Dating is supposed to be fun; sometimes it sucks but it’s definitely not a life or death situation. If you feel like looking for love is a full-time job that’s leaving you totally drained, chances are you might be taking it too seriously.
You overanalyze every little thing. We’ve all been there. Did he say hi because he was trying to be polite or because he’s desperately in love with me? Did she hold eye contact that long on accident or because she thinks I’m the most boring person she’s ever met? Does he secretly want to jump out that window rather than keep talking to me? Relax. You’ll never be able to read minds and that’s OK. Everyone feels this way sometimes. It takes time to build good communication, so chill out.
You justify bad situations. You know he’s probably not “The One.” He doesn’t like your family and he’s leaving the country in two months but you’re worried this is your only chance. What if this is it and if you don’t act now, you’ll never find love? You figure he’ll get used to the fam and that long distance isn’t that bad, right? STOP. This is a trap. You don’t have to settle. There is no time limit on finding someone. It’s OK to take your time. In fact, it’s preferable.
You feel guilty about talking to more than one person. I’m not saying you should be a guy-for-every-day-of-the-week kind of player. If you’re leading everyone on and have no intention of staying with anyone, then maybe think again. But if you feel like you have to send a courtesy letter to the person you’ve only been texting for a week because you talked to another cute guy in the café line, you might be taking dating too seriously.
You imagine your life with everyone. This can be really fun, but if you’re imaging how you and every pizza delivery guy will one day own a house with a bay window and flower boxes, have three kids (two girls, one boy; Jenny, Scarlet, and Ben—they have his eyes and your hair), you might want to slow down a little.
You adjust your schedule to accommodate every potential beau. Even if you have an important work meeting the next day or really need to clean the house, you’ll say yes to a date. Instead of telling him that you need to reschedule, you do what works best for him. You might even agree to pay for the greasy pizza at the dark bowling alley you really didn’t want to go to in the first place.
You wear too much makeup. If you feel like you can’t even go to the grocery store without mascara and a good lip gloss, you might be taking dating too seriously. Even if you do run into a super cute guy, he should like you with or without your makeup on. A little eyeliner won’t make or break your future happiness. That being said, if you really do love being dolled up for yourself, go for it!
You’re sure your problems would go away if you were in a relationship. Don’t put that much pressure on another person. Whatever baggage you have now, you’ll bring into a relationship. Chances are, they’ll have some baggage too. If you think you will suddenly stop worrying about whether you look good or say funny things, then you might want to take some time to focus on yourself before you date at all. Remember, it’s OK to wait, to say no, to hold out for some who will treat you well. Dating will be around when you feel ready for it.
Dating isn’t fun anymore. If you dread the idea of telling all your stories again and trying to act interested in the small talk of a first date, if you hate the idea of picking out a cute dress to wear, you might just be burnt out. Taking dating too seriously can be exhausting. That’s okay. Take a break, focus on yourself for a while, and remember, it’s just a date.
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