Do you self sabotage your own dating?

Photo by Valentin Antonucci on Unsplash

As a single woman in my 30’s it is fair to say I am frustrated with the dating scene. To me it seems like there are not many options for meeting people, and those I do meet never seem to amount to much.

Of course it is very easy to place the blame elsewhere, and there is every justification for this.

Internet dating apps seem to bring out the worst in men (quite possibly with other genders and non-hetero relationships too but I haven’t had the experience of those so can’t really comment personally).

Cast that net wide boys

Guys seem to take a machine gun approach – like/message everyone and hope you get a hit. These messages usually just say ‘hello‘ quickly followed by ‘what are you looking for?‘ which is code for ‘want sex?‘. Some don’t even bother with code – they just ask. First question. Bam.

I’m all for a one night stand occasionally, in the right setting with the right person they can be fun. But I definitely couldn’t imagine having one with an anonymous person online after 3 messages exchanged. But it must work sometimes and good for everyone involved (remember to play safe people!).

There are some who might actually attempt a little rapport. But are very quick to point out that they ‘don’t want to be tied down’ and are ‘looking for fun‘ – code for we ‘might have a few dates and maybe hook up from time to time, but don’t expect commitment and I’ll probably ghost you when someone else catches my eye‘. Fine, you enjoy yourself – but its not for me.

This seems to be especially true in a city like Barcelona, where the men seem to be The Lost Boys until well into their 40s and the city is Neverland filled with women to get through.

They must be out there somewhere

I have yet to meet anyone outside of these two types online yet. I guess if I had I would not be writing this post.

This got me to thinking. I know there must pleasant, normal, men out there who actually would like to meet someone more long term. I’m not talking marriage and babies here, and the thought of someone moving in with me makes me feel a little queasy. What I mean is someone to hang out with, go on dates or holidays, afternoons with Netflix and a pizza, adult sleepovers. The fun stuff – without them disappearing, playing games or trying it on with every woman in sight while you are some sort of placeholder.

Too much to ask? I think not. So if these people exist, why have I not at least run into one or two. Am I actually self-sabotaging my own dating?


I am lazy in my dating. And my laziness is directly responsible for my internet dating app cycle. Which looks something like this:

It is a terrible way to meet new people. There are so many better options, especially in a city where it is always busy and there are hundreds of Meet Ups you can go to.

Of course you hear stories about people meeting on Tinder and then getting married a couple of years later. Actually my Dad met his wife on a dating site. But I feel these are the exception that proves the rule. So here is my first change I should make – try new ways to meet people that don’t involve dating apps.


I’ve definitely done this one in the past. Not so much anymore, because if someone starts acting like this I tend to just cut them off after one or two chances. I’m not prepared to waste my time on these sorts of games. Of course inevitably this can sometimes make them more interested, but it is generally short lived.

I think this is because people enjoy the chase, and we can all fall victim to wanting what we can’t have.

The truth is if someone does not want you, there is very little you can do about it and you really do need to respect their decision. There are so many reasons they might not be available, and none of it is to do with you:

  • Emotionally unavailable due to a recent break up or bereavements
  • Just not into you – sometimes the connection just isn’t there
  • Not single and not looking
  • Have other priorities (anything from family and finances, to work or mental health)
  • They are chasing their own unavailable person and you are a temporary respite

All you can really do here is move on. I’ve seen it in some people that this is a repeated offence – they always want to be with unavailable people, to the point where they can become a bit obsessive. I have to wonder if there is a confidence issue here because you know that the other person is rejecting you and so you can’t really get much worse than that. Also it means you can avoid actually getting to that next step and having a responsibility to another person, and potentially messing it up (maybe not for the first time).


This one I am definitely guilty of. I was in a relationship for a long time, and you kind of get into the habit of being a bit standoffish to people when you are out socialising.

I never seem to put myself in the position of approacher, I’m always the approachee. Added to this the fact that when I am out with a group, I don’t tend to mingle outside of that group – most of whom are in relationships.

Of course I’m quite lucky that when approached I find it fairly easy to keep the conversation going, but I definitely need to step outside my comfort zone and speak to more people. There is simply no point acting like I’m in a relationship when I’m not.

I think the main thing here is to be brave. The more people I meet, the more chances of getting to know someone and actually connecting with them, especially face to face. I’ll report back on my progress!

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