Most people are hyper-focused on finding love after their breakup - a lasting relationship, someone who would care, someone they could love, and vice versa.
But along this long-winding search, they often overlook the copious mental and psychological quirks and issues that prevent them from ever finding love again - at least the healthy kind.
For instance, you might be suffering from post-breakup depression, your self-esteem might be bruised or broken, your boundaries non-existent, or your overall sense of self-worth and competence degraded.
These are all real consequences of traumatic breakups that greatly diminish anyone's chances of finding love again, but fortunately, they are manageable and treatable.
You can always go to therapy or engage in self-help (or both) to mend your depression, rebuild your self-esteem, learn how to set and keep new boundaries, and begin accumulating a healthier sense of self-worth.
But in contrast to the above problems, there also issues that are not as easily reversible - subtle human errors, per se.
These are our errors in reasoning, or also termed logical fallacies. They are omnipresent, and everyone develops them. And they can lead to some really dysfunctional, damaging, and self-sabotaging beliefs about relationships, love, and lovers.
And while there are many logical fallacies engrained in our defective minds, to my knowledge, there are five that not only do the most damage to our love life but also prevent us from ever finding love again. Let's cover them each in turn.
1. The fallacy of composition
According to Wikipedia, the fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole.
In less abstract and more love-life-related terms, this means that the fallacy of composition arises when someone mistakenly concludes something is true for an individual and assumes that it must also be true for the group to which that individual belongs.
Here's a typical and excellent example of a composition fallacy. It's a remark that I hear from every third consulting client I help:
"My narcissistic ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend cheated on me. My next partner is just going to cheat again... Hell, all men/women are fucking cheaters."
Notice how my client inferred that all men/women are cheaters just because they got cheated on? This abrupt jump to an invalid conclusion is the composition fallacy in action.
Let's look at a few more examples of this logical error so you can understand the whole concept better.
- "My stoner ex-boyfriend only wore Supreme branded, oversized, and baggy clothing. Therefore, all men who wear Supreme branded, oversized and baggy clothing are low-life stoners that I should stay away from."
- "My ex-girlfriend loved when I hit her ass while having sex. Therefore all women like to be spanked while having sex."
- "My ex-boyfriend constantly played video games and gave me little to no attention because of them. Therefore, all men who play video games are neglecting and toxic partners."
- "Both of my narcissistic ex-boyfriends were spiritual self-help fanatics. So, every other guy I date who is into that woo-woo new age stuff is a narcissist."
At this point, you're probably wondering how this fallacy prevents you from finding love again?
Let's expand the example of the woman with the ex-stoner-boyfriend. For simplicity's sake, we'll call her Anna.
Picture Anna getting to the point where she moved on from her ex and started feverishly dating again. After months of meeting new people, visiting new places, and going batshit crazy with lust, she came across someone special - someone she strongly connected with. His name was Luke
The orange sparks and embers of chemistry flew left and right between them and, at their best and most climactic moments, engulfed them whole.
The young man she was dating was everything a woman would want: tall, handsome, sexy, charismatic, ambitious, polite, and equipped with a healthy dose of sturdy personal boundaries and confidence.
But there was one problem. When Anna came to Luke's apartment for the first time, her eyes widened, and a cold sweat began to form on her face. She even started to tremble. What could whirl her into such shock?
It was a memory.
When she came into Luke's apartment, Anna saw floors strewn with baggy and oversized Supreme branded clothing.
This sight immediately reminded her of her ex-boyfriend, so she concluded that this new man, Luke, must surely be just another low-life stoner. Next, she started to resent the man, which hurt their chemistry and soon led to them parting and never seeing each other again.
Anna thought she made the right choice by cutting contact with Luke, but she was wrong. Her fallacy fucked her over. Luke was more than a suitable partner for her.
So now, instead of her finding love again, she is back to square one - being alone and searching for that "special someone."
2. The fallacy of division
The fallacy of division is the opposite of the fallacy of composition. It acts up as soon as you take one global trait of a group and assume it must be true for every individual inside (or sometimes even outside) that group.
For instance: fans of Ninja Turtles love pizza; Billie is a fan, and he watches Ninja Turtles daily; therefore, Billie loves pizza.
Let's unpack the truth (or at least something close to it) behind this example.
Even though numerous ninja turtle fans love to eat pizza, primarily due to Michelangelo's ecstatic influence, not all of them love to eat it. Some fans prefer hamburgers, others a fresh Cobb salad.
So, while it's true that most ninja turtle fans love pizza, it's not guaranteed that all of them will love pizza.
Let's look at the most common examples of the fallacy of division in the scope of love and relationships:
- "Men prefer thin and athletic women with big breasts. So every man must have the same desires for their perfect partner/playmate."
- "Women prefer ambitious and masculine men. Therefore all women will only date and become exclusive with ambitious and masculine men."
- "Women get over their ex-lovers faster than men. Therefore, all women get over their ex-lovers faster than men."
