There’s no way around it. Dating can be hard. And when it’s not going well, the tendency is to cast the blame outwards. But the truth is we often stand in our own way. Here are some of the ways you can be more self-aware when dating.
Give it a chance
“Dating means two things; either disillusionment or a racing heart” – Mae West. It can. But more often than that, dating is somewhere in the middle. And those are the dates that deserve your attention. If you’ve been dating a while, you will know that having a “spark” on a first date is really quite rare. That fire isn’t often lit until you really get to know someone. With that in mind, be open to a second date, and then a third. If you are looking for a long term, fulfilling relationship, give someone a chance to show you who they really are.
Don’t overthink it
“If it is right, it happens – the main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away” – John Steinbeck. In the early days of dating, avoid the tendency to over analyze, rush it along, and apply labels. Be present and enjoy those moments and the connection for what it is right now. If it is right it will happen. If it’s not good for you it will go away.
Leave the checklist at home
It’s natural to have an idea of the type of partner who would be a fit for you. And closely attached to that is the type of partner you think you can attract. But if you have a hard and fast checklist of qualities that your future partner has to have, (especially if most of them are related to physical attributes) you are likely standing in your own way of finding someone you can spend some quality time with.
Dating and choosing a potential romantic partner, has to be more about how the person makes you feel than a laundry list of must haves. Attraction that goes deeper and will last longer has to be more than that.
Manage your expectations
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. 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.
And last but not least... start with you first
“The secret of attraction is to love yourself” – Deepak Chopra. It really is that simple, but loving yourself never is. It takes awareness, commitment and work... just like any relationship. Do the work and don’t let those negative stories take over.