The great love stories we grew up listening to has made us romanticize toxic beliefs about dating and relationships. We end up believing that love is something that happens naturally, but the older we get, we realize that modern dating is not working for many of us. We often feel lost without a compass to guide us. Even the guides in the dating world can give you conflicting advice, which just makes the process more confusing and heartbreaking.
But, here’s the thing: If you are struggling to find love, the problem is not your fault.
With so many cultural changes over the last 60 years, and all the old dating rules thrown out, we are bound to be a little confused about what is expected or required to find lasting love. We are pioneers, trying to navigate a strange new territory without a certain map or a guide.
Our culture sends us unhealthy messages that make it difficult to find lasting love.
Modern Dating Pitfall #1: Instant Intimacy
The Media show people hopping into bed with partners they just met and falling in love. So, we assume that this is normal and it should work for us too. Women no longer give themselves the time they need to figure out whether a man can be trusted. Although that leaves us gambling with our emotions, we feel that we should not complain about the risks because we’re modern women. Some women even believe it gives them more power.
Although this kind of instant intimacy may work for some women, for most it is a recipe for confusion, frustration, and heartache.
Modern Dating Pitfall #2: Unattainable Beauty
We are constantly bombarded by air-brushed images of perfect-looking models while gorgeous actresses who actually look like normal-sized women are blasted for being “fat.” Media images, cosmetic procedures, and surgery show us increasingly unrealistic and unattainable beauty ideals.
Research has shown that mass media, including social media, affects one’s perception of body image. Comparing your physical attributes to others is associated with negative thoughts about your appearance. Women are afraid to start dating until they lose weight because they imagine they will not be competitive in the dating market. They fear they will not measure up.
Modern Dating Pitfall #3: Toxic Confidence
If you believe the soul-crushing myth that you must fully love yourself before you can find a partner, it’s not your fault. We are constantly bombarded with messages about how desirable it is to be materialistic, self-centered, and vain.
Doctors Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell, the authors of The Narcissism Epidemic think that the incidence of narcissistic traits and personalities are increasing in the US and the western world. Our messed-up culture is telling perfectly normal, sweet, and healthy people who would make great romantic partners that they aren’t wealthy, successful, or confident enough to be in a relationship. Many people believe that these traits will help them to compete, and if they aren’t winning, they are a “loser.” These are unrealistic and toxic ideas.
Modern Dating Pitfall #4: You Don’t Deserve Love
All these cultural pressures can make us feel insecure about our ability to find love because very few people can live up to these impossible and toxic cultural ideals. “Will I ever meet someone?” becomes compounded by the insecurity of “Am I beautiful, confident, successful, or wealthy enough?”
Finding a good partner is hard enough without our culture telling us that we don’t measure up or even deserve lasting love.
Modern Dating Pitfall #5: Don’t Be Your Own Person
As Caroline Caldwell said, “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act. “When you are trying to fit in and meet impossible standards, you can forget how important it is to like and appreciate yourself.” It can make you forget your values and you can lose your way. That makes it much more difficult to tell which path to follow that will lead to lasting love and which will lead to heartache.
You can develop a strong inner compass that will help you make the best decisions on your dating and relationship journey. You will not get lost in the dating jungle with this map to guide you.
Your Next Success Step:
Take this free quiz to find out if you are being your own person, your own Brand of Sexy, and begin the journey of getting an inner map to guide you to lasting love. Grab it here.