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 GraceNotes
Joined: 12/19/2006
Msg: 1
The role of self-sabotagePage 1 of 1    
Here's something I've noticed. After enough negative dating experiences, such as the other person not calling when they promised to, breaking dates or disappearing altogether, I've noticed that my perception of dating has changed and now I start to expect the worst. It's kind of like negative conditioning, if you keep putting your hand on a hot stove, after a while (!) you don't want to do it anymore.

And I find if I start expecting the worst, then I start looking for the bad things to happen, and if they don't, then I may start reading bad things into innocent things that are not bad or good at all.

I'm just wondering, how do you hang on to a positive attitude when it feels like the bad experiences keep piling up? After all, dating should be fun!

(My solution for the moment is to take a break and try to understand the whole dating scene before I get back into it. But on the other hand, I don't want the dating break to become permanent. Someday it would be nice to be in a relationship again.)
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 2
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/11/2008 10:37:03 AM
My analogy is this:

I feel like I'm a snail. You know how they have those antennae sticking out there? When she's all happy, she sticks them WAYYYY out, and happily slimes along her trail, head held high.

Then someone touches the antennae, and she retracts just bit. Then back to head held high, happily slime.

Then someone touches them HARDER, and she retracts more. Head down low, waiting for the next blow.

Then someone ELSE hurts her antennae, and she retreats all the way into the shell.

If it keeps happening, you NEVER come out of the shell because you KNOW you're going to get hurt.
 Sabinee
Joined: 9/10/2007
Msg: 3
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The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/11/2008 10:38:45 AM
You go into it open to all possibilities. You might meet a friend, a business contact, a date for your best friend, a boyfriend. Or you might just meet another human being with whom you have very little in common with. You stay warm, friendly, happy, positive knowing life is a big adventure full of both possibilities and pitfalls.

The instant that you find yourself closing off to the possibility of something wonderful happening, you close yourself to the possibility of magic happening in your life.

As you learn how to open yourself to new situations, new people, and new ways of being, you start allowing everything to happen as it should.
 sum1forme2luv
Joined: 1/6/2008
Msg: 4
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 5:53:09 AM
I think we all have a little bit of that fear in us if we've been hurt enough times. I know I do. It's human instinct to protect ourselves from harm and once we get hurt enough times we tend to avoid the situation or tread with extreme caution. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is take a little time for yourself and not look for anything "serious". They say love happens when you aren't looking for it. So go into each new relationship as a friendship and see what happens. Also, remember that all men are not the same. While you may have run across (like I have) the "same man in different skin" a few times, there are men out there who will not hurt you and treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve.
 asteliapuff39
Joined: 8/9/2007
Msg: 5
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 7:23:26 AM
I say stop being one way or the other... take people at face value.
If you go on dates make sure you always have back up plans in case they don't get there. Dont put your whole life on hold waiting for that date... because we are women... we start to think its going to be great and then bam the guy doesnt show... and its heartbreaking.
So have like a neutral position about it would be the healthy thing to do, accept guys excuses cause we are not perfect and maybe just maybe they might be honest men that just had a bad day or a flat tire.
 aprincelyfrog
Joined: 7/25/2006
Msg: 6
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 7:35:54 AM
I always find this to be one of the most interesting subjects.

My question is why do fears have to compound? Why is it that because we were hurt in one relationship we have to recoil at the slightest hint of hurt in the next?

Look at a boxer, each time he steps into the ring he knows he could get defeated (beaten) or even worse, knocked out. Still, that boxer gets into the ring with different oponent after different oponent.

When the boxer gets hit hard, he learns to keep his guard up... when he looses he watches the video tape and learns from his mistakes, works hard, sometimes for very long periods of time and fixes his short commings and then, when he's ready, takes on another fighter. But never does he carry those fears from past fights into the ring with him.... instead he carries the lessons and the confidence from knowing he has trained hard to fix his short commings.

This analogy may not play well with women... but I hope it does...
 MustangGirl69
Joined: 1/2/2008
Msg: 7
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 7:41:02 AM
RE: message #2.....I've been in my shell so long I think I'm stuck...
 Hot Fish
Joined: 4/1/2007
Msg: 8
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The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 7:44:07 AM
I keep my expectations low and acceptance high. I learn to take people as they are and be myself. I don't "date" which implies a sales job to me. Frankly, I'm looking for someone that likes me as I am, not a hostage. I was emotionally dependant a while ago and decided to stand on my own two feet so gave up dating for a long time. What a relief. Strange at first but got real comfortable. At my age, making little ones is getting impractical so that's alot of pressure off. The only time I easily found good women friends was in college and it looks like those times aren't coming back. So I'm just hoping for some companionship and fun. This may not be the spot for my personality to click but that's not the end of the world.

