Managing Dating Expectations

At some point after a divorce or major split, you will start to think about dating again. Your feelings about it will likely be complex and probably all over the map. On a particularly lonely Friday night after a long work week, you might wish for the companionship of another. On other days, you might feel like the last thing you want is to be in a relationship, to have to worry about someone else’s needs. You’ll feel empowered, busy, and content with the way things are.

Ultimately, though, those feelings of wanting to connect with another will become more prevalent. You’ll feel ready. And you will probably have some preconceived notions on how that whole dating thing will all go, especially if it’s been a while. Attaching high expectations to any outcome is usually just asking for dissapoinment. And that can be especially true when it comes to dating.

Here some of the more common dating expectations and some tips on how to keep them in check.

If you are ready, they will come

This is an easy one to fall into, especially after coming out of a long relationship. It’s the belief that when you are ready to meet someone, the universe will just provide. Well, maybe. But for the majority of singles the universe will only come through if they are actively putting in the effort. That means doing online or mobile app dating, attending singles events or hiring a matchmaker. And more often than not, even if you are doing one or more of these things, it can take a lot more time than you would have expected. But take heart, if you are truly ready and working at it, this is where you are safe to just trust the universe. It will happen when the time is right.

That what you see on a first date is what you get

First dates are compared to job interviews for a reason. They ain’t easy!  People are likely to be nervous and guarded. After all, that first meeting is really just an introduction. More time is needed to allow a certain level of comfort to build in order to really get to know someone. To that end, if there were some positive aspects to the first date and even a hint of chemistry, plan that second date. Attraction can definitely build and you should get a more relaxed and better version of the person the second time around.

I’m going out with the ONE

It sometimes takes a couple of disappointing first dates to understand this one fully. We read someone’s profile, look at all their very best pictures, re-read the witty and on-point text messages and bam we have an expectation. The expectation that he or she is the ONE. That’s a pretty high order for a first date and it’s likely they won’t live up to that. Instead, know that they can’t possibly be that perfect and you’re probably not going to know they are the “one’ on the first date (even if they are – see the previous point!). Instead, go out without the serious intentions.

View dating as a fun learning process — a way to get to know yourself and others.
Maybe it’s a chance to become more of an engaged listener or a better conversationalist. Or, how about all of the opportunities to learn something new from the people you date? When you stop treating dating with such serious intentions, you will just automatically feel more relaxed and at ease. The pressure will be off and you will enjoy yourself a whole lot more.
 

 

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