Imagine … you are going out for a date with a nice guy for the second time. You are trying to figure out whether this person is the right partner for you or not. What mistakes should you avoid? Maybe it’s time to take off your pink glasses, and look at things how they are.
Dating without a clear goal in mind.
Ask yourself what your expectations are and what you want to get out of it.
Assuming that you are the only one who your dating partner is dating.
Dating one person only or too many people at the same time. (However, you might be limited due to religious purposes).
Bear in mind that sticking to one certain type of partner only, limits your choices. Don’t just date people with a certain job, or a certain personality. Try to look beyond and widen your horizon. You might be surprised! Remember, to pay attention to how a person makes you FEEL and not just whether they tick all the boxes of your wish checklist.
Ignoring their online presence. Check them out and see if there is anything that is not in sync with your values or expectations. Any rude comments? Any highly inappropriate pictures? Any racist or obscene language? Be cautious!
Coming across as an interviewer by asking early on what their home-owning situation is or how much they are earning.
Taking a lack of quick follow-ups too personal.
Keep yourself busy and take it lightly. Don’t always expect instant or quick replies.
Putting yourself under pressure by thinking that you need to perform. Just be yourself, be authentic throughout the process. Otherwise, you are going to struggle to keep up.
Turning up late when you are meeting each other. If you do, it shows that you don’t take the relationship serious, you don’t care, you don’t respect the other person.
Rushing into things too quickly. Let three months go bye until you meet their friends and family.
Ignoring red flags.
If someone is rude to a waitress, it tells you something about that person. Don’t be so blended by a person’s appearance that you forget about people’s poor behaviour! Be realistic.
Ignoring the lessons, you learnt from past relationships.
Disclosing too much of your struggles and negative experiences right from the beginning. It can put someone off very quickly. Don’t burden others too early on with your personal issues. It’s better to reveal details gradually as times goes by. Share details only with people who are prepared to listen, connect with you and really understand you.
Making self-deprecating comments.
You will be perceived as having a lack of self-esteem.
Thinking that intimacy on the first few dates is a must! Take your time and get to know the person better. Don’t feel pressurised in doing things you don’t want to do, no matter how many drinks or dinners were paid for you! Always remember this!
Meeting people just online and not being prepared to meet them in person.
Keeping always your checklist in mind and asking yourself how many of your expectations they meet.
Feeling depressed if a date does not always go according to plan.
Communicating only through messages.
Getting drunk during a date. You don’t want to say things or do things that later you might regret. And if the other person is not able to stay sober, consider it as a red flag!You might be dealing with an alcoholic and regret it later on.
Choosing the wrong place for the first dates. For example, movies and loud concerts. These places don’t give you the opportunity to speak to the person and get to know them thoroughly. A coffee shop would be a better alternative or another public place, that is casual and not too expensive.
Always doing the same thing during your dates (eg. going for movies or to a Cafe).
Instead think creatively and consider activities that the other person might have given you clues about during the first date.
Speaking more rather than listening to the other person.
Ignoring your boundaries. Make clear to the other person what you need and desire.
Focusing so much on your new date partner that you forget about your hobbies, other friends and interests. It doesn’t mean that you have to cancel all other plans and be available 24/7. Keep a healthy distance.
Boosting too much about how great you are. You don’t want to be perceived as arrogant, do you? Let others find out by themselves what a nice person you are.
Divulging too much personal information before meeting the person face to face. Bear in mind that there are a lot of identity thieves out there and keeping your guard up at all times is therefore important.
Constantly checking your phone during a date.
Always be fully attentive. Ask yourself: Who is more important in that moment?
Asking too intrusive questions. Show your interest and instead keep your questions more general.
Neglecting your personal hygiene. Always make sure you look clean and polished and smell fresh. Treat every date as something special.
Forgetting your manners. Brush up on your table manners, know how to engage with other people in a kind way in various situations and how to show your respect. The words “please” and “thank you” can go a long way.
Constantly interrupting the other person is never a
good sign, unless you want to make clear that you want to dominate the relationship.
Getting too confrontational when discussing various topics, such as politics,
sports, etc. You don’t want to have any serious arguments at that stage, do you?
Criticising what they eat or don’t eat. Make sure they enjoy the food but don’t comment on their eating habits.
Ordering on behalf of the other person. They can do that by themselves unless you have been explicitly asked to do so.
Letting your drink unattended when meeting a stranger. If someone tries to spike your drink (by pouring e.g. drugs into your drink – without you realising it!) this can make you unaware of your surroundings and on what is going on. You might find yourself in big trouble. You should know that in the UK spiking someone’s drink can lead to a ten year prison sentence!
Ignoring their flaws. Consider it as a red flag if you experience one or more of these: lack of trust, lack of communication, immature and irresponsible behaviour, obsessive or controlling behaviour, a secretive past, etc.
Take off your rose-tinted glasses. Keep your eyes open and see who they really are.
Talking about marriage and children straight away during your first date.
First, get to know the person a bit better and then when you think the right moment has arrived, find out what the person’s thoughts are with regards to this matter.
Keeping secrets or withholding information on a consistent basis. If the other person is dishonest, it can become highly problematic.
If you find yourself continuously suppressing your feelings, it can become difficult. And if you start complaining to others about this issue, it is time to take it up with your partner instead.
Being suspicious or jealous. If your partner snoops through your texts or follows you secretly to see where you are going, you should keep your distance. You are not maintaining a healthy relationship. Trust is of paramount importance.
Being overly affectionate, particularly if you are at the very early stage. Show your enthusiasm but don’t overdo it with too much of verbal affirmations and physical affection. This is called “love-bombing”. You don’t want to be perceived as a complete desperado.
Having a laid-back attitude. If the other person does not invest enough energy, time and emotional affection, you need to reconsider if you want to date a person like that. You should not have to motivate the other person to engage with you. It should come naturally, agree?
Focusing too much on the physical appearance of your partner. If everything that someone values about yourself or that you value about your partner is of sexual nature, this might work out for a short period of time, but it will fade later on. This approach will not sustain your relationship on a long-term basis. Look beyond the physical appearance and find out whether your partner is really a good match on many other different levels.
Believing that you can change someone and mould them into being someone you wish them to be. Accept the person for who they are. Don’t be so confident in changing the other person’s behaviour. It might work, but there is no guarantee for it. If someone is very untidy, you might be able to turn them into a person with a sense for tidyness, but take the worst-case scenario. The person remains a messy person. Then you need to ask yourself the question: Would I still be able to tolerate this person being messy? If the answer is NO (and you are an absolute order-freak!), then move on and look for someone else. You will face many issues and discussions in the future, and you don’t want to invite more trouble, do you?
Being too insecure. If the other person has constantly self-doubts you will start looking at them in a different way.
Ignoring their behaviour towards others. Pay particular attention to how they treat for example their parents, their/your friends, acquaintances, work colleagues etc. Do they respect them? Do they speak in a positive way about them in their absence? Do they show kindness? Do they demonstrate consideration, empathy, and emotional intelligence? Do they look like someone who needs to be taken care of, or are they capable of doing things in this world?
Not sharing your expectations. Instead, be upfront on what you expect. This should also include conversations about monetary expectations so that later misunderstandings or disappointments can be avoided. You don’t want to feel that you wasted your precious time with the wrong person ….…
Not sharing similar interests. If you have different tastes in music, it’s fine. But if your interests are complete opposites, you might encounter some problems along the way. Thus, make sure you have some common interests that allow you to share time together and having fun.
Comparing your new relationship with other peoples’ relationships is a big NO-NO. It can hamper your happiness. Don’t do this to yourself!
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