Being Cynical About Dating Has Made Me A Better Dater – Here’s Why

I used to think that being cynical and expecting the worst would make me a hard and bitter girlfriend, but it actually helped me date in a much healthier way. Here are 11 benefits I’ve noticed from being a bit of a pessimist in love.

  1. I toned down my expectations. Having dating expectations can be a good thing but I decided to change things up a bit. Instead of going into a date with lots of optimism and hope which could backfire and leave me disappointed yet again, I started going in expecting nothing. This was awesome because it meant I didn’t get hurt by the experience.
  2. I went with the flow a bit more. With no expectations on my shoulders, I could just relax and enjoy the moment. I found that I even enjoyed those horrible dates I went on because I wasn’t asking them to be something that they weren’t. I could chill out and live in the moment, then never see the guy again—and have a great first-date horror story to tell, of course.
  3. I noticed red flags faster. I was cynical from negative past experiences and it sharpened me. It made me notice red flags in dates much quicker than before, which meant I could block a guy’s attempts to manipulate me. Been there, dated the toxic guy, not going to have that crap in my life again. Next!
  4. I threw out my rose-tinted glasses. This certainly helped to spot those red flags, but not going in wanting the guy to be my soulmate was also helpful in that it made me face reality right from date number one. I wasn’t getting swept away with some idea in my head of a fairytale relationship that would just end with me crashing back down to earth.
  5. I gave off a “respect me” vibe. When I entered a date looking like I knew what I wanted but wasn’t going to demand anything, it weirdly made my dates cautious of me. I guess they could tell that I wasn’t going to take any crap, so it made them respect me. It also made the toxic guys who were looking for someone to take on all their drama move on from me fast. They knew they wouldn’t get what they wanted. Adios!
  6. I didn’t waste my time. If you don’t take any crap, you don’t waste your time. It’s as simple as that. The minute I saw something I didn’t like or I felt like the guy I was dating just wasn’t right for me, I didn’t try to fool myself into thinking otherwise. It was refreshing to be able to cut ties so much faster without doubting my decision, which is sadly what I always did in the past.
  7. I focused on my standards. It’s much easier to focus on relationship standards when you’re coming at dating from the perspective of believing that it’s probably not going to work out so I have to back myself up. That’s what I did. Instead of being jaded, this actually was a way of preventing myself from getting hurt by toxic men. It also taught me to trust myself before even daring to trust another person.
  8. I weeded out the a-holes. That was due to having higher standards and more boundaries, but also because I was sniffing out their fatal flaws from the start and not sticking around in the hope that they’d change. It might be negative to say that they wouldn’t change, but let’s be real—it’s often the case.
  9. I accepted being alone. When I didn’t become obsessed with having a relationship because I didn’t believe I’d find a happy one, it actually had the weird positive side effect of making me accept (and love!) being single. After bad dates, I really looked forward to going home and being on my own. It was liberating.
  10. I moved on from guys faster. By not rushing into a relationship and getting mad feelings for a guy I hardly even knew, I was able to detach and move on from the relationship much faster than before. This saved me a lot of time that would’ve previously gone to attending to my breakup wounds. Why spend so much time pining over or feeling heartbroken over some loser?
  11. I wasn’t defined by someone else’s opinions of me. By not thinking that the guy I was dating was going to become my boyfriend or that he was some super-special human, I didn’t get into the trap of depending on his opinions. Being jaded about love and relationships actually made me care less about what others thought of me. Instead of thinking that I had to impress the guy, I went into dates with the mindset of waiting to see if they’d impress me. If not, I could say bye without carrying a dent in my self-confidence on the way out.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.