When It Comes to Dating, Don't Take It So Seriously
By Tolani Osan for BounceBack.com
I had a friend in college who, as gregarious and gorgeous as she was, had some difficulty dating. My girlfriends and I were all surprised to hear that by the end of a particular date, the guy was quiet and aloof. Then she told us, of course, what the topic of conversation was for the night. She presented him with a laundry list of things she wanted in a guy, from career all the way down to creed! While she may not have presented it as a laundry list per se, we gathered that by the end of the night, he was likely feeling intimated and overwhelmed.
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Unfortunately this is a trend in dating and both genders are guilty. A lot of you are far too serious about dating- when nothing is mandatory, when actually there's nothing to take so seriously. Nothing is written in stone and most rewarding, you have the opportunity to just have fun, with no strings attached. If you catch yourself committing one of these crimes, or more next time you're on a date, know this: you're way too serious about dating.
1. Listing Requirements
Like my friend, most men and women think they know what they want in a partner. And while some things for you are non-negotiable (religion, age, orientation etc.), you are just on a date where your main objective should be to meet someone new and have a good time. Keep those virtues in the back of your head but also stay open to things that people outside your preference may offer as well.
2. Thinking Every Man is Trying to Bed You
Particularly for you ladies, after getting catcalled on the streets, you may go on your next date with your guard way up. Stop. Protect yourself, yes, but not at the cost of making the night an awkward one. You can set your boundaries without being accusatory or guarded. Enjoy the date and if he pushes the envelope or makes you uncomfortable, you don't have to go on second date, you know. It'll also make for a fun anecdote to share with your girlfriends.
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3. Bashing Yourself
Some people go on dates just bitter about past relationships and people who never called back or answered texts. You wonder, "what's wrong with me?" and then go on to list the things they dislike about themselves. You're already giving your date reasons to dump you. Or you may be singing praises about how nice a person you are and how stupid everyone else is for not seeing that quality in you and flocking to you as they should. On a date, it can translate as passive aggression. Self-deprecation in both forms will surely turn people off. And if you score a second date, it's likely a pity date.
Related: Stop Standing In Your Own Way
4. Being Super Self-Conscious
Kind of along the lines of self-deprecation is over the top self-consciousness. If you order a salad when you really want a burger because you don't want him to think you're a cow. Or if you overcompensate with macho attitudes because you feel intimidated by her. Relax. Be yourself because they're going to find who you really are eventually.
5. Focusing on All the Wrong Moves
Because you're so versed in how to read someone on date much thanks to that GQ or Glamour article you read in preparation, you maybe inclined to keep score…of all the wrong things. If he puts his elbows on the table, he's insensitive. Or if she re-applied her lip gloss, she's self-absorbed. By keeping score, you might be missing the points that matter.
Dating is supposed to be fun. It's the relationship that takes work and even those aren't meant to be all work. So calm down; have a drink and enjoy the company.
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