I Used To Think Dating Was Draining AF But Only Because I Was Doing It Wrong

I know dating can be exhausting AF, but I think I contributed to just how tiring it was because my approach was all wrong. Here are 14 things I did that I’ll never do again.

  1. I chose toxic men. I knew the guys were wrong for me but I had romantic notions of changing them and of turning the bad boy into the loyal, committed dude. Ugh. It never worked. It just made me unhappy AF.
  2. I was too loyal to my type. I had a certain type of guy I was looking for but it just wasn’t realistic for me. For instance, I wanted a guy who was the life of the party, even though I was an introvert. WTF? No wonder I was meeting guys who just didn’t make me happy! FFS.
  3. I let dating stress me out. Meeting jerks who were just looking for sex was annoying AF, but I allowed the dating process to turn me into a stressed person. What for? If I’d just seen the humor of it and realized that it didn’t actually matter ’cause there are more important things than finding someone, I would’ve been a lot more chilled.
  4. I thought I had to find someone ASAP. I really got caught up in the whole dating thing. Instead of taking a dating sabbatical, which would’ve done me well, I remained obsessed with the idea of finding someone. That just made guys catch whiffs of my desperation. LOL!
  5. I put up with bad dates. Part of the reason why dating was so stressful is that I didn’t stick up for myself as much as I should’ve. Instead of putting up with a negative, annoying first date, I should’ve stood up and left! There was no rule that I had to stay put in my chair, bored to death or feeling my blood pressure rise.
  6. I was inflexible. I had an idea of what I wanted dating to be like, down to what the guy should say on at first date and where we should go. But you know what? I was chasing my own ideas, and completely ignoring the fun, spontaneous things that could’ve happened. I should’ve trusted life to surprise me more.
  7. I went on a one-hit-wonder marathon. When I signed up to dating websites, I treated it like a job. I put in lots of effort to find someone, but I turned it into a numbers game. I thought I was dating successfully by having lots of dates lined up. But that’s BS because I was dating just for the sake of it.
  8. I bought into the pressure. I was nearing 30 and according to society’s terms, that’s well on the way to becoming a spinster. What crap! I was feeling the pressure, and it didn’t help that my friends were getting hitched in a hurry. That made me feel really anxious about meeting someone. It became a priority, which it should never be.
  9. I settled. I thought I’d never settle, but the pressure I was feeling to find someone was making me choose to stay in relationships that weren’t good for me at all. Ugh, it’s better to be single and happy!
  10. I ignored my gut. My gut wasn’t my dating wingman, which is a pity because while it was screaming at me to get away from the guy who was clearly an alcoholic or cheat, I was ignoring it and saying “yes” to more dates with the guys. Ugh. I’ve learned that my gut needs to be listened to, otherwise I just end up in crappy situations.
  11. I got ahead of myself. One of my biggest problems when dating is that I always thought ahead. I wasn’t just thinking of meeting the guy from the dating site for a first date—I was imagining what it would be like to be in an LTR with him. This gave me loads of expectations I really didn’t need and made me miss out on what was happening in the moment.
  12. I was dating the ideas of guys. I had an idea of the guy in my head and it’s like that was the version I believed—not the one he was showing me. Damn. No wonder I always ended up disappointed AF.
  13. I didn’t know my worth. I knew my date’s worth and often magnified all his great qualities but sadly, when it came to my own worth, I never really knew it. This was dangerous AF because it meant that I put way too much emphasis on the guy I was dating and not enough on me and my needs. I’d come out of toxic relationships saying that I never wanted to date again because it was crap, but really, the problem was that I didn’t love myself. There was no way I could have a healthy relationship because a lack of self-love made me stick with the bad guys and think the good guys wouldn’t want me. A recipe for dating disasters!
  14. I thought good guys were extinct. So many single women around me were moaning about how there weren’t any good guys left, and my string of toxic men made me agree with them. It was BS, of course. But believing this made me bitter and cynical, which made me push away the good guys! Ugh.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.