If your dating life’s not going well, there can be many reasons. One of them might be you.
No-ones perfect (in life or in love), but there are some simple – and fixable – dating mistakes that may be ruining your chances of finding a lasting relationship.
Before you throw in the towel on finding true love, try fixing these 10 common dating mistakes!
- Bad self-care habits: examples include bad breath, body odor, terrible hygiene, and lack of etiquette. They turn people off because they seem simple to attend to or address. It doesn’t take that much effort to have good hygiene. And people infer that the bad self-care habits infer something about the person’s habits in a relationship.
- Criticizing or trying to control the other person: people don’t like being told what to do, particularly at the beginning of a relationship – in general people are attracted to the opposite — positivity, optimism, and giving compliments!
- Emotional neediness: we don’t like constantly having to support someone who’s not available to support us.
- Emotional reactivity: we don’t like walking on eggshells, worried we’re going to accidentally set someone off.
- Poor grammar: surveys suggest grammar is one of the first things people use to judge a potential date. Bad grammar suggests that a potential partner has had less schooling and may not value education.
- Low self-confidence: the same surveys found that people also take into account a potential date’s self-confidence. Those with little self-confidence are likely to be anxious, perhaps even less mentally stable.
- Bad teeth: men and women with bad teeth advertise a poor diet, maybe even poor health.
- Self-absorption: people who think only of themselves and lack interest in other people tend to make poor relationship partners because they don’t care about the other person’s feelings. They’re also inconsiderate and selfish in bed.
- Extreme negativity: especially in the early phases of a relationship, we need to share positive, mutually fulfilling experiences. If one partner makes exclusive use of a relationship as a dumping ground for bad feelings, the other person has little reason to hold on.
- Contempt: research tells us that contempt in a marriage is the biggest predictor of divorce. Contempt is the opposite of kind. Being contemptuous is like pouring acid on love, and kills relationships.
Are you tired of hearing about dating ‘red flags’?
Good. Let’s talk instead about some dating ‘green flags’!
If you’re ready for a relationship, look for these 7 ‘relationship material’ qualities on your next date:
- They keep their word: their words and actions match. If they make a commitment to something, they follow through. It’s okay if not everything’s perfect, if you can count on them to try their best every time.
- They actively listen: like, really listen. They want to hear what you have to say, even when the conversations are tough. They listen extra closely when you’re distressed, because what matters to you matters to them.
- They know how to share: they listen but they communicate well, too. They express their feelings and communicate clearly. You’re able to have difficult conversations with them—money, insecurities, you name it. It’s not easy to keep a cool head in tough conversations. Give them points for this one.
- They’re sensitive to your needs: everybody has triggers and sensitivities. A good partner is aware of yours and will tailor their behavior to accommodate them. It’s not about convenience. It’s about compassion.
- They respect boundaries: just like it says, they respect your boundaries. You need friend time? Great. Alone time? Perfect. A good partner will know that when you draw a line in the sand, they should respect it. With any luck, they’ll set their own rules to reinforce strong communication in the relationship.
- They apologize: apologies are a major part of conflict resolution. I mean deep, sincere apology. It’s important to be able to admit when you’re wrong or more importantly when you’ve hurt someone. If your partner is able to let go of their pride and acknowledge fault, it’s a big deal.
- They compromise: this is really important, because no partners see eye to eye on everything. Healthy relationships are not the ones that have the most in common, but the ones most willing to meet in the middle.
Office romances can be very tricky and are generally not recommended. But they do happen – and when they do – there are three possible outcomes:
- The relationship turns sour and your reputation and career take a beating.
- it ends, but you’re both mature and cordial and don’t let the breakup affect your work.
- or things work out.
It’s up to you to figure out whether pursuing an office relationship is worth the possible consequences, good and bad. If you decide it is, here are a few “rules” you’ll want to follow to ensure things don’t go awry:
- Take it slow: try being friends inside and outside the office before you make any moves. People sometimes act differently at work than they do in their personal life. Before you risk hurting your reputation at work, find out if this person is someone you’d want to spend weekends with.