Personally, I plan to do a lot of online talking before doing anything. I used to be an athelete and got the yuuuchs from creeps hitting on me. I don't risk anything that's going to hurt me. Actually, I've been alone long enough that I don't expect anything, I'm happy enough with with my friends.
 leetabeens
Joined: 9/7/2004
Msg: 9
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The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 7:47:00 AM
First of all boxing is a sport, not a quest to find a soul mate. Its the physical body that is trained not the heart. So its a matter of being able to physically defend yourself not being armed against the world of spouses and dating...matters of the heart require a much softer approach.
 GraceNotes
Joined: 12/19/2006
Msg: 10
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 8:20:47 AM
I thought the boxing analgy was an interesting one. Maybe it would be easier to date if one had a more dispassionate approach - size up the situation, look for signs of weakness in your opponent, keep your guard up - yes, definitely you wouldn't get hurt.

But here's the crux of the matter. If you meet someone and you start to get to know them and to like them, then inevitably (I think) your guard starts to come down. And this is where you can get hurt. In fact, in a lot of the posts that I read here - this is where a lot of people seem to get hurt. I read things like, "gee, it was going so well, we were getting so close and then... nothing."

So you have to risk getting hurt if you want to get close to someone.

But if you get hurt/disappointed enough, then how do you keep a positive enough attitude to keep trying? And how do you avoid bringing that inevitable negative baggage along with you when you meet the next possible right person?
 nebula22
Joined: 8/14/2007
Msg: 11
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 8:29:16 AM
I have also been hurt...
I have got to the point to thinking that most women are evil users and could never be truthful or commited to anyone...
I understand that all women can't be like this..
So I am still willing to meet women but will only give one a chance if I see something about them that I like...
I'm not talking about sex either..
I'm talking about personality, honesty, outlook, self control and intelligence..
I also look closely at how they manage their life..
Do they pay their bills on time without asking others to help them?
Do they have a automobile that they bought themselves?
What are their interests?
What do they do with their time?
All these things tell a lot about a person.
 CelH
Joined: 3/28/2006
Msg: 12
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The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 8:54:44 AM
Vicious circle..

We are only open and ready to have our hearts broken in Jr high school..After that we become more fearful and cautious..You have to understand that you are meeting people with the same fears .
Depending on how many times they have had their hearts broken, usually determines how sensitive and open they are.
A lot of people are very sensitive and quick to run. And in doing that they make others feel senstive and quick to run.
So I wouldn't let it bother you enough to ruin your self esteem and desire to find someone to love.
Just keep up your positive attitude and you will find someone that is just as positive, when you do you will be glad you found a person that you can share a upbeat and good relationship with.
 PostPunk
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 13
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 9:05:20 AM
There is an old saying, "If you ain't bleeding, you ain't dying."

They're just feelings, they cant really hurt you unless you act on them.

Life is short and we've been given these emotions to share with each other.

Live life.
 kathareeene
Joined: 7/26/2007
Msg: 14
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 9:37:53 AM
its just like goin to court
startin a new relationship with a man because
what u do is the same if ur smart
HOPE FOR THE BEST EXPECT THE WORST
amen
 New 4U
Joined: 11/16/2007
Msg: 15
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The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 9:50:29 AM
I think we all have encountered some pain and/or dissapointment in our dating 'adventures'- it's just part of the human experience! Sometimes Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning how to dance in the rain!If it's good, then it is wonderfull!..if bad it is a learning experience. Remember,The show must go on! _K
 sunshine_1969
Joined: 11/13/2007
Msg: 16
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 10:16:13 AM
You got that right girl doing that is selfsabotage allright.
Be your self
Be true to yourself
Dont get `hung up` on anyone
Allow to date as many guys as you want and let them know that, you dont owe anyone anything just because they met you once or twice.(or whatever until you have a mutual comittment)
Keep your options open, dont settle for less then you deserve, what kind of person would want to be with someone who just snatches the first one they can get on a date..we all want to feel special not just the next girl or the next guy cause we where just available.
Dont let `bad` dates affect you, be happy they did not call, not show, that you found out that he is dysfunctional before you met ( hopefully).
If you have a `bad` first date, move on politely but honestly say I am not interested thank you for coming and leave, dont accept second dates thinking (cause the guy is cute), you might feel better next time or it was maybe just you???.
Trust your guts...ALWAYS!!!
RELAX
IF someone doesnt talk to you on a regular basis or are `too busy`, they are `not really into you`just out for a booty call or truly just way too busy for a serious relationship, the latter you can still start a friendship but dont put your life on hold for someone who is too busy with life or life will pass you by.

