When people think about dating, it’s very rarely the positive elements that spring to mind. It has us recalling wasted evenings that could, in hindsight, have been put to better use. We mentally re-live the absolute uncertainty involved, sometimes the time and cost implications and always the sheer inconvenience of not getting what we want after making the effort to find it. In fact, it’s not uncommon to only view a date as positive if it ended with our minimum goal, whether that was sex, a second date or even long term commitment.
It’s true to say that too many people allow the age-old comedic formula of Tragedy + Time = Humour to get in the way of appreciating the immediate joy of dating. This is a shame because dating with a mindset that is firmly fixed on what you want or need in order to have a good time, is short-sighted at best. Whatever your idea of a worthwhile or bad date, how you deal with it in the moment can make all the difference. Don’t wait until your friend is bent double at the hilariousness of it before you can see the fun in funny.
I like relationships, not dates
We think about dating in reverse of the way we think about sex. With sex, our imagination is immediately drawn to amazing, synchronised moments, mutual connections and orgasmic endings. In reality, we forget the awkward times and endings of dubious satisfaction. Truth be told, dating and sex can both be acts of exploration. Dating is a wonderful opportunity to meet and spend time with a whole host of people that you would otherwise never meet. If you’re going to embark on the journey, starting from a place of curiosity and openness will serve you well.
I get worried they won’t be attracted to me
If your predominant concern when going on a date is whether or not the other person will fancy you, then you have some pre-date work to do around confidence and self-esteem. People generally look their best when on a date and so as harsh as it may sound, it saves a lot of time knowing right from the start that your best isn’t good enough for someone. Don’t beat yourself up about it every time you step out, the right amount of confidence can entirely change an evening and someone’s perception of you.
I never fancy my date
It’s disappointing when your date in no way resembles who you were expecting or who you envisioned spending the rest of your life with. Please remember, this doesn’t automatically make them any less of a human being or entitled to any less of your time. How many of your friends or family could be considered unattractive by someone else, and how would you hope a date treated them? Rather than immediately plotting your escape, discover if you like them as a person and try to put looks aside for one evening. Enjoy being with a new person you have a mental connection with.
Bad dates are a waste of time, money, make up….
If this is your mindset, then you are not ready to date. The simple solution is don’t go, don’t get dressed up, don’t travel, don’t put yourself out. Relationships and dating are about growth, you need to value the opportunities you have, as well as the other person’s time and their own investment in meeting you.
What if we have nothing in common?
If you genuinely have nothing in common with your date then there are couple of options. You can spend the time stifling yawns and wishing you were somewhere else or, you can decide you’re going to learn something and try listening without the agenda of being entertained. You never know, they may reciprocate the kindness and listen to something you’re equally passionate about. Remember that love is in the detail, passion can be shared between two people a lot closer to the surface.
Article commissioned by elite match making service Berkeley International