DATING HELP. Sometimes, most all of us can benefit from a little, or a lot.  And it's Normal.

We address the "external" in Prepare. Here, we are exploring the "internal" aspects of dating. Last we checked, Universities do not teach "Dating 101." Few seemed to have mastered social graces. This does not translate into "how to date" or "how to have a relationship." Some singles have been so engrossed in their education as serious students, even through post-graduate programs, that their social skills are truly undeveloped. Or, their skills were honed in other Countries with different value systems.

Unrealistic image

A number of single men and women are overly critical, always feeling that they deserve someone "better." We see many singles with superficial perceptions of other available singles. Thinner, taller, more athletic, more hair, less hair (yep), more successful, wealthier, prettier, more handsome, funnier, sexier, younger. But not nicer, friendlier, more helpful, generous, flexible, committed, or loyal.

Do you have a realistic perception of yourself?

You may suffer from the "Erroll Flynn Syndrome," EFS. Erroll Flynn was a handsome swashbuckling actor who passed away in the 1950s. These singles think they are equal, in the looks department, to Erroll Flynn, whether they are male or female. The EFS-types are unwilling to give anyone a chance. One little thing, and they are done with them. And in doing so, they often miss awesome opportunities.

Meanwhile, they 'think" they deserve the perfect "10." This may be completely off-base. Frankly, the "10" is a myth. Look in the mirror. How do you honestly measure up? The most successful clients of PreQM have realistic appraisals of their own attractiveness and desirability quotient. Are you actually above average? Have you really dated more than one beauty queen or male model?

The popular apps over the past few years have contributed to the superficiality of the singles dating scene. You can endlessly swipe supposed available singles, thumbs up or thumbs down. Giving a nanosecond to reduce and discard someone as a cultural stereotype. A hard look in the mirror might reveal a different image and more accurate level. How is all of that swiping actually working for you, anyway?

Often, many of these people have "relationships" lasting a few dates, if that. NEWSFLASH: Due to their brevity, these do not constitute relationships. Married and coupled partners often comment that "singles are their own worst enemies."

But, it's a lot easier to reject everyone out of hand than to be vulnerable.

Sometimes, dating can be very confusing. At PreQM, we often see areas where clients might benefit from professional help. Have you recently ended a relationship? Separated or divorced? If so, you may want to process how this has affected you. As a result of your family and relationship history, you may have some blind-spots concerning who is a good fit for you. You are not alone; we all may benefit from it. Occasionally, we may be well aware of the specific kind of help and resources we require. At other instances, we are oblivious. Some people do not realize that they need professional help or intervention. Honestly, some are in no condition to date. And, it's not always a quick fix. It can be a difficult process and take a concerted effort to overcome personal challenges and change behaviors. It can take months and even years of work. For others, it's a lifelong commitment. This doesn't mean that you need to be off the market during this period. Help can be a supplement.

  • Overwhelmed?
  • Recently experienced a traumatic event, like a divorce or a move?
  • Experienced a significant change in your financial circumstance?
  • Involved in a serious accident or legal trouble?
  • Suffering from a negative body image?
  • Completely self- consumed or self-centered?
  • Dealing with significant health issues?

Are these topics appropriate first date conversation? Usually not, in detail, in any case. Do some soul-searching. Be introspective. Are you emotionally and physically prepared to date? Meeting your ideal partner involves timing, openness, and sometimes, a reality check. Now that Brad & Angelina really are available, do you honestly believe in Hollywood fantasies?

Is this a good time for you to be dating? Should you take a dating break? Figure out a strategy. Seek help, if need be.  It may yield promising results.

Should you consult a psychologist, a psychiatrist or a dating coach? How do you know which service provider to choose? Ask questions. Ask the therapist. It's fair game. Ask their rates. We believe in full disclosure.

  • Do they take insurance?
  • What are their credentials?  Dr. Laura's PhD is in Physiology. "The Millionaire Matchmaker," Patti Stanger has never been married.
  • What's their personal relationship track record?
    • Have they ever been married?
    • Do they have a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner?
    • Are you married? Divorced? How many times?
  • What is their experience in helping singles?  How many singles have you helped?  What is your exposure to online dating?  

It's easy to dish it out, but if you've never had relevant exposure, it's not that easy to empathize.

If you are suicidal, call the suicide hotline at 800-273-TALK, 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.