How To Stay Optimistic About Love After One Too Many Bad Relationships

You’ve been through so many toxic relationships and on so many horrific dates that you’re almost ready to call it a day on finding love for good and buy 10 cats. Don’t give up just yet! Here’s how to stay optimistic about love even when it seems absolutely impossible. Believe me, it’s out there.

  1. Lift yourself up. One of the first things you need to do if you’re experiencing heartbreak is to raise yourself by remembering your self-worth. If you do that, you’ll not only do the good deed of giving yourself love, but when you focus on your goodness, it opens you up to the goodness in others. Yes, that sounds a little la-di-da, but you’d be surprised at how well it works.
  2. Get some perspective. It’s easy to fall into the thinking trap that “all men are a-holes” or “everyone’s going to hurt me, but that’s toxic tunnel vision! Bear in mind that people you date in the future can’t all be bad like your exes. It’s impossible for that to happen unless you actually go in search of those types of people.
  3. Focus on other types of love. Romantic love isn’t the only kind of love that matters, and it’s good to remind yourself of that fact. Focus on the love you share with your siblings, parents, pets, and best friends. They’re all different kinds of love but they all matter and they’ll all keep you feeling positive.
  4. Trade in your negative thoughts. You can’t believe in love if you’re telling yourself jaded things the whole time like “No one is ever going to love me,” or “I don’t deserve love.” This shuts you down to the opportunities that are out there in life. Whenever you catch yourself talking down on love, stop yourself in your tracks and shift your mindset. It may be tough at first, but the more you do it, the better you’ll be at it.
  5. Get back out there. You need some time to yourself after a bad breakup so you can take stock before moving on, but it sometimes helps to regain your spark. You can do that by getting back on the dating saddle. When you meet new people, this will help you to gain perspective and see that there are still good people out there. Even if nothing becomes of it, if you’re lucky, you’ll still have some fun!
  6. Stop the clocks. It’s hard to believe in love when you feel like you’re running a race to try to find it in your life, like if you think you have to find The One by 25 or else… That’s no way to cultivate faith in love. In fact, it’ll just put so much pressure on yourself that you’ll become jaded about love. Realize that there’s no set timeline for finding love¬†or for anything else in life. It’ll happen when it’s meant to. Take comfort in that.
  7. Work on yourself. Instead of thinking about how everyone you’ve dated is toxic, redirect your focus within. What are some bad dating habits that you should change? What is it about yourself that needs some work? Now’s the perfect opportunity to make these positive changes so you can be unapologetically you and attract the love you deserve in life.
  8. Dare to take a chance. It’s hard to be upbeat about dating when it’s a toxic minefield, but it doesn’t have to be! It’s all about how you see it, to try to see the lighter side of dating and romance. Don’t go in with the mindset that you’re trying to find love because that will just set you up for stress and possible disappointment. When your heart’s open and your mind is calm, you never know what you could find. There’s no doubt you’ll have fun, which will help you move on from a negative mindset.
  9. Stay away from the past. It’s easy to think, “Well, there are no great guys left, so I might as well go back to my toxic ex. Maybe he wasn’t so bad, and hey, at least I’ll have someone.” NO! Do not go back to him. This type of behavior is dating self-sabotage, and totally kills anything good that was hoping to bloom in your life. You broke up for a reason. Remind yourself of those reasons whenever you need to.
  10. Seek out the good stories. You can find a ton of bad relationship stories from friends and other people, but stay away from negativity. It just throws off your perspective, sort of like only reading scary news stories and avoiding all the positive stories that are out there. Listen to the stories of people who are in happy relationships and those couples who have been happily married for months, years, and even decades. Those will remind you that there is true love out there, and it’s something that can happen for you.
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.