You have been working so hard.
You’ve been pouring time and energy into finding the right guy, or making things work with this guy, or just being the best version of you so you’re ready when Mr. Right shows up.
And sometimes a little voice whispers inside your head…
“Is this even worth it?”
Think of all the time and energy you’re spending on something that doesn’t feel like it’s paid off yet.
What could you have accomplished if you’d redirected that time and energy to something different?
How much further would you be along in your dreams if you hadn’t been worrying about guys?
Every so often I talk to women who feel like giving up.
They’re tired of pouring their heart and soul into every man they meet, only for it to go nowhere.
They experience a level of frustration in their love lives that they never experience in their career or other areas of their life.
If they gave 110% to their career, they’d see progress. They’d be recognized for their hard work. They’d be rewarded.
But if they give 110% to their love lives, it doesn’t seem that anything changes. They’re just spinning their wheels faster.
This is where learning to reassure your “inner monitor” can help.
Why We Get So Frustrated
Our ability to get what we want is fundamental to our survival.
So it’s no surprise that we have brain systems that monitor how far away we are from what we want and whether our effort to get there is working.
Your “inner monitor” knows that you can’t snap your fingers or wish upon a star and get what you want. Getting what you want takes time and effort.
But at the same time, your monitor doesn’t want you to waste time working furiously when it’s not getting you anywhere.
So it pays close attention to whether the world is working the way we expect it to work.
Will doing X make Y happen? Will putting in 50% more effort get us 50% better results?
Will flirting heavily attract a man’s interest? Will surprising our partner with something nice make them appreciate us?
When there’s a difference between what we expect and what actually happens, our monitor tells us to investigate.
Why didn’t he respond when you flirted blatantly with him? Why didn’t your partner seem appreciative when you surprised him with something nice?
What makes your monitor happiest of all is when your actions produce results.
You flirted—he responded. You surprised him—he melted into a puddle of happiness.
Are you starting to see why love feels so frustrating?
Love is one of those areas in life where what you do doesn’t always result in measurable progress.
3 Ways to Decrease Frustration
If your monitor decides that you’re putting in too much effort for too little progress, frustration kicks in. You get angry. Why isn’t this working?
If the situation continues, you might get so frustrated that you give up completely. What’s the point?
Now you know—and I know—that love is always worth it. Just because it’s unpredictable doesn’t mean we should give up on the goal of lasting lifelong love.
So you need to find some way to deal with this “love frustration.”
There are 3 different things you can try:
- Change your goal.
- Change the amount and/or type of effort you’re putting in.
- Change your expectations about how much effort you need to put in to see progress.
If your goal is to meet your soulmate and live happily ever after, it’s no wonder you feel frustrated. Can you set a goal that you know you can achieve with reasonable effort?
For example, you could set a goal of going out on one first date every month, or spending a certain amount of time each week on an online dating site or app.
Next, is the effort you’re putting in towards your goal the right kind of effort?
For example, you might believe that the way you look needs to change if you’re going to get more male attention. So you spend a lot of time in the gym. But all those gym hours mean that you’re spending less time putting yourself out there and meeting people. Changing how you look isn’t actually resulting in more dates.
Finally, are you being realistic about what it’s going to take to achieve your goal?
Sometimes we think that things should be easier than they really are. We want to meet someone and instantly fall in love. We don’t want to keep going out on date after date, getting to know this person better and figuring out whether we have a promising connection.
So whenever you get frustrated in love, ask yourself those 3 questions:
- Is my goal the best goal for this situation?
- Am I putting in the right kind and right amount of effort?
- Am I being realistic about how much work it will be to achieve my goal?
And watch that frustration dissolve into determination!