There is one thing that can stand in between you and your dating goals and that’s your dating expectations. Dating can be one of two things, dating can suck or dating can be a fun way of self-exploration. It’s really up to you. Yes, I agree completely that there a lot of ass hats out there. I think I’ve pretty much dated most of them and it’s getting downright frustrating. What is the problem? Expectations. I learned that the hard way. I focused too much on what I wanted and what I was looking for that I forget to enjoy the process. That’s why I always remind everyone that focusing on the process NOT the dating outcomes is where you need to be to manage dating expectations. When I learned that lesson dating became so much easier and I, in turn, became a much happier person.
Managing Dating Expectations
What are dating expectations? Dating expectations are what your goals are. Everyone has something they are looking for. Some people just want to enjoy someone’s company, some just want sex, some want a companion, while others are looking for a life partner, or marriage. Whatever you are looking for, managing your dating expectations will help you get there. How so? Well, if you’re expecting a big love story overnight, then think again. Those things rarely happen. Love that’s developed over time means so much more. Many people jump into their dating life and make a big emotional investment too early on putting too much pressure on themselves and the people they go out with, disappointing themselves in the process.
So how do you manage your dating expectations? You manage your dating expectations by not sweating it. You manage your dating expectations by going with the flow. You manage your dating expectations by letting go. Simple right? Nope, not so easy. Why? Well, we like to be in control of our lives and our situations. No one wants to admit to defeat. We all have an idea about how our lives should be and how things should turn out and when they don’t we can’t really handle it and stress ourselves out trying to get it where we want when in reality we are forcing something that just isn’t meant to be.
Letting Go of Hopeless Dating Situations
Show of hands, how many times have you refused to let go of a hopeless dating situation just because you just KNOW it’s meant to be? That’s pride right there. We don’t want to admit to defeat. How many times do you try and manipulate a situation to get a someone to like you or want to be with you? Yes, you know you have. You’ve tried playing hard to get, you’ve tried giving them everything they said they want, but really where did that get you? It got you nowhere fast because in reality, if someone wants to be with you they will be with you because you’re both naturally on the same page. Not on the same page? Want different things? You should never have to force it, it should just BE. While it’s important to be clear about your intentions and expectations, you also need to manage your dating expectations by being realistic in order to get where you want to be. If you’re not on the same page then letting go is important, otherwise you’re wasting your time and theirs and no one likes time wasters when dating.
You also need to put that list of wants and don’t wants aside when managing your dating expectations. You can’t always get what you want. You need to know what it is that’s important, such as common values and ethics, and know what’s your “nice to have”. To me, attraction and a connection with the other person is key, as well as ambition. I love seeing someone excited about what they are doing, to have goals and to achieve them. This is really important to me. Other things are relative. Also, I think of a new prospect like a puzzle piece, I ask myself if they really truly fit into my life’s puzzle or if I would have to force it. Regardless of how hot they are or how successful or how they make me feel, I need to make sure they are the right person for me and that takes time. Besides, aren’t things so much better when they fall into place naturally? Trust in the process! It’s the only way! That, my friends, is how I manage MY dating expectations.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
OK sounds cliche right? But it’s true! Things always fall in place where they’re supposed to. I learned that the hard way in life. After my divorce, I learned that I can’t control everything that happens to me. Although I have an idea of where I want to be, I can’t plan out my life and expect it all to fall into place in a nice neat package. Perhaps for some people that’s their reality, but, for most of us it’s not. For most of us life is a series of ups and downs and perpetual chaos. That’s why I learned to let go. I learned to go with the flow, especially when I meet someone new. I can’t MAKE someone fall in love with me, nor can I manipulate the situation to work in my favor. I have to just be myself and if they want to board Suzie’s Magic Fun Bus then they are more than welcome! Let the cards fall where they may. I don’t play games, I don’t tell men what they want to hear in order to get them to like me. I don’t try and force the situation. I learned the hard way that those “tactics” never work in my favor.
I have gotten to a place where I am pretty confident in who I am and what I have to offer. There is never a dull moment with me. I’m smart, sexy and successful. But, it certainly took me a while to get to this place. When I meet someone, I like to take my time to get to know them and let things progress naturally. No pressure, because I don’t want anyone pressuring me either. Trust me I certainly know it’s not easy to go with the flow when you meet someone you really like, but managing your dating expectations is absolutely necessary. Don’t kid yourself and don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself or them. It could be that you met someone who’s going to be a good friend, maybe they’re a lesson or maybe they really are your happily ever after. But, you don’t know unless you try. Pacing yourself will help you really get to know them and identify red flags early. Don’t get swept up in a dream world because you will definitely get burned. My advice? Take it slow and date smart my friends!!
READERS: How do you manage your dating expectations? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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