I’ve been asked by a few people who want to be optimistic about love who are worried becuase they feel they’re just not the positive, peppy, puppy-loving, rainbow-decorating type. What if you hope it rains? What if you prefer snarling about your co-workers to team-building with them? What if you think romantic comedies are trite and calculated and The Bachelor is insulting?
They want to know—and so might you—can you be cynical and still be a dating optimist?
The good news is…you can.
Our personalities are all different, and cynical, snarky types need their match as much as the bubbly, positive ones. And that’s because positivity and optimism are actually different, which is interesting. Positivity is a feeling, and optimism is a belief. Positivity is about all that smiling and feeling happy, while optimism means that whoever you are—positive or cynical—you simply believe that your life will work out well.
And love, really, is optimistic at its core: We go into a relationship hoping it will work out, not assuming that it won’t. And if you do try to go into a relationship assuming it won’t work out? Your attitude and energy will likely fulfill the prophecy. But this is why I suggest positivity to cynics, too. I know it hurts sometimes to smile for ten seconds, but smiling and feeling good creates a warm, welcoming feeling within and around you that makes the give-and-take and openness of a healthy relationship come more easily.
So if you’re a cynic—or you know one you want to pass this on to—I say, be your authentic self and embrace who you are and how you feel, but when it comes to dating, give yourself the gift of optimism—the simple belief that there is a partner who is perfectly right for you and who can make this terrible, awful world a little more bearable and, dare I say, a bit brighter.
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