Saturday, April 5, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: '7 Dating Mistakes That Make You Look Desperate'

Why a man would trust a desperate woman to give good help is...

Beyond me.

That's why I believe it's a good idea to share this article:

Last week I spoke with Vanessa, a single-mother in her early thirties. She has been dating the same guy off and on for over 2 years. Despite the fact that she’s in love with him, he’s not ready to commit.

Vanessa’s confused about why her boyfriend doesn’t want to be exclusive. They have a great time with each other, have many common interests and rarely fight. After getting more information it started to become clear to me why Vanessa is in this predicament: Desperation.

Her behaviors and actions communicate to her boyfriend that she is willing to drop anything and everything immediately to spend time with him, including her parental responsibilities  (Which is probably playing a big role in why he’s not sure about their relationship). It turns out she’s been making several mistakes, since the beginning of their relationship.

Here are a few tips on what not to do during the courtship phase of dating (usually the first couple months), because they can set up bad habits. Avoid these mistakes at all costs:

1.)  Being available all of the time. When you first start dating someone it can be tempting to want to spend all of your time with him/her, persuading you to keep your calendar clear. Having nothing else to do but spend time with that person makes you come off as boring, having no life and few friends. This is not the impression you want to make.

2.)  Initiating phone calls or texting all day long. It is important to stay in touch with your new love interest, but don’t go overboard. Calling or texting once or twice a day says “ I’m interested in you.”, calling or texting several times each hour of the day says “ I’m a borderline stalker.”

3.)  Needing to know every detail of his/her day. As relationships grow you learn more and more about the other person; what they like, who they hang out with, where they go regularly. This should be a natural process that develops over time. When you demand to know all of these details up front it can make you appear insecure and controlling.

4.)  Talking about the distant future within the first few weeks of dating. Dating is an opportunity to get to know someone gradually over time. Talking about the long-term future together is something that couples should do once they are exclusive and have some history together. It often scares people away if you start planning the wedding (aloud) on your second or third date.

5.)  Going along with anything and everything. There is tremendous value in being flexible, and tremendous weakness in having no boundaries (aka: not being able to say “no”). People naturally push each other’s boundaries as they become emotionally closer. This is a necessary and critical part of intimate relationships. When you accept everything, (your date showing-up an hour late with no phone call, him/her being too busy to help you out in a genuine emergency, or cancelling plans last minute because there is something else he/she would rather do) regardless of how you feel about it—you come off as needy.

6.)  Giving it all away on the first date. There are few things that will kill emotional bonding and interest faster than getting sexual too soon. True intimacy is developed over time and through a series of interactions where you learn more and more about the other person. This increases your attraction to him/her of them beyond physical appearance. When you have sex right off the bat, it sabotages this process, you’ve already gotten physical and that can muddle your chance of building true intimacy. It can also look like that is all you have to offer- sex. Which is simply not true.

7.)  Including your new partner in family and personal events too soon. If you invite the girl/guy you’ve been dating to a family function too soon, it may scare them away. You may think your family is wonderful and perfect, but that might not be how they appear to your new mate. Having a solid foundation and connection together, before introducing them to the fam can go a long way. And bring your new flame into your family dynamics too quickly might freak him/her out.

These are a few behaviors that may seem harmless in the moment, but can ultimately represent wanting commitment before you really know each other. For the best chance of developing a long term relationship avoid these impulses, at least at first. You can always decide to move things forward in the future, but you can never take them back things from the past.



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