Dont count `bad` dates in your mind..immagine your ideal relationship and focus on that...if you meet that man you will feel right about everything he does, sais, how he speaks...it just feels like it should feel.
Dont worry about ..oh is he the one now? that will make you apear desperate and clingy and no one likes that. (at least not healthy people).
Be selfconfident, work on yourself..would you want to date yourself?
Be your best and know you deserve the best..

Good Luck!!!
 oshan
Joined: 1/5/2008
Msg: 17
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 10:34:57 AM
Hi, zeroexpectations... This is an interesting post....thank you!

I think that the conditioning that we go through....being hurt over and over again...is showing up to teach us something. Hmmmmmm, so what is that 'something' we need to learn. Well, maybe the first thing we need to learn is to remember, without a shred of doubt, how wonderful and fantastic we are, and to reinforce that by taking really good care of ourselves. This is huge! Yes, I know lots of people say they love themselves and are good with themselves...yadda...yadda...yadda....but, are they really? We are multi-faceted human beings, and there is alot to know about ourselves...what makes us happy, what excites us, what we think about various social, political issues, what we actually believe and value (not the garbage we've been brainwashed into believing...)....and on and on. Knowing ourselves and loving ourselves is an ongoing process through our entire lives, and as we learn more about ourselves and understand what our priorities are, we will understand others better too. I have learned that in order to learn to be a loving human being, I am given many experiences in life to practice and to develop the character qualities necessary to actually be a loving human being. Character qualites such as patience, kindness, courage, integrity and more. When we are solidly connected with these qualities we have a strong inner core which will help us get through the tough stuff in life....like a broken heart. Yes, it's extremely painful when we fall in love and choose to love someone, and forwhatever reasons (usually fear), they run away, or fail to follow through with promises, etc. We need to learn to not take anything personally. How do we do that? By understanding that what another person does or feels really has nothing to do with us....they are their feelings and their issues. I think the best we can do is to love ourselves and everyone who crosses our path with as much understanding about what love really is as we have discovered so far, and if someone needs to leave, let them go with a smile knowing that we cannot really lose what is ours....that person never was...we just thought they were.

We need to continue to be open to learning about what is really means to love ourselves and others. Anyone who offers us the opportunity to learn is a real blessing...no matter what it is that we need to learn. I believe we are here to choose love over fear as often as possible, but we will not always be able to...this is where the learning comes in....learning what it means to be courageous, for example....or any of the other character qualites we are all here to learn. My thoughts are that we are all in this together, so we might as well have fun along the way...there is a time to cry, there is a time to talk, a time to be quiet....and a time for fun....and all the other stuff. I also think it's important not to take ourselves or others too seriously...but then, there's also a time for that...
 Wrinkledstockings
Joined: 2/25/2007
Msg: 18
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 10:46:57 AM
I don't know why people are concentrating on the being hurt stuff - especially if it's just the first date. My concerns are much more first base. Will he just want to get his leg over? Will he turn up wearing a set of joke teeth? Will he argue with his ex on his mobile the whole time over child custody? Will he be 10 years older and 10 stone heavier than he said? Does he have a partner who thinks he is away on business? Will one of us dislike the other or will (whatever) be mutual? Just what I have experienced.... But hope springs eternal!
 OneBeachlvr
Joined: 6/28/2007
Msg: 19
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 11:43:28 AM
I always go into a meet knowing the guy isn't going to be as great as he looks or sounds in his profile. Yet, there is this irrepressible optimist in me who keeps popping up thinking "this time might be different". Wish I could put her in a cage or something!

My solution is usually to be much more slow about meeting people in person. I want to make sure that I like something "real" about them enough that it won't be so disappointing when he has a lot less hair, or a lot more belly, or is about 2 inches shorter or 10 years older. If I like him enough already, it won't matter. It's hard to like someone that much over email though!

