There Was A Reason It Never Worked Out With Any Guy I Dated, But It Took Me A Long Time To Figure It Out

For a while, I couldn’t understand why my dates weren’t working out. I thought that I was broken or that everyone else sucked. I became convinced that I was just being too picky, but the reality was that I was seriously unprepared for a relationship and shouldn’t have been dating at all.

  1. I swiped left like a maniac. There’s a difference between being discerning and nitpicking. Discernment is good because it helps me weed out folks who genuinely aren’t a match. Being nitpicky, on the other hand, said a lot more about me than it did the people I was seeing on dating apps. Because of the stuff I had going on, I found something wrong with just about everyone, so most of my swipes were to the left, to the left.
  2. I went on bunches of first dates but very few second dates. A friend told me once that she went on over 50 first dates in a year. She started making a spreadsheet so that she could tell the stories of what happened on each dating mishap. This is what my life started to feel like. I went on a ridiculous amount of first dates but only a small handful of second dates. Even when I seemed to hit it off with someone, which was rare, it never went anywhere and I couldn’t figure out why.
  3. I believed that there was no way I was going to find someone. There was one big belief that was blocking me from finding lasting intimacy: I believed that I was incapable of being in a healthy relationship. I really thought I was doomed to be single forever and that there was no way it was going to work out. Imagine how I must have acted as a result of this belief! It was pretty much a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  4. My life was way too full for anyone else to be in it. Who cares to admit that they can’t handle everything going on in their life already? I know I didn’t! In reality, though, I had way too much on my plate between working a bazillion hours a week, taking classes, and all the other commitments I had. Really, I didn’t even have enough time for myself, so it didn’t make sense to try to make time for someone else. This didn’t stop me, though. Needless to say, it didn’t work out very well.
  5. I had some serious stuff going on in my life. I also have a hard time admitting when the timing isn’t right for something. I want to date when I want to date and I dislike anything getting in my way. I had a mental health flareup and some other serious stuff come up that required my care. Instead of facing my problems, I tried to bury them by barreling into dating.
  6. My energy around dating was frantic. I’ve learned at this point that it’s a bad sign to me when my energy is frantic around anything, especially dating. If I’m getting obsessive, upset really easily, and overthinking situations, I know I need to take a step back. Instead of looking inward, I was blaming the people I went on dates with, saying that they were just dumb or not right for me. In reality, I needed to take a serious look in the mirror.
  7. I was using dating apps as a distraction. A tell-tale sign that I’m emotionally unavailable (which is terribly hard to admit) is when I feel the itch of loneliness, then immediately reach for Tinder. I’ve learned the hard way that if I can’t sit with myself, then it’s not a good time for me to be dating. I don’t like to use other people to get outside of my stuff, but sometimes the urges sneak past my awareness and I convince myself it’s just time to date.
  8. I kept going out with the wrong people. Since I was using the app and other people to avoid feeling my feelings, I really couldn’t get a clean read on whether or not someone was a good fit. Instead, I kept finding myself on dates with people that annoyed the hell out of me. I blamed it on online dating and said that men were just dumb, but really my filter of judgment was temporarily botched.
  9. I still had baggage to work out. I had some serious stuff to work out. I kept using the excuse that I deserved to be in a relationship since I’d been single for so long. Self-justification is a sneaky bastard. It really doesn’t matter how long I’ve been alone. When there’s more work to be done on myself, it’s time to just do it. Lately, I’ve been doing some fine tuning on who I am and what I want rather than chasing people.
  10. I really needed to turn my love inward. I have a history of codependent relationships. Although my dating escapades had a flavor of a codependent whirlwind, I’ve come a long way. Nonetheless, I was putting too much love out in the world and not keeping enough for myself. At the end of the day, I need to be my number one lover if I ever want something real with another person.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at