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Several times during my dating experiences, I had to shut down my various online dating profiles for a few months and lick my wounds. It often became necessary to stop everything and reflect on why dating experiences had been such abysmal failures. I went on so many dates that I was testing different outfits, different responses to texts, different time frames for everything. I certainly could have won an award for persistence, but why did it still feel like not only were there great people out there, but they were behind some kind of sturdy glass wall?It takes a lot of determination and/or masochism to keep putting yourself out there when Mr. Without fail, I would eventually put my rose colored glasses back on and try again, inspired by a friend meeting someone new or it being the absolute depths of winter.While it can be fun to go on a bunch of dates with different people, it can also make you feel like you're floating alone on your own little island of solitude.For happily married people, the trials of meeting a mate are ancient history that they've completely glossed over.Meeting someone new, going on a few great dates, getting excited, having one/both of you sort of stop calling; then repeating the process over and over is enough to make you want to give up for good.The ups and downs in this cycle can make you feel like you are unbalanced and have whiplash.The ups and downs were enough to keep me hooked, as I allowed my feelings about myself to be dictated by the opinions of people I barely knew. Somewhere along the way, I had let my ego get completely tied up in these experiences.I had fallen into the trap of letting my opinions of my failed relationships shape my opinion of myself. While it was often an uncomfortable, awkward, painful, struggle, eventually I was ecstatic when I found a few that seemed to fit.

In the two-and-a-half hours I leave the house each week, is he going to trip on me at Starbucks while I'm nervously palming my skinny hazelnut latte and completely avoiding eye contact?

When you strongly view yourself as a whole person who is looking for someone to share your life with, it takes away some of the fear that they won’t like you, that your destiny is hanging on this outing, and that if they don’t approve of you, you are back to square one.

So many people carry around the same negative thoughts about their desirability.

“Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth.” ~Unknown I'm all too aware that dating can feel like a grinding, painful roller coaster to nowhere.

If you've hit your head against the wall as many times as I have, you know how frustrating, depressing, and downright disheartening it can be.