- Know the formal policy: check the company handbook to find out if there are any policies related to interoffice relationships. Even if there are no explicit policies against it, find out how upper management feels about office romances. If they’re common and happen in your workplace all the time, great. If not, maybe that’s something to consider.
- Avoid your boss or direct reports: if you’re thinking about pursuing an office romance, consider your rank or position, as well as theirs. Dating your boss or your direct report can be particularly dangerous for a variety of reasons.
- Keep things quiet early on: once you have a sense that this might have a future, talk to your partner and decide how and when you want to disclose your relationships to your colleagues. If the rumor mill goes into high gear, that might be the right time. If nobody seems to notice, there’s no reason to share.
- Get on the same page: you and your new partner need to agree on some ground rules and come up with a plan for how you will keep it professional and stay within written or unwritten rules. What will be your plan ‘B’ if the heat is on from a supervisor, from gossip, or if things go awry?
- Be professional at all times: you may have the burden of overcompensating with professionalism and keeping an artificial distance, which can be an awkward strain. Better to overcompensate than to constantly test the limits of workplace etiquette while hoping for the best.
- Be sensitive and respectful to others: focus on work and do your job – especially if you want to mitigate gossip. Talking about the relationship can be distracting or make colleagues feel uncomfortable, so don’t do it.
- Know the potential legal pitfalls: employees are generally encouraged to report incidents of sexual harassment or events that create a hostile work environment. Since the sensitivities of the workforce are varied and subjective, there’s always a risk of offending someone. One complaint to HR for PDA, showing preferential treatment, or using words of endearment in public will at the very least trigger an investigation.
- Remain focused on your work: spend your time as if you are not dating this person. Don’t get caught up in long conversations, two-hour lunches, or emailing with your partner when you should be working on projects or preparing for meetings.
- Remain ethical: it’s unfair and unethical to give your significant other’s work more attention and to make decisions that ultimately benefit them. So while it may be tempting, stop yourself before you get yourself into trouble.
- Don’t let disagreements affect your work: this may be one of the hardest rules to follow. What happens at home or in your personal life (no matter who you’re dating) almost always affects your attitude, which affects your work – it’s just a fact of life. But try your hardest not to let your disagreements with your partner affect the decisions you make or how your treat others at work.
If it feels like your dating life is bad, you’re lucky. The more difficult problem: you think its going great, when its actually not.
Online dating apps & social media can make you feel more connected – and they can be okay for dating casually or for friends. But what if you’re not meeting anyone you would consider as ‘relationship potential’?
The key to successful dating? Don’t be these 4 dating types:
- The perfectionist: the most likely place you’ll meet your dream partner? In your dreams. We all have criteria that we’re looking for in a partner – and that’s normal – but make sure your list doesn’t become so long that no-one makes the grade.
- The (overly) patient one: desperation is never a good look, and it certainly won’t lead to successful dates. But the flip side can be equally bad – waiting on your living room sofa for Mr or Ms Perfect to sweep you off your feet is a lousy strategy. Be proactive – get out with some friends, visit some new neighborhoods, go to a music festival! You may not meet your perfect match right away, but it’ll make you feel good – and that’s a very sexy quality indeed.
- The busy body: if you’re a busy professional, it can be hard to find the time to meet someone new – and spending your spare time swiping profiles on dating apps won’t help. Consider using a professional matchmaking service like Executive Search Dating. We’re specialized in helping busy people like you find compatible singles – no matter how busy you are. You’ve nothing to lose but your single life!
- Negative Nate/Nelly: dating can be frustrating, particularly when you’re not meeting the type of person your looking for – we totally get that. But beware the ‘Dating Vicious Cycle’: you’re frustrated about your dating life – your negative attitude starts making an appearance on your dates – which makes your dating life even worse – repeat. If you’re feeling down about dating, it’s okay to take a break for a while. Spend some time with people you love doing things you enjoy – putting a smile back on your face is the single best thing you can do for your dating life.