If you find yourself reflecting on a series of dates-gone-nowhere, consider evaluating your dating habits.
Here are seven common dating habits you should consider breaking (right about now!):
• Being too available (every single night!).: You meet. He calls. You go out that very same night and then the next night too!
While showing some enthusiasm for upcoming dates is completely appropriate, being available every day of the week and letting your date know it can hurt a new relationship.
Your date might assume you have no friends or social life at all, or, worse, that you’re willing to cancel every single plan for a date.
Be careful that enthusiasm doesn’t translate as desperation, or that your availability doesn’t make you look lonely and bored.
• Being not available enough.: Being too available can be an issue, but so can being unavailable. If you don’t have the time to date, why are you trying to?
You’ll come across as either uninterested, elusive and subsequently impossible to get to know or incapable of maintaining a healthy relationship.
Make sure that you’re able to prioritise your dating life to allow for a date or two a week when pursued, or at least be able to offer scheduling suggestions that indicate you really are interested in spending time with your new crush.
If you’re repeatedly not available, the relationship will hit the skids before it begins.
• Engaging in off-putting behaviour.: Do friends tease that you never stop at two drinks? Are you a ferocious gossip? Do you swear like a sailor?
Do you dress for the body you don’t have, or for the 15-years-younger version of yourself? Have trusted friends help you take a more objective look at how you present yourself.
While it’s important to be yourself on a date, it’s also important that you put your best foot forward.
Sloppy, tacky, off-putting behaviour doesn’t indicate that you’re looking for a serious relationship.
• Online stalking.: Sure, it’s tempting to Google him. If you must — maybe it’s a blind date and you really want to see what he looks like – do it once, and never again.
Don’t spy on his Facebook wall’s activity. Don’t try to find his ex’s blog. As the relationship progresses, you’ll have access to this information without having to sneak around.
If you accidentally bring up something you saw online, you might scare your date a little. It’s not fair if you did research and he/she didn’t.
• Being too picky.: Yes, have standards. Know what qualities you’re looking for and which characteristics you can’t stand. Don’t let those standards, however, spiral out of control until your “must-have” list is 287 items long and you’re left waiting for a Greek god and no one else.
Give people with different body types, occupations and paychecks a chance. Dare to date someone who isn’t your “type.”
• Putting your life aside.: Don’t let a date or two stop time in every other area of your life. Make time for your friends. Don’t bail on your volunteer commitments.
As you get more serious, you can introduce your significant other to your involvements and passions, and carefully renegotiate how you spend your time.
In the early phases, however, don’t toss out everything else in exchange for infatuation. If the relationship does evolve into love, your partner will know the real you: what you value and how you spend your time.
If you put your life aside when you first start dating, bitterness may creep in when you can’t find a way to re-introduce those things back into your life later.
• Being stuck in the past.: Don’t hold your new date responsible for the sins of an ex. Don’t expect her to fail you the way your ex-girlfriend did. Don’t expect him to have the same value system as the last guy you dated.
If you must, share any real concerns that stem from past relationships, and then make a conscious decision to give your new date the benefit of the doubt.
Look at each new date as an opportunity to start fresh.
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