Dating can be exhilarating, refreshing and highly rewarding - but people who cling to misconceptions about courtships often find themselves on the outside looking in. Yes, dating can easily lead to confusion and mixed feelings -- searching for a mate can be emotionally draining, or the euphoria from a good date may tempt you toward the wrong partner. However, remembering a few basic truths about dating can help you stay focused while navigating the tumultuous waters of singlehood.
Just like there's no such thing as love at first site, it's also important to not immediately write people off as un-datable. Certainly, if you know your incompatible with people for deeply important reasons - like if you're an atheist, and the other person is a born-again Christian - then that's one thing. But don't write someone off just because you're uncertain about the person's job status, fashion choices or strange haircut. If you take the time to get to know people, you never know who you might fall in love with.
Taking a business approach to dating is a great way to protect yourself from being emotional wounded or taken advantage of. However, it's also a great way to miss out on some wonderful opportunities. You're much less likely to have fulfilling relationships if each action is carefully measured and every partner is highly scrutinized. Also, you're likely to drive off happy, caring suitors if you appear too guarded or emotionally closed off. The bottom line is don't treat your dates like job interviews; treat dating like dating, and save the business approach for the workplace. Dating should never feel like work.
Forget about Jerry Maguire -- you're dooming your relationships to fail if you're seeking someone to make you feel complete. The best relationships are those when two complete people decide to share their lives together. If you honestly feel incomplete, then you should find ways outside of dating to find fulfillment in your life. Everyone grows and changes throughout their lives, so that person who makes you feel complete today may not be able to fill those voids years down the road.
To enjoy the thrill of dating, you must first appreciate the perks of being single - and the single life does have some serious perks. To be single is to have emotional and financial freedom. You live by your own rules and don't have the pressures of living in tandem with someone else. While you may have goals in life that require having a significant other, that doesn't mean you shouldn't overlook the privilege of being on your own. Even people who are happily married will tell you there are definite benefits to being single - so enjoy them while you can. People who are at peace with their lives make for much more attractive prospects on the dating scene.
"Love at first sight" is one of the oldest myths in the book. While there's something to be said for the physical attraction that exists between strangers, choosing a mate requires more than being led by your hormones. Do your best to avoid jumping to conclusions just because you don't instantly feel fireworks when meeting a new person. Wait until at least the second or third date before deciding their isn't enough chemistry to continue.
Don't believe in the myth that all first dates are magical experiences filled with rainbows, unicorns and lobster dinners. The reality is that many first dates are clumsy and awkward. Even if the first date doesn't go as you envisioned - and even if it's with someone who you've known for a long time - keep in mind that it's your first opportunity to get to know this person on a deeper (or different) level. Just because a first date doesn't follow the Hollywood script doesn't mean it can't ultimately lead to a storybook ending.
You've just met someone who seems fantastic, and perhaps you even exchanged phone numbers - what do you do next? A lot of people will say to do nothing for the first few days, and that calling back any sooner could make you seem desperate. But what if the other person is just as excited to talk with you again? In that case, waiting for the sake of waiting could send mixed (and discouraging) messages. It's never a good thing to appear clingy or desperate, but don't try to hide positive feelings of joy or excitement if you've really met someone who seems special. If you don't want to wait to see someone again, then don't wait. It's as simple as that.
Mathematical odds work great in math, but relationships aren't a numbers game. The more you spread yourself out, the less you're able to focus on specific people who you're dating, and the more likely you are to miss out on someone special. Also, remember that most of your friends are aware of your love life, and factoids such as the number of people you're dating have a way of becoming public knowledge. Date around too much, and you're not likely to be taken as seriously by more commitment-minded suitors.
Rebound relationships are the gray areas of dating. Breaking up is hard to do, and getting over a breakup can be even more difficult. Rebound relationships can help people cover up old wounds or lingering unpleasant feelings - which can be a good thing - but they don't necessarily help people cope with their hardships in a permanent manner. So while rebound relationships have their places, it's not a good practice to go on reckless rebound dates every time something doesn't go your way.
This couldn't be more false. For people of all ages and social aptitudes, online dating is a rapidly growing platform for striking up new relationships. Many people actually prefer online dating, which allows users to focus their efforts on people who they feel would be their best possible matches. Meeting people through online dating Websites also allows people to get to know each other without the hassles or social pressures of being out in public. Online dating is also helpful for people who are too busy with their jobs or families to spend their Fridays hanging out at the singles bars.