I also tend to "fill in the blanks" too much. If I do find him attractive and he is beginning to sound really great, I tend to build him up too much. My current "hang up" is over a guy I never even met. Ha! At least I know it's silly, and I know I'll get over it quickly, but for the time being, I'm taking a short pause from dating lest I "compare" anyone to a man who doesn't even really exist except in my own head!
 ladyc4
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 20
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The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 11:47:32 AM

try to understand the whole dating scene

Don't. Your head will explode.
Cindy O
 John.707
Joined: 9/9/2006
Msg: 21
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The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 11:58:57 AM
I think what we spend our time thinking about is what happens because we will work things to go the way we think it should. Everyone likes to be right and when we are thinking things are not going to work we figure out how to prove we are right. Other people treat us like we teach them. When we have doubts about someone who has gained our interest the other person doubts also. It is over before it has a chance. The hard part is treating the person of our interests as just an other human being looking for a relationship. Sometimes when we want things to work we lack being open and honest. We are most attractive when we are open and honest. When we are not open and honest we save rejection but we chase the other person away. If two people are phyically attracted and things go south I am willing to be bet one or both were not willing to have an open and honest attitude.

I will close with one more thought. Dating to find a SO is a serious business because we are dealing with other peoples emotions as well as our own. I understand we are often told to just go and have fun, but the fun can quickly end when one or both people start to have feeling.

My thoughts, John
 Synchronisity
Joined: 5/30/2007
Msg: 22
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 12:03:30 PM
Without getting too analytical about this, on-line dating is an imperfect a system to meet a compatible person as any other means out there. I am not a scientist and this is not a scientific analysis based on a survey of a representative sample of lonely hearts, but just based on my imperfect observations and anlaytical skills over the past 3 years in the mutifacetted and imperfect dating arena, where game theory seems to prevail over honesty and being oneself. Or maybe it is just me....

Bars and Clubs:

No need to elaborate too much about meeting people at bars, danse clubs etc. with instant physical and communication access, but with too much noise and distraction to really get to know someone and limited opportunity to ease into contact. It is all or nothing. Also, while chemistry and physical attraction is a key ingredient in finding a partner, it tends to be be the primary factor. I don't think people are any more or less sincere in a bar or danse club, just that the setting does not really promote sincerity. The fish bowl setting does not allow for privacy or real intimacy (and I don't mean physical) to allow for a gradual getting to know in a non-threatening way. People are on show and there may be some competitiveness to go after the most physically attractive persons, while a lot of great people become invisible. As an ordinary looking guy, I often get the feeling that the "Nice guys finish last rule." is really suited to this environment.

Instant dating:

I have not tried 5 minute 'stir, shake and taste" dating and it sounds fun as a game, but must be brutal on those left waiting in the wings. I would think someone with good looks, a good game plan and a catchy script might do well with this method.....at least in the short run. One can only pretend for so long however and even the best liars only have a limited shelf-life unless the other person continues to enjoy the acting for all kinds of reasons. An average guy who lies will likely be hated...while a really good lo0king guy will likely be forgiven pretty rapidly or may not even be challenged because of the fears of losing such a good "catch".

How about introductions by friends or family to someone they know? I have only met one person I was interested in from an introduction by a friend. I got a little physical description and debrief about family, job and other basics as well as some details about interests, values etc. which was all helpful, knowing it had been vetted for accuracy. We met at their place, which was fairly neutral territory and the match-makers played a bit of chaperone role to ensure that the ambiance was confortable and relaxed and the matchees had time to observe and evaluation each other in fairly close proximity. This means also allows for an opportunity for each person to participate in group discussion and to talk a little one on one with the other person and to get to know each other a little more. And if it does not work out, you should still of had a fairly nice time. The downside is that even good friends and family that supposedly know you best may not have a good idea of who would really be of interest to you and present you with nice people, they may in fact find as attractive or interesting or good friends who are lonely and for whom they feel sorry with. I have many such meetings and they can be really uncomfortable, because you have to be extremely careful about acting in a way that does not embarass your hosts and because they may have high expectations about this match from heaven, you have to manage those expectations while respecting your own wishes.

