9 Ways You’re Approaching Dating All Wrong And How To Change

Being single isn’t for the faint of heart. Instead of living in a fabulous apartment and being your own version of Carrie Bradshaw, you’re swiping left and right and hoping that you meet the love of your life super soon so you can stop dating already. As we all know, finding someone you click with or even can just tolerate isn’t easy, but sometimes your attitude is the reason you’re struggling. Here’s how you’re approaching dating all wrong:

  1. You’re online dating like a numbers game. On some level, it is a numbers game. The more first dates you go on, the more chances you have at finding true love – or even just a second date that you’re excited about. But you also have to take care of yourself along the way – the journey to find love is just that, a journey. That means it’s okay to take a dating hiatus after a month of bad dates or it’s totally cool to message one person a day to ensure that you’re being smart about the type of person you see yourself with, instead of just picking anyone.
  2. You make a decision within five minutes. We’ve all been there: you haven’t even ordered a drink yet and already figure this evening is a total waste because you never want to see this person again. While sometimes we’re not wrong – living by your gut is definitely the way to go – other times it takes even three dates to realize how much we really do like someone. Give people an honest chance – you’d want them to do the same for you, wouldn’t you?
  3. You think about the end before the beginning. You’re so focused on how to end your dates that you can barely concentrate on what the guy across the table from you is saying. Do you say you had a good time even if you’re not sure if you did, in the hopes that he’ll ask you out again? Do you say “nice to meet you” (the kiss of death) so he ignores you? You figure that since most of your relationships have ended in some form of disaster, you’re already picturing the ghosting or break-up that you feel is inevitable.
  4. You turn down every second date. You’re so used to never liking anyone that you figure all you’re going to get is a first date and nothing else. You’re afraid to actually admit you care about someone so you ignore that after-date text or basically make a run for it when the night ends. What if you agreed to any second date that you were offered instead? Maybe you won’t end up seeing the guy again, but what if you do? That simple “yes” just might change your life.
  5. You’ve lost all hope. The world of modern dating is definitely not the stuff of fairy tales. It’s hard to be hopeful when it’s all about swiping and texting games and wondering how the other person feels. That’s still not a reason to have abandoned all hope. If you’re truly in a dark head space, approach every first date as if you’re going to go on a second date with this person. It’s a simple shift but will make you think you already are into this person (even if you aren’t).
  6. You get annoyed at the little things. None of us are perfect and that goes for everyone. Sometimes we get so nitpicky and caught up in the details that we’re annoyed by everything our date says or does. We judge them on their drink or dinner order or get frustrated when they check their phone even though they apologize and only look at it once. If you can try focusing on the big picture – who this person really is – it’ll change your perspective.
  7. You want to control everything. You’re a strong and confident woman but that doesn’t mean you always have to pick the time and place of every date, first date or otherwise. It’s okay to let the guy make some decisions. After all, does it really matter where you go if you end up meeting an amazing person?
  8. You have an idea of how it should begin. Every relationship starts differently. You’re platonic first. You’re introduced by mutual friends. You both swiped right. Sometimes we’re with someone 24/7 after the first meeting and other times it takes a month or even six months before you both realize you’re meant to be. If you can let go of how you think a relationship should start, you have a better chance at getting one.
  9. You refuse to change your lifestyle. We know that our lives will be altered when we find The One and that’s what we want. But there’s a difference between changing your life and your lifestyle – your Sunday brunch plans with your BFFs, your yoga class, your hours of Pretty Little Liars. It’s totally cool to still do what makes you happy but don’t forget that a new relationship is all about new traditions that you can enjoy together.

How to stop dating all wrong and start doing it right

  1. Loosen up and try not to overthink. Caring too much or bugging out over little things won’t change your results. So, try to stop feeling so attached to the outcome and enjoy the journey. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to your old ways. So, what’s the harm? You might as well try a new mindset.
  2. Keep an open mind and date outside the box. You might have a very specific idea of what you want in someone. That’s likely part of the reason you’re dating all wrong. Open yourself up to options that may not seem right at first. It can’t hurt to give something (or someone) new a try. Maybe you’ll learn something in the process! What’s the worst thing that can happen? You reaffirm what you thought you wanted in the first place?
  3. Let go of expectations. The only person that gets let down by my expectations of dating is you. You make the stakes so high and invest too much emotion too soon. Give things a chance to go somewhere rather than getting ahead of yourself. It’s natural to feel hopeful even before the first date. However, it can often lead to you being let down. Adjust your approach.
  4. Give people a chance to surprise you. They usually don’t, but maybe that’s because you’re not giving them any kind of opening. There’s no harm in relaxing your rigid requirements. Give a decent person a couple hours of your time. If you decide eventually that the strategy isn’t working out, you can readjust my strategy again. When you’re dating all wrong, you have to at least try to do it right.
  5. Stop getting frustrated every time a man pulls BS.It’s going to happen a lot and you need to resign yourself to that fact. You’ll do a lot of dating before finding teh guy you want. However, you’re certainly not finding him by laying on your couch alone every night. Don’t get pissed off the next time a guy pulls a douche move. Just drop him and move on.
  6. Learn to spot red flags sooner. You can’t get more practice noticing warning signs if you’re not dating at all. It’s frustrating to realize too late that a guy is a mess, but you get better at seeing it every time it happens. Progress comes slowly sometimes but it’s still worth getting out there and making the effort.
  7. Don’t fixate on it anymore. You have to find the sweet spot where dating fits into your life. It can’t be too high of a priority, but you can’t make it a non-priority either. People can be so black-and-white when it comes to their love lives. Either they’re all about a someone or dating isn’t even on their radar. It’s time to try to be more functional about it. Find a happy balance.
  8. Don’t let strangers disappoint you.You may be giving these people way too much weight in your life. Why give someone you barely know the power to control your emotions? When you think of it that way, it changes everything.
  9. Force yourself to be realistic.Your romantic ideals may have led you to hope that the right person will just conveniently drop into your lap with no effort on your part. It’s time to admit that it probably won’t be that simple. You might hate dating because it always goes wrong, but you still need to change your perspective.
  10. Look past the image and see the person. A person might look amazing on paper, but you also might have zero chemistry. On the other hand, you could have an amazing connection with someone you would’ve never thought you’d like. You have to be as open as possible and let your heart and soul lead you in the right direction.
  11. Figure out your non-negotiables. You probably have a long list of what you absolutely would not accept when dating a guy —there might be so many rules that you rule pretty much everyone out. It’s time to be more reasonable while also recognizing that there are certain qualities you really do need in a partner. Again, it’s all about finding a balance.
  12. Go with the flow and let it occur naturally. What does this mean? It’s all about enjoying your life and staying in the present. Keep your eyes and heart open whil you go about creating the best possible life for yourself. It’ll all work out in the end if you let things come as they’re meant to. No need to force things. Just let them happen.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.