Are you making a big dating mistake?

July 28th, 2008

Let’s face it. Everyone commits dating blunders. Nerves and anxiety often make singles behave differently than normal on a first date. Everyone has felt that anxious pang of embarrassment…  “Oh no! “ Why did I say that? “ Why did I order such a messy entrée?” Or,“Why didn’t I get that new outfit?” Many of what you might consider dating mistakes or blunders are often far from critical. Avoiding certain mistakes, however, can be very important to the success of your dating and ultimately finding a companion.   

The “Wish list”

 Almost all single people have that idea of the perfect companion in their minds. A wish list with all of the characteristics and personality traits they desire in a partner. Many singles make an actual list, whether for their own reasons, or because they have joined a service, such as Table for Two.  This can be a very helpful tool, if not taken too far or too literally. Sometimes people get a little carried away, describing the perfect person and expecting them to fall into their lap, (or even to exist at all.) Unfortunately, finding a companion is not as easy as picking out a new cell phone, where you get to choose all of the features you want. Phones are designed to be what consumers want them to be.  People, on the other hand, are just themselves.

 Don’t let your list hold you back 

 Wish lists are great, mainly in a more broad sense, whether you have joined a service or not. Do be honest and thorough with them, but also be flexible. Use them to find the kind of person you want, with a similar lifestyle, and values, and to help avoid incompatibility.  In a service such as Table for Two, where professional matchmakers are at work on your behalf, or even dating on your own, loosening up your wish list could end up being a great thing. You might meet someone with a personality trait or lifestyle choice that you find charming or endearing, but never knew you did. One you never thought of to put on your wish list! Making sure a potential companion fits “big picture” things on your list, such as, honest, hardworking, balanced, or open-minded is obviously necessary to find compatibility. Knowing yourself and what is important to you is a good thing when dating. However holding a potential companion up to the scrutiny of fitting 100% of criteria on your wish list is pretty unrealistic. In other words, holding out for someone who has everything on your wish list could be holding you back. 

A better way to judge your first date

 The way to get the most out of dating is to open your mind. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t picture your future with someone on or before a first date. You don’t know them well enough to do this accurately and the conclusions you draw may discount someone that could potentially be a great companion for you.  Focus instead on getting to know that person. You may just find that you are enjoying yourself with someone that you never imagined you would date. It is important to share core values, but don’t ask yourself questions like…   “Are they similar to others I have dated?”  “Do we do all of the same activities?” Or; “ How many characteristics on my wish list do they fit?”  Instead, ask yourself questions such as… “Are they intriguing to me?” “ Am I enjoying their company?“ Is the conversation interesting and stimulating?”  If you answer yes to these questions you are having a successful first date. A successful first date does not mean you can immediately picture long-term compatibility. It just means you are going on a second date. If you fall in love and a long-term relationship does develop, the small details tend to seem much less important and have a way of working themselves out. 

Perspective on chemistry 

The word chemistry gets thrown around a lot in the world of singles and dating. Everyone seems to have an opinion about it. The most common misconception about chemistry is that it is always instant. Singles are always looking for that “spark” that turns into a fiery passion. Remember this, a fire can start out warm and smoldering and grow into a blazing inferno, just as a giant explosion can quickly dwindle out. Chemistry can grow, and initial sparks can fizzle out. Don’t judge the success of your first date purely on that initial spark. If you found the other person interesting and enjoyed yourself, go on the second and third date, to see if the chemistry grows or fizzles.  Talk to your happily coupled and married friends. (They are out there) Ask them if their partner fits all the criteria that was on their single “wish list.” Most of them will agree that they just fit the big picture.

Entry Filed under: Dating

1 Comment

  • 1. Jeanie  |  August 10th, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Where were you back in the 1970′s when I began serious dating? I am very impressed with your insight into dating and life’s big picture in finding a match. Keep the advice coming! I will reccomend your article to all of my single friends.
    -Jeanie