For those of you who are dating or getting in the dating world, it can seem like a minefield. The dos and don’ts have definitely shifted, but avoiding the following is always a good idea:
We all fear rejection in dating, so people think that playing it cool and not getting too involved may make them feel safe, but the risk is you might lose that person. Another reason people play games is to get something you want that you wouldn’t likely get if you played it straight. For example, telling someone you love him or her so they will sleep with you, and then not calling them again. This form of manipulation is simply unacceptable, and does not lead to healthy relationships. Have the courage to be upfront and show who you are.
Talking too much about your ex
while this information will eventually be shared at least to some extent, it shouldn’t be discussed in detail during the initial phase of a relationship. You want to get to know the person and each have a chance for a fresh start. Carrying old baggage into a new relationship amounts to clutter. If you have baggage, then best to work it out in individual therapy before pursuing a new relationship, at least to a point where it isn’t affecting your reactions and clouding your judgment.
Fantasizing about the future
while men are not always the masters of game playing, women have this one down. When you catch yourself trying on his last name before the third date, it’s time to remind yourself to slow down. Until you have time to really get to know someone, and see him or her in a wide range of situations, it is helpful to not get ahead of yourself; don’t strongly attach to some illusion that you have created about the person. This can lead to pitfalls of setting up unrealistic expectations and subsequent disillusionment, or depression if the relationship doesn’t work out.
Obsessing over details
This one is common with those who worry. The worry may be a general habit, but now it is turned on the subject of the relationship: worry about what the other person said, worry about what they meant by it, worry about how you reacted, worry about the relationship not working out…on and on. Being anxious is a mood killer, and will not make you attractive to a potential mate. Try to tap into your self-confidence and trust that if the relationship is meant to work out, it will.
Interrogating your date
“How many children do you want” is not a good opening sentence. You want to show interest by asking about their likes or dislikes, but not press someone for information. Let things evolve a bit, as you get to know someone. Patience and restraint are required here, even though you may feel pressed for time. Do your best to relax and have fun.
Ignoring red flags
If someone doesn’t show up when you’re supposed to meet, that’s a red flag. If they don’t let you call them at home, yep, red flag. If they kick their dog, snoopy, red flag. Of course, there are more subtle warnings that one may be tempted to overlook, especially if one is eager for the relationship to work out. While one shouldn’t jump to conclusions without sufficient evidence on the first problem that arises, an emerging pattern is not something to make excuses or brush it off. Address these problems early, and don’t waste your time.