3 tricky dating situations – and their solutions

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confused

All through the dating process, from the first guided communication to the decision to make a commitment to be together, there will be things that arise which leave you unsure of the right course of action to take. Part of the reason why dating dilemmas can be so difficult is because your decisions will have to take into account your feelings, your date’s feelings and what is best for the relationship as a whole.

Is it working?

In terms of dating this is the ultimate question which will come up time and time again while the relationship is developing. It is good to keep checking in with yourself, and your partner, to see if you are both on the same page and happy to continue. The difficulty can arise when you begin to think it is not working and can’t decide whether to end it or not.

When faced with this dilemma a useful strategy is to divide a piece of paper in two and on one side write everything that is good about the relationship and on the other, everything that is problematic or causes you uncertainty. Seeing it all written down in black and white will help you see if the relationship is balanced and what the right course of action might be. Talk your findings through with a supportive friend and give yourself time to really think things through before you make a decision – most importantly try to avoid making a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion like fear or anger.

Can I ask them to change?

When you meet someone you really connect with, even if you seem like a perfect match, there might be aspects about their personality, mannerisms or behaviour that you find difficult. You may find yourself wishing you could just tweak them a little bit because then they would be perfect. As one woman said, ‘I knew he was the one for me, he was everything I wanted to change in a man.’

Whether it is because you don’t like their manners or something superficial like how they dress – asking someone to change to make them more acceptable to you is always going to be a potential minefield. Before you tackle any issue it is important to ask yourself ‘How important is it?’ If it is an issue that will mean the end of the relationship if it isn’t addressed you will have to find a diplomatic way of raising it with your partner. Be honest and explain why it is important to you but don’t be surprised if you meet some resistance, most people don’t like to hear criticism, no matter how lovingly it is given.

Allow time for change to happen but if you feel they have dug their heels in and refuse to meet you even halfway it could be a sign that the relationship is not going to work. Whatever you do don’t just ignore the things that bother you hoping they will go away, the things that are a little bit annoying at the beginning of a relationship are often the same things that cause it to end.

Is it OK to hope for more than someone is offering?

When you start getting to know someone you will both be trying to establish whether you are compatible. An important part of compatibility is working out if you want the same things e.g. a monogamous relationship; marriage, kids or to go on a world adventure together. Most people have an idea of the direction that they would like their life to go in and are looking for a partner who shares their dreams or who wants similar things.

If you establish that a person doesn’t want the same things as you but you have a great connection do you cut your losses and move on to someone who shares your vision or let go of your dreams in order to be with this person?

You might be tempted to continue with the relationship regardless saying that they accept the situation but secretly hoping that, over time, you will get them to come round to your way of thinking. This is unfair. They may change their mind in the future but there are no guarantees. If that is what you are hoping for then you will be lying when you say you are OK with their decision.  Either accept someone as they are today or cut your losses and find someone who wants the same things as you.

Whenever a dilemma arises communication is the best way to resolve it. Most things feel much worse when they are spinning around in your head and talking things with a friend you will get some clarity. A problem shared is a problem halved.


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