Is a “fool me never” mindset sabotaging your dating app chats?

Audrey Claire, My Wingwoman Founder & Coach
Apr 6, 2020

We’ve all heard the proverb “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

I also think there’s a BIG difference between “fool me once” and “fool me NEVER”.

A “fool me never” mindset is a rejection-avoidance mindset.

When we adopt a “fool me never” policy, we’re more likely to:

  • assume negative intent at every turn
  • mindread
  • leave no room for exception and thinking we know it all
  • operate from a place of avoiding something versus attracting something.

Here’s the thing…

there’s a meaningful difference between “fool me never” and assuming positive intent ONCE.

For example, let’s imagine you’re texting a guy on a dating app. The chat’s been great so far. You’re into him. He seems into you. He typically replies within 15 minutes.

After a while, you decide to ask him if he’s up for a Zoom date one night during the week.

Silence.

No reply.

20 minutes pass and nothing.

A “fool me never” mindset might pipe up and start to tell you all kinds of negative stories:

“I knew I should have waited for him to ask me”

“This is hopeless, I don’t know why I bother”

“I should block him, that’ll show him”

This mindset might have started EVEN earlier and stopped you from ever asking him in the first place.

The result?

The POTENTIAL for missed opportunity.

The truth is, we don’t know what’s in this guy’s mind. We can’t know for sure whether he’s lost interest or gotten distracted by something.

But we do have a choice.

A choice to assume negative intent or assume positive intent on this ONE occasion.

What if at the 30 minute mark he replied saying “great idea!”?

What if, after an hour you followed him up and he replied a few minutes later apologising for the delay. His boss had called.

Assuming positive intent once is VERY DIFFERENT to being a doormat, being needy or naive. It’s also a completely different thing to ignoring a pattern of behaviour or completely missing red flags.

Think of it as your rational mind taking control when it matters.

And back to that proverb… the saying is “fool me once, shame on you”. That is, it says more about THEM than it does about you if you assume positive intent (in the absence of obvious evidence to the contrary) and end up proven wrong.

The proverb isn’t “fool me once and it’s my bad –  I should have been able to read your mind.”

Some behaviour shouldn’t EVER be tolerated, not even once. But other times, we’re jumping the gun and robbing ourselves of possibilities.

I trust you and your rational mind to know the difference.

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