Ladies, it’s time to change our misguided dating ways once and for all.
It wasn’t long ago that women likely felt they brought little to the marriage table. After the dowry went out of fashion, women were largely high school educated women looking for a husband to “take care of them.”
Today, however, the landscape of marriage and the position of women in society are quite different. More women are enrolled in and graduate college than men, and, overall, women’s liberation was a success.
But with all this empowerment, why do so many women still suck at dating?
Here are common mistakes women dating mistakes women make:
1. Pretending To Be Something You’re Not
We should always present the best version of ourselves in any situation — dates included. Where we get off track is when we alter our authenticity to match a perceived need in the man. If he loves sailing, we eagerly agree while making a mental note to pick up a case of Dramamine in the event a quick summons to the yacht club occurs. Presenting a distorted reality of ourselves dooms us to a prison of falsehood and pressure.
Like everything else in life, the truth isn’t something you have to remember. Just be yourself. Reveal your true opinions, even if they run contrary to those of your date.
We’re not trying to secure a second date; we’re attempting to build a relationship with someone to whom we’re already mildly attracted. Find out early if your personalities are incompatible; it will save heartache down the road.
2. Having Completely Unrealistic Expectations
Getting to truly know someone takes a while, often a long while. Through dating and being put in various situations, we learn the nature of the person we’re dating. Detach yourself from the outcome. If a relationship ends, it doesn’t mean the relationship was bad. It simply means it didn’t have legs to go the distance. Live in the present, enjoy each date regardless of if there’s another one and let the relationship evolve. What happens will happen — if not, c’est la vie.
3. Needing A Lot Of Attention (And Losing Yourself In The Relationship)
When a date is great, it’s very normal to want to experience it again … and soon! Don’t allow your life to shift to focus solely on your new love interest. Don’t lose yourself in the relationship or expect him to do the same.
Thankfully the advent of the cell phone eliminated the “staying home and sitting by the phone” trap that many women fell into. If a guy calls you up last minute to go sailing, it’s OK to say you’re otherwise occupied. We should never need a man (or anyone for that matter). His actions are his responsibility. If he doesn’t call you for a week, it doesn’t necessarily that mean he’s just not that into you. He has family and friends to hang out with and things he wants to do. Women should do the same.
4. Revealing Too Much About Your Past Relationships
We’ve all been hurt. It’s part of life. Nothing’s guaranteed in this life, especially in relationships. A bad ending, as Tom Cruise so wisely said in Cocktail, is the only way relationships end. (“If they weren’t bad, they wouldn’t end.”) Perhaps our error is in not pulling the plug when we see the third red flag rather than waiting for the twentieth.
Not every man needs to hear the gory details of our past relationships. Let the ghosts of relationships past stay where they are: in the past. Other than disclosing pertinent information that impacts our current life, why add dirt to clean water? We think it’s giving our date information about who we are and why we have the views we have, yet what it seems like to the man is a list of things not to do. Lovely, the first date already has a HoneyDon’t List. It’s not fair to hold anyone responsible for the actions of another. Let the past go, and enter each relationship as a new experience.
We learn about ourselves through each relationship. Be grateful for every experience, even the painful ones. We learn what we can tolerate and what we can’t.
Women need to recognize their empowerment. We’re not auditioning for the lead part in his movie. Relationships are as complex as they are rewarding. No one should ever complete you. They should complement you (and vice versa).
Go into dating as if you’re meeting a new friend. Love will evolve naturally, not only by sharing a love for sailing.