Have you been disappointed by love?
Maybe you’ve been on dozens of first dates but haven’t felt a spark with anyone?
Or looked forward to a coffee date with a man you thought was just your “type”…only to have him not show up or call?
Or started falling in love with a woman before she told you she was still in love with someone else?
Or turned your life upside-down to be with your beloved only to have them tell you that they just couldn’t see themselves getting married…not to you. Or not ever?
It hurts to be let down. It’s awful when you’ve pinned your hopes on a relationship, only to have it blow up when you least expect it.
What’s worse is when this happens again. And again. And again.
You know that you probably need to pick yourself up and brush it off, but you just can’t. Disappointment is the ultimate demotivator.
You just want to hide on the couch under a blanket. No, you don’t want to go on another coffee date. And you don’t want to start over again with anyone new. And you can’t fathom the idea that you’ll find another love like the last one that broke your heart. That one was one of a kind.
You tell yourself, “It’s all for the best.” Or “Everything happens for a reason.” Or “I just need to focus on myself right now.”
These thoughts may make you feel a little bit better, but the hurt is still there.
Why is disappointment so difficult to brush off and forget? Is it because it’s hard to trust people after we’ve been burned? Is it because the modern dating culture is so screwy? Is it because all men are jerks and all women are crazy?
The reason disappointment is so demotivating is because the person we’re disappointed with most is ourselves.
Allow me to explain…
When I say that we’re disappointed with ourselves, I mean that we often take disappointments very personally. When something doesn’t go our way, or doesn’t meet our expectations, we have an automatic assumption that we’ve done something wrong, or that we are flawed.
When we don’t get the job, we think it’s because we’re not good enough or qualified enough.
When we don’t lose weight after dieting and exercising for a week, we think we didn’t try as hard as we should have.
When we don’t get called for a second date, we suspect it’s because we’re not attractive, thin, young, or successful enough.
When our lover leaves us, we wonder if we’re not lovable.
We look at disappointment as evidence that we are broken, and the more we experience disappointment, the more we feel unfixable.
In the realm of love and relationships, this belief can lead us to making choices that actually push love away and keep us in a cycle of disappointment and loneliness.
If we feel unlovable, unattractive, not enough…then we will act in ways that will generate that reality.
That means we make specific choices and engage in certain behaviors that invite others to treat us a certain way that then validates our belief.
For example, we may dismiss someone’s flirtations and compliments as them just “being nice,” so we shrug off their comments or ignore their advances, causing them to conclude we’re not interested.
Or we may hide our true feelings because we don’t want to be vulnerable with someone when we’re not sure they’ll love us back. We pull away emotionally, and they in turn feel confused, rejected, or even hurt by what seems like ambivalence or hesitation.
Or we slump our shoulders and play with our cell-phone and at a party, hoping to be inconspicuous because we feel fat or unattractive. Then we wonder why no one approaches us.
In these ways, disappointment can be a major factor in why we’re still single when we don’t want to be.
We avoid risking more disappointment by avoiding intimacy, even when we believe with all our hearts that we want that one, special, transformative love that will rock our world and bring us the joy we’ve always dreamed of.
It becomes a spiral of disappointment! The more we try to avoid it, the more we experience it.
But there is a way out, and it starts with a new perspective…
Rather than looking at disappointment as either a string of bad luck, or evidence that you’re broken or faulty, both of which are disempowering thoughts, you have to realize a fundamental truth:
We all experience disappointment. The only way to avoid disappointment is to never risk anything, never try anything new, and never give your heart to someone you love.
Simply put, the bigger, more well-lived your life, the bigger the disappointments are going to be.
If you expect never to be disappointed, that means you’ll likely live a sheltered life that doesn’t change much from year to year.
Not only is disappointment natural and a part of life, there’s a great value in it.
Disappointment and setbacks help us grow. They allow us to examine how certain choices have led us to an outcome. And when we’re willing to see that clearly, then we can make different choices moving forward, in order to avoid the same outcomes.
Disappointments empower us to choose differently next time.
Will we ever say “yes” again to a date with someone who is so obviously not compatible with our lifestyle? Probably not.
Will we again sleep with a man too quickly and then feel hurt when he doesn’t call again? Nope. I doubt it.
Will we get engaged to someone we suspect has been dishonest with us? Heck no! Never again!
Without the benefit of disappointment, we would be stagnant. Our lives would be small and limiting.
Disappointment, when handled in an inspired, empowering way, can help lead us to the life we’re meant to live and to meet the one person we’re meant to love.
What can you do the next time a lover doesn’t call, or breaks up with you, or tells you they’re in love with someone else?
You can tell yourself that it’s a natural part of life and that it doesn’t mean that you’re wrong, or broken, or flawed. It just means that you’re living the fullest life you can, and that involves taking a chance on love, which inevitably leads to some setbacks.
This process will enable you to avoid or get out of the disappointment spiral, which keeps you from opening up to others , for fear of feeling humiliated and hurt again…
You’ll be able to see the growth opportunity of each disappointment where before, you only saw mistakes and shame.
You’ll feel freer from self-deprecating thoughts and be able to make choices that will bring you closer to the dream love relationship you really want.
You’ll take that chance…go on another date…or…smile brightly at that gorgeous person across the room who just winked at you.
You’ll turn disappointment into fertile ground for happier, healthier, and more fulfilling experiences in the future.
Lots of love and bye for now,
P.S. It can feel especially disappointing when you are still single even though you know you’ve got a lot going for you…looks, intelligence, a great personality.
The fact is, you can be the most desirable person in the world and STILL struggle in love, because of unconscious blocks that are causing you to self-sabotage. Don’t let this be you!