You’re scrolling through your feed on social media and you see that post (by that friend), and it prompts a certain reaction . . . the kind that not only screams red flag but may as well be a flashing marquee. You’ve just come across the kind of post that makes them look bitter and desperate. It’s the infamous trying too hard to be cool while being single dating post.
Of course, there are several variations of this post: there are the “no drama” variety or the “dating after 30″ (complete with a long-neglected, nearly drained and overgrown with algae pool), or the ubiquitous “in a relationship . . . with myself (or pizza),” or worst of all the “why doesn’t anyone appreciate a great guy/girl?” post insinuating the poster is the perfect partner.
There’s nothing wrong with an occasional bit of self-deprecating humor (provided it’s infrequent) or the observational “who hasn’t experienced this” that many can relate to. In fact, I think this is what the majority of the offenders are going for. However, all too often the person posting this is effectively warning others to stay away and branding themselves with an awkward self-sabotaging stigma.
When someone says they’re “no drama” or they find drama abhorrent, we instantly assume they’re the cause of contention in their lives. While most people will agree that constant protracted drama is generally a negative aspect in human relationships, it’s the kind of thing that’s so universally true it doesn’t need articulating. The fact that someone felt the need to proclaim that they’re against interpersonal conflict leads us all to think that they protest too much, no?
Complaining about your dating options doesn’t engender sympathy for your lack of quality options; rather, it highlights your negativity. No one expects every first date to be great but if you continually insist that there’s just no one good enough for you out there, those you complain to begin to think you’re a snob or assume there’s another reason you’re not connecting with quality people.
I’m not suggesting that anyone settle. By all means, don’t waste your time on someone you’re not into only because you’ve made plans to meet them. Just don’t compound a bad experience (or series of experiences) by publicly complaining about them on Facebook – or to the next person you go out with). A few bad dates here and there can and do happen to anyone. If it’s a clear trend, though, it may be time to consider if there’s something you need to improve. Most likely it isn’t something physical, has to do with your job, your assets, or your personality. It’s probably your energy, your posture, and the way you carry yourself. The good news is that those things are within your power to change . . . and quickly! The not-so-good news is that for many of us, it’s difficult to feign confidence when we’re feeling insecure.
Here are 4 steps how to not be THAT guy – the annoying, self-centered, single person:
- For starters, stop yourself from posting things that make you look like a dating mess.
- Make sure your profile has a positive and friendly feel to it. Even if you’re trying to differentiate yourself from all the negative people out there by emphasizing that you’re not that way, it’s natural for people to associate that negative trait with you, so avoid that at all costs.
- Make sure your messages are upbeat as well, and that you’re showing genuine interest in the person you’re conversing with.
- Finally, when you’re out in person, make it a point to smile and engage with others, whether it’s with a date, or someone you happen to pass on the street. You don’t need to have a deep conversation with everyone or even most people, but your energy – whatever it is – is contagious.