I was searching for a client on Match.com recently, and I came across this profile (written verbatim):

“I’m tired of being rejected on this site by conceited, snobbish women who proclaim they are looking for an honest, humorous man when in reality all they are really looking for is a man who has money. The code word they use is ‘financially secure’ or ‘independent.’ I’m a good man. I don’t play games. And even though I live in the Bronx, I am not poor, as most of these women assume I am. I consider myself married once, but my fiance (sic) died after living with her for 10 years. I really consider myself a ‘widower’ for those among you who wonder why I was never married. But there was no category for that here, so I checked ‘never married.’ I’m looking for a serious relationship, eventually turning into marriage. I’m tired of being alone, and I’m tired of rejection. Am I too ugly for these women? They think they are all God’s gift to men. They post 1 or 2 fuzzy photos and think that’s enough. They try to fool you mixing in 10- to 20-year-old photos. I keep seeing the same women when I do a search. Where are the new ones? Are there any good women left in this world?”

This man is venting. No woman wants to prove herself to him, and no one will even have the chance because no one will reach out to him. He’s creating his own self-fulfilling prophecy where 1) he gets rejected, 2) he complains about getting rejected, 3) he gets rejected purely because he complains about getting rejected.

Just as we need a vacation from work sometimes when we’re burnt-out or feeling negative, it’s perfectly acceptable to take breaks from online dating to rejuvenate and get re-energized about the process. After you’ve been in the game for a while, and have sustained some highs and lows (in this man’s case, clearly more lows), you may need some time off.

Assess who you are, what you’re looking for, and how you’re presenting yourself. Remember that dating takes time, and first impressions are still key, especially online. I think if the man in the profile above took a step back and read his profile objectively, he’d see that it’s doing just the opposite of what he wants.

So, my advice to anyone feeling negative or hostile is to take a break. Do the things that truly make you happy. Have confidence in yourself, and be the best version of yourself you can be. And when you come back, you’ll be all the better for it.

Join Erika Ettin’s newsletter, eepurl.com/dpHcH.