The 'Paradox of Choice' makes us believe that the grass is always greener elsewhere.
Have you ever felt 'stuck' in your status, asking time and time again 'Why am I still single?' Many of us report feeling unable to move forwards; to take decisive action that might actually help us to shape our future - into one where we are part of a happy and healthy relationship.
The reason for this is that the illusion of endless options is resulting in overwhelm. So much choice can mean that - ironically - we actually end up making no choice at all.
Here are three hard truths that could explain why you're still single - and why your dating possibilities are not as infinite as they might seem.
The Paradox of Choice and 'Analysis Paralysis'
Overwhelm can apply to many areas of our lives, but especially when online - whether that be shopping, job-hunting, Netflix (especially Netflix...!) or indeed, finding love.
Dating apps have transformed the way that we connect. But they can also give single people the impression that - with so many options - their chances of finding that perfect partner or 'the one' are greatly enhanced.
In fact, the opposite is true. Indeed, the more choices that are presented to us, the less likely we actually are to make a confident decision moving forwards. Here are three hard truths that can help to explain why being presented with choice does not in any way get us any closer to actually making one - meaning that we're much more likely to remain single.
1) Everyone else has multiple options, too
A hard truth that nobody wants to face is the fact that you might not be your type’s 'type'. And unfortunately, the online dating era has brought with it this sense of being able to choose a partner as if you were ordering from a menu.
Sure - while dining out at a restaurant, you can order whatever items suit your fancy, and even tweak them to your liking. However, the difference is that with dating, no one is truly an option unless they also choose you in return. So for that reason, the possibilities of mutual attraction can be much lower than you perceive them to be when you initially embark upon your search. Sadly, endless choice is a mere illusion.
2) 'What Ifs' stifle progress
It has been scientifically proven that the more choice someone has, the less likely they are to make an actual decision. And this is particularly evident when you take a glimpse at today’s online dating platforms.
So why is it that with so many eligible singles, who have unlimited access to one another, still cannot manage to connect?
We can often treat dates like clothing - meaning that we have to try on multiple outfits to find one that fits. And that's fine. But when we're looking for the perfect outfit, you're always holding for something more and asking 'What if the next one is better?' But when we continually hold out for better, we can often end up with nothing.
Here's the next hard truth. As you're waiting for someone a little bit better - just one more swipe - your most recent match may be doing the exact same thing, and your inactivity or reluctance to connect simply fulfills that narative. It's human nature to keep on seeking out a better option (even if that option may not even exist!). We must remember that the act of making solid decisions is in fact crucial when it comes to making progress not only in the online dating world - but also if you eventually want to graduate from dating to a solid relationship. Don't wait for so long that it has actually become too late to make any choice at all!
3) The grass is greener where you water it
By always looking for something better, you might miss the opportunities right in front of you. Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Simply put, it centres on the concept that you will never meet anyone that will fulfil 100% of your expectations.
Therefore, if you find someone or enter a relationship where 80% of your needs are met, then the remaining 20% - even if not completely ideal - should not become your focus, or a reason for the relationship to be dismissed as unsuitable. Yes, this approach does promote compromise to a degree - but it's in favour of progress, which too many people make too little of. This is also not to say that you should ever remain in an abusive or harmful situation where you are undervalued.
The rule is purely meant to readjust your expectations, and remind you that perfection in humans - especially when it comes to looking for a long term relationship - actually doesn’t exist. In summary, we mustn't let overthought and too much choice cause us to be paralysed by it - resulting in inaction. There may appear to be 'better' options when you are exploring your choices, but rest assured that there will almost always be stumbling blocks to get over. Remember that when it comes to finding the right person, you don't need hundreds of options when you are only looking for one relationship.
While on the surface, it appears that having a plethora of possibilities to choose from sounds ideal, the fact remains that those options don’t really exist if none are the right ones. Take your time, by all means. But do be brave and bold enough to make the choices that are key to shaping your future. Do you want to join an exclusive, members-only dating club for those who want healthy relationships and family?
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