The Absolute Worst Thing About Dating
The worst thing about dating isn’t the tediousness and confusion that comes with the idea of being single and starting over. It isn’t the money being spent going to places you really don’t want to hang out in. The absolute worst thing about dating is the audacity that most of us think we have the right to waste other people’s time. The sooner we all can admit this crucial truth to ourselves the easier it will become to conquer the dating game.
I’m no expert but I know that dating isn’t a complicated task. It can be scary to put yourself out there again but many things in life come with risks and you either want to date or you don’t. Making new friends and getting along well with others are simple lessons we learn as children. By the time you become an adult, you have a pretty good idea of how to conduct yourself in social settings. Sure, you’ll have your experiences along the way when situations become challenging but for the most part you should be good if not, great at it. This being said, most people know within the first five minutes of meeting and talking to someone if there’s a spark or connection there. We know if we want to proceed forward with getting to know them better and if we want to see them again very soon in the future. The problem is that our emotional hunger immediately begins to leads us astray. Right away, we start to entertain ideas instead of the actual person we’re trying to connect with. This is where wasting time comes in; as we start to project our emotional hunger off onto the other person, setting unrealistic expectations based on fantasy and illusions rather than reality. This is recipe for disaster. It’s the biggest reason why we run around in a circle like a dog chasing it’s own tail in the dating game. It doesn’t matter where or when we met person, once our emotions are engaged, we have trouble seeing things as they are. We color people to coincide with our desires (good and bad) and when they fail to meet the expectation we dismiss or drop them.
So, how do we learn from this huge dating mistake?
Start by learning to rule with logic instead of emotion. Adapt quickly to knowing what it is you do want versus what it is you don’t want in a potential partner. If you aren’t fully sure of either, then get a pen and paper and write a list. Make sure your list is based on your current real life priorities and not something you came up with after watching one of those Nicholas Sparks movies. In doing this, you are intellectualizing your bottom line. This is a very practical approach that makes it easier to stop skirting around with fantasy and address exactly what it is you’re looking for head on.
Second, work on cleaning out what you are afraid of, especially emotionally. This will help you to make more reasonable and rational decisions in the dating game. If you want to take it a step farther, delve into your spiritual side and get a base set up for who you are. I am a firm believer that one should embody and personify the very same characteristics and qualities they seek in a potential partner. If you haven’t met the goal of reaching your full potential just yet, then start by setting some goals to do this before even bothering to seek a serious relationship. It’s pretty unfair to desperately seek someone who’s a good listener that is a financially stable, honest, loyal, sexy and confident when you are a waist-deep-in-debt, obnoxious, lying, jerk-wad with no real direction about where you want to go in life. Our egos and self-obsession often give us a false sense of entitlement. The idea that we are deserving of someone who is almost as amazing as we see ourselves in our head distorts our perception of the reality we live in daily. This is why so many of us end up wasting time getting involved in numerous miscellaneous relationships that were ultimately doomed fail before they ever began. Work on yourself because it’s extremely important to have your shh– together!
Finally, you want to be direct as possible. It’s not fair to the other person or yourself to throw out juvenile hints and toy around discussing certain topics (marriage, kids, career goals, etc.). What I’ve learned is that one of the kindest things you can do for someone’s time, is to be as direct as possible. Be straight up. Don’t keep asking someone out for coffee if you or they have already indicated in so many ways that this has zero potential to go past the friend zone. If you don’t have time today, then reschedule. If you’re ahead of the game and already know that deep down you just don’t feel a connection, respectfully decline the invitation, delete their number and move on. Time is valuable and you really do not have the luxury of wasting it. Being direct and paying particular attention to your earliest interactions helps you to look critically for the “red flags” and whether or not it’s worth it to proceed.
Many of us feel entitled to the extraordinary with little ground work. This is not how the dating game really works–especially if you’re looking for something serious. Once you are able to take an objective look at your current dating situation it is then you will be able to take a more realistic approach towards making clear, concise decisions about the who and what you choose to invest your time in. This way, even when relationships don’t work out, you can still be fulfilled by them for having had interesting experiences and learning things about yourself, other people, and what you do and don’t want from a relationship.