Don't ruin your dating life by believing these four things.
With this distorted belief, we arrive at a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens only once, we convince ourselves that it will happen every time. For example, if your last date didn’t want to kiss you at the end of the evening, you overgeneralize the situation and tell yourself “No one is attracted to me.” The healthy way to frame the experience: “I don’t know why she didn’t like me, but people have liked me in the past, and someone will inevitably like me again in the future.”
Jumping to Conclusions
Jumping to conclusions represents one of the most common mistakes men and women make in dating, falling prey to the belief that they have x-ray vision and can see what someone else thinks and feels. Without your date saying anything, you know what they are feeling and why they act the way they do. The tendency to jump to conclusions and convince yourself that you know what the other person thinks or feels represents a distorted belief because you simply cannot know what someone new thinks or feels. Why?
Men and women who present the next distorted belief, catastrophizing, tend to be overly emotional. They may be drama queens or attention seekers, or they may have anxiety, profound insecurities, or bad tempers. Regardless of the specifics, they are emotional people and can be highly emotionally reactive. With this distorted belief, you are always waiting for disaster to strike. For example, the guy you have gone out with a few times suddenly stops responding to your calls and texts for a day. Because your distorted belief system causes you to see everything as a potential catastrophe, you instantly tell yourself that he lost interest, broke up without even telling you, and is probably getting back together with his ex-girlfriend.
Personalizing reflects another distorted belief that impacts many men and women in dating. Personalizing refers to the tendency to take something personally that may not be personal. For example, you call the woman you just started dating on the phone and she sounds distracted and irritated, so you personalize the situation and have the distorted belief that the way she acted with you had to do with the way she feels about you. The healthy reaction: “I don’t know her very well so I can’t be sure what to make of her mood, so I will wait a day and things will probably go back to normal.”
The takeaway message
Overall, most of us are guilty of having some distorted beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world around us. The goal isn’t to have perfectly happy and normal beliefs all the time, but to catch ourselves when our thinking might be getting a little off-track. Keep an eye on your tendency to indulge in any of these four distorted beliefs, and you will have a much less anxious – and more fulfilling – time dating.