You always have choices to make to guide your dating life in a direction you want. What are you going to do today to make your next date a success?
Be sure to get your free copy of The Secret to Mature Dating Success.