Activity club:

Joining an activity club, group, course or other public forum where people come together with common interests can be a good way to meet people and if you are not too impatient can be a great way to perhaps find a partner with common interests. One of the dangers is you might find someone who obsesses with one interest... a la "Treckie adict", but then again you can figure that out on your own before settling down together in your space ship....unless of course you have a thing for Dr. Spock's antennae like ears. Such groups generally are fairly democratic and contain people of all ages, shapes and sizes, situations etc., which generally means that there is a relatively small number of mate-able candidates in a similar subgroup you are looking for (sex, orientation, single, age range, looks etc., etc. etc.). If your wish list is as long a your arm... which I have observed in a number of instances....this may reduce the potentially candidates to the minus category. Oh well at least you are hopefully having fun with like minded people...at least if you joined the group because you are interested in the raison d'ĂȘtre of the group and not just in desperation to meet you prince charming in Trek's clothing.

Online dating:

Online dating offers a number of advantages that can sometimes be disadvantages. Most sites allow for individuals to add a ton of information about themselves and many ways for people to connect with as much or as little anonymity as desired...at least in the initial phases. By providing a minimal profile, fictitious or not, no photo or identifier to allow anyone to locate you, you can troll to your heart's content through a school of multicoloured, weird and wonderful underwater inhabitants in an anonymous fashion. You can also contact these persons using the site's communication system, which again does not connect you to an e-mail or snail mail address or phone number. The likelihood of someone responding is minimal unless you give up some morsels about yourself, including a picture. However, with a picture you are no longer anonymous to the site users, registered or not, nor to your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, employers etc. who can put your face to a name, address, job an history. So there is a risk, as with the other interactive sites such as Facebook that your personal details will become public knowledge. That said, the only way to actually move towards connecting with a potential partner in the real world is to progressively give up a little bit more of who you are or how they can contact you in a incremental way. If you do not do that you can always live your life in cyber-space, while allowing anonymity, does not quite cut it when compared to meeting a real live, interesting, atttractive person of the desired sex.

Online systems can allow you to connect to potentially thousands and thousands of users, limited only by how much of your life you are willing to devote to this pursuit and how may sytems you want to sign up for. With such a big ocean, and so many slimy finned ones, how do you go about catching just the right one to you. First of all you have to know yourself pretty well to know what you want and what your tolerance levels are. If your wants are many and your tolerance levels are set to minimum you may be successful in eliminating all candidates independly of the number. If you are not selective enough you could end up with a mixed bag of duds and studs. On line you can sift and select by sex, orientation, age, geography, activities, values etc. The trouble is, the accuracy of the information being searched against has not been indepently verified and so you may end up with what look like diamonds, but are in reality just pretty pieces of worthless glass. I find I have to rely on intuition which is assisted by what I can imperfectly read from the photo selected and what the choice of photo, its setting, quality as well as the individual's smile, eyes and physical attitude tell me about their self-awareness, confidence and ability to be themselves. Once again, this would not make me a good scientist and while logic may come into play in such an analysis, it is more a question of gut feeling. As a man, I must also be careful not to let the physical totally override all the other indicators in the written description. Connecting on one level alone is not something that will ensure long term survival. Also, if you can't stand smokers, pets or neet freaks...there is no point in trying to fool yourself you do, just because the woman in front of you is so desirable it literally hurts. Also, people that are way more attractive, active, rich or happy than you will be unlikely to find you to be interesting anyway. The goal is not just to get a date, but ultimately to find someone you are comfortable with and with who you can grow and be happy. The sterotypes or societal norms of the perfect match are often not the persons we would be happy with. That is not to say that the physical and chemical is not important. I would say that it is at least 50% for most people who are not afraid to be called callous and shallow. So to those who refuse to show a picture or to define "a few extra pounds" at some point in a dialogue, you will never find someone who will accept you if you cannot accept yourself.

So I really have run off at the mouth in this diatribe, but I hope it is of interest as I have tried to be as honest as possible without totally scaring away that one beautiful and exceptional...without being perfect...woman away.

My lesson learned after wandering over the vast prairie of dating land is that all methods of meeting people is good, but it will only happen if we are honest with ourselves in the first place, respectful of those who cross our path and open to showing our interest to the person who seems to be right in the blink of an eye. He or she who takes no risks, hides behind long lists of musts, is afraid to expose who they are physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, makes no mistakes, is not open to what life may deliver (good, bad or indifferent), can not move on and learn from disappointment and stay focused on what they want...will never find that "one" person who will be a partner, friend, lover and confident .....

I will be interst
 cleo1966
Joined: 12/12/2007
Msg: 23
The role of self-sabotage
Posted: 1/14/2008 12:11:41 PM
Thank you for that, it was good advice.
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