Dating habits which could be holding you back
It can happen in every area of life – without realising it we develop bad habits which are holding us back from what we want to achieve. Dating is no different and if you are not being successful in this arena it is worth taking a step back to see if you have developed some of these bad habits.
Listening to your inner critic
This is the most common block to success in dating and is responsible for people becoming overly anxious and uncomfortable when they are out on a date. The inner critic is that nagging voice that points out all your faults and imperfections; insists that none of your clothes look right on you and that your date probably won’t like you anyway.
When it is not criticising you the same inner voice may chatter on all through your date picking fault in everything your match says and does and blocking you from being able to enjoy the date at all. If this voice were a separate person who you had to take everywhere with you most of us wouldn’t be able to last a couple of hours listening to the moaning and negativity! We certainly wouldn’t tolerate anyone else speaking to us as harshly as we talk to ourselves.
Everybody has this negative self talk to some extent but for some people it is such a bad habit that it stops them from ever being able to fully relax and enjoy themselves – they think if their date ever found out how critical and harsh they were they would lose interest immediately. This habit must be broken. Next time you are preparing for a date try talking to yourself as if you are your own best friend, offering support and encouragement rather than criticism. This is a difficult habit to break but it is vital if you really want to have a loving relationship – if you don’t think much of yourself how can you expect anyone else to?
Falling for a fantasy
As soon as you receive a match you are interested in, most people will begin to build a mental image of what that person is like. If they send an icebreaker or an email this mental picture is added to and refined and keeps growing as you learn more about them – all of this is perfectly natural – it only becomes a bad habit if you allow your imagination to run away with you and become so attached to your fantasy image that when you meet your date in person you are disappointed.
The most effective way to break this habit is to spend as little time as possible on virtual communication and more on developing the relationship in person – keep it real.
Exaggerating the truth
It is natural to want to impress your date but exaggeration of the truth; little white lies and adaptations of the truth will all stop the person you are dating from getting to know the real you. Often people develop this habit because they feel they are not enough as they are or feel insecure about themselves in some way. The reality is that if you do succeed in impressing your date and go on to develop a relationship any untruths you have told will probably be exposed. Be yourself – if that isn’t good enough for your date maybe they aren’t the right match for you.
Sharing your personal pain and problems with a date is never a good idea – especially on a first date – there will be time for this later on in the relationship but at the beginning – when you are just getting to know each other – try to keep it light and deal with your personal problems elsewhere with an understanding friend or relative.
Try to practice good manners in all aspects of dating – reply quickly to correspondence; thank someone for a date even if you don’t want to see them again and be civil and courteous to all people – treat them as you would like to be treated. Bad manners are often a force of habit – one which can easily be broken with a little awareness.
Some people seem to do little more than complain about everything and anything – about the service in the restaurant – the food – the traffic – and surprisingly they may not even realise that they are doing it. Listen to yourself more closely and if you find yourself complaining a lot make a conscious effort to focus on the positive and the things you are grateful for – it will make you a happier person and a better date.
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