- "Handling post-breakup emotions is easier for women than it is for men. Therefore, all women have it easier when handling post-breakup emotions."
As you can guess, the above examples can lead to some unfortunate conclusions like unnecessary pent-up resentment towards the opposite sex because, in your mind, they have an easier love-life. And such toxic outcomes often severely limit your options when you're trying to find new love after loss.
3. The Bandwagon Fallacy
The bandwagon fallacy transpires when you believe something is real or acceptable only because it's widely believed in or popular.
For instance: most of my friends think iOS is better than Android. Therefore, iOS must be a superior operating system.
Now, here's a real-life story of how this fallacy can prevent someone from finding love again.
Once upon a time, I helped a man, let's call him Tristan, who got cheated on by his wife. And only weeks after her unexpected betrayal, she dumped him through a text message.
I won't lie. That's a horrible fate, but it gets worse.
Most of his guy-friends also got cheated on by their toxic lovers. As a result of their harsh experiences, they develop a collective or global belief; all women are cheating bitches. In other words, they all succumbed to the fallacy of composition that we mentioned earlier.
Naturally, Tristan talked to his friends about his betrayal one day, compared his partner with theirs, and in the end, adopted the same belief they had - all women cheat.
The conclusion just seemed reasonable to him. His mindset was, " If all my friends say women are cheaters - and they got cheated on - then it must be true!" So he jumped on the same bandwagon his friends were chilling on - a.k.a, he fell for the bandwagon fallacy.
And let's be honest, even if you get cheated on by a string of partners, it doesn't mean that every other man or woman is a cheater. That's bs.
4. tHE Appeal to nature fallacy
The appeal to nature fallacy is a common hindrance in our search for love. It makes us view the opposite gender or just about any potential partner in a skewed light, which, as a result, considerably limits our dating options when searching for love.
The fallacy goes like this: If something is natural, then it must be good. But, if something is unnatural, it must be wrong/bad.
A practical example would be: "Women are naturally better caregivers. Therefore, it's good if they stay at home." or "Men are naturally dominant. Therefore, it's good or healthy if they dominate their partners and others."
If you're wondering how these views limit your dating options, consider this:
When you think all women are moms by heart/all men are career-focused, you will attract only the people that conform to those conclusions or views due to your confirmation bias.
This bias is essentially your tendency to attract and to be attracted to compatible people, meaning those who hold similar life viewpoints, beliefs, and values.
Your average self-help fruit-cake would call this the oh-so mystic law of attraction.
So to wrap it up, suppose you believe all men/women are dominant/submissive. If so, you're naturally going to fall for those kinds of men/women and (usually) subconsciously screen out the others. And as a result, you will heavily diminish the number of compatible future partners.
5. The naturalistic fallacy
Think of the naturalistic fallacy as a subset of the appeal to nature fallacy. Here's what it states and is all about: If something is natural, then it must be moral (morally right). Conversely, if something is unnatural, it must be immoral. (morally wrong).
People also combine the naturalistic fallacy when explaining an ought from an is, or more simply, the is-ought problem. In essence, both of these logical errors are virtually identical, and people use both terms interchangeably, as far as I know.
A practical example of this fallacy would be: "Women are naturally better caregivers. Therefore, they should stay home." or "Men are naturally dominant. Therefore, they should dominate their partners and others."
Can you see the subtle differences between the naturalistic/in-ought fallacy and the appeal to nature fallacy?
While the appeal to nature fallacy makes a general claim of goodness/healthiness, the naturalistic fallacy instead makes a moralistic value claim.
You can also deduce from all the previous examples that people often intertwine and use these two last fallacies in discussions about gender roles and sexuality.
Regarding the consequences of the naturalistic fallacy, they are the same as those of the appeal to nature fallacy: succumbing to this brain-malfunction limits your dating options by a lot.
But there's one more dark side-effect when having several naturalistic fallacies whirling around your mind. It can make you a misogynist/misandrist. And you don't want that, especially not in 2021.
Finding Love again is hard
Humans, love and life are complex. Very complex. It's just the way it is. Try to accept it.
Your mind can often fuck you up no matter what you're trying to achieve. It has countless flaws: biases, prejudices, sick rationalizations, over-simplifications, terrible memory, and these annoying fallacies.
And the worst part? You can never get rid of any of these issues.
The only thing you can do is learn to manage all of your mind's falsities by cultivating radical self-awareness; you need to notice when these errors begin to appear and then act against them. But even then, you can never really catch all of them. So just accept the reality, and you'll at least feel better.
Note to self: what an uplifting way to end an article.
Maurice A.Finocchiaro. Journal of Applied Logic Volume 13, Issue 2, Part B, June 2015, Pages 24-43, The fallacy of composition: Guiding concepts, historical cases, and research problems.
Moore, George Edward (1903). Principia Ethica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-334-04040-X.