How Can a Bad Attitude Affect a Dating Relationship?

Your bad attitude may drive away dates and those around you.
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Dating someone with a bad attitude can be exhausting, nerve-wracking and unpleasant. Whether you are single, dating or in a committed relationship, your attitude is the prism through which others see you. Consistently being negative, rude and pessimistic can bring about fights or make your partner feel uneasy or unappreciated. Your attitude may push people in your life away from you while consequently preventing others from wanting to get close to you.

1 Take Ownership

The events that take place in a relationship, both good and bad, are the result of a combination of interactions between you and your significant other. Healthy relationships involve the understanding that while you cannot control what happens to you, you can control how you react. Pessimistic people may place the blame for situations on others: "I can't believe you're doing this to me." Failure to take ownership of your behavior may lead to your partner feeling attacked, blamed and burdened with your relationship.

2 A Pessimistic Outlook

Pessimistic individuals are defined as prevention-minded and realistic, according to Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psychologist, in her Psychology Today article, "When Optimists Marry Pessimists." Instead of being motivated by what they hope to gain in life, pessimists are motivated by what they stand to lose. Couples with opposing personalities spend significant time butting heads in an effort to determine who has the right viewpoint. In a dating relationship, you run the risk of scaring off your partner.

3 I Think Therefore I Am

In 1948, Robert Merton, a sociologist, described a mental state in which your thoughts and attitudes can translate into actions -- the "self-fulfilling prophecy." By thinking negatively, you are apt to fulfill the negative predictions of the future. If you believe that you will never find a girlfriend, this may weigh on your self-esteem. You may feel less apt to attend social functions, which limits your likelihood of meeting someone, thus fulfilling your expectation that you will not find a girlfriend.

4 The Role of Language

Just as negative thoughts can have an impact on your behavior, what you communicate to your significant other can determine how he or she interacts with you. Displaying an overly pessimistic or negative mood during conversations may lead others to avoid conversing with you. They may feel they must walk on eggshells around you to prevent an argument. This may result in fights with your significant other.

Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.