Let’s Face It, the rules for dating have changed drastically and one must (un)learn and (re)learn the new rules to be in the game! Wise Man is an entrepreneur, teacher, marketing and digital media expert. He shares his views on what not to do when dating.
Over the years, I have been in some really wonderful (and some horrible) relationships. In most instances, my ex and I have actually become good friends, and we still maintain a healthy relationship without impeding the other’s space.
However, over the last couple of years, I have had some terribly bad dates, and while in some cases I have questioned myself, I came to realize that some people have very different and possibly inaccurate expectations with regards to partners and relationships, and hence tend to have various bad experiences.
Based on my personal observations, I have compiled a list of things that we need to stop doing if we are ever to enter a healthy, romantic relationship again:
- STOP being shy – If you never ask, the answer will always be no. You get one life; get out and live it.
- STOP using a checklist – No one is ever going to be good enough if we have too many preexisting conditions and expectations.
- STOP having your own agenda – There are two people in a relationship. Period. Find some common ground to connect on rather than just trying to find the best fit. It may work when it comes to shopping for shoes, but not when dating.
- STOP looking at the other person like a cheque book – This is all too common, and while money is important, it takes two people to make a great relationship, and a large bank balance is never going to solve that.
- STOP avoiding to communicate – If there is some confusion or reservations about the other person, talk to them. Lack of communication strengthens the confusion and creates further problems.
- STOP living in the past – Comparing the person we are dating to people in the past is never going to make us happy in the present, nor will it allow us to move to a more positive future with another person.
- STOP chatting online – While it’s important to communicate, and regularly so, texting, Facebook and Whatsapp messages can never come close to the real thing – they never convey the tone and feeling meant to be conveyed, and can sometimes lead conversations awry.
- STOP discussing with friends about the person you are dating – It’s important for friends to meet the person you are dating (possibly with the intention to spend the rest of your life with), but you should do so only when you have independently made up your mind. Dating in today’s world is hard enough without the added confusion caused by other people who may not understand the circumstances, albeit with the best of intentions.
- STOP waiting for the other person to be the one to always reach out – The rules of dating have changed. Want to talk to someone? Pick up the phone and call. Invite them to a coffee. If the person avoids you, move on. They’re not worth your time or perhaps they have their own issues to deal with.
- STOP being so subjective – We can’t spend the rest of our life analyzing (most often over-analyzing) everything that happens. Don’t take things so personally, and let them build up within. They only get worse. Start looking at things differently. Only we have the power to change that.
- STOP trying to change the person to suit yourself – Whether it’s clothes, hairstyle or even their car; always remember that you liked the person for who they were when you met them. And if they genuinely care about you, they will naturally be a better person as a result of the healthy relationship you share.
- STOP losing confidence – a friend recently told me this, and I really appreciated her honesty. There are enough people out there who will try and make you feel bad, you may have a lot of bad experiences, but ultimately you will never be happy if you don’t love yourself, believe or be confident about yourself.
- STOP making quick decisions – I cannot emphasize this enough. We live in a world where we make quick decisions about work, shopping and personal choices, and these shape the person we become. Take some time to get to know the other person, and be comfortable talking to them over a long period of time before making any decision. Be patient.
- STOP asking the wrong questions (and giving the wrong answers) – OK, so perhaps there is nothing such as a wrong question or answer, but sometimes the manner in which the questions are asked can really push a person into a corner and make them uncomfortable. This only ensures answers that you may be uncomfortable with, and what’s worse, you may interpret them incorrectly. Take the time to get to know the person, be comfortable with each other, and then and only then broach the more important questions.
- STOP being cynical – Yes, there are a lot of bad things that happen, and it’s getting harder to meet the right person. Yes, we are all getting older, and our families and friends put enough pressure on us. But not enjoying the experience of dating will never let us move ahead in life. Stop remembering all the bad things that happened in the past, and focus on the good aspects of dating.
- STOP looking for the “right person” – There is no such thing as the right person – there is only a person that we enjoy being with, the person that we enjoy talking to, the person we are comfortable and secure with, and the person we want to come home to. Don’t focus too much on the choice, but how to adapt to each other, so that the relationship can be enjoyed equally.
Dating can be fun and it’s all a matter of perspectives. This has been my experience. I do hope that allowing yourself to look at it differently will help you have a better experience.