Friday, March 26, 2010

5 Common Dating Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

Dating is hard. It's also annoying, self-esteem crushing, and time-consuming. But it can also be amazing, self-confidence boosting, and simply so much fun. Dating is about more than just finding a partner - it's a good way to meet new people, work on your social interaction and communication skills, and experience new things.

When you begin dating again after a relationship ends, it's very easy to bring residual thoughts and actions from the past to the forefront, which can often keep that tiny spark from igniting into something more. Here are 5 common mistakes that we make in dating, yet don't even realize we're making them:

1. Tunnel vision.Don't limit your dating pool to your normal "type." Branch out of your dating comfort zone and give a chance to those you haven't previously considered (think age, looks, profession, location). You just might be surprised as to whom you meet and fall for.

2. Underestimating how much you have to offer.Be you; not what you think other people want (i.e. your mother, your friends or that guy you've had your eye on). Authenticity is sexy, and it goes hand in hand with confidence, adding up to a very attractive combination. Plus, if it clicks with someone, you'll know it's real.

3. Judging yourself.Confidence and friendliness count for way more than model looks -- in dating, and in life. You're human; you have flaws. Learn to rock your flaws instead of beating yourself up.

4. Expecting too much (or anything) on a first date.Having expectations about a first date almost always leads to disappointment, especially when you're first diving back into the game when your fear level is high. Avoid this by enjoying the company no matter what they're like. If it's great? Great -- go out again. If the date totally tanked? Enjoy a bad date for what it is -- a great story to tell your friends. Taking the pressure off makes for an enjoyable time, no matter what happens.

5. Cynic-syndrome.When you're in post break-up "I've-been-burned" mode, it's incredibly common (and natural) to assume the worst about people. Do your best to avoid this and you'll be pleasantly surprised how everyone isn't your evil ex. Letting go of cynicism is a major part of moving forward. This is a hard one, so be patient with yourself!

So, as you get back out into the dating world, take a step back and be aware of yourself, your thoughts, and how you are presenting yourself to the world. Remember these 5 common mistakes, know that you're not alone in thinking this way, and try to keep these mistakes from preventing a potential future happy relationship.

Originally published by BounceBack, LLC on, where I'm the dating expert.

Also, view the version that was featured on here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater: Making Sure Your Next Date Isn't Based Entirely on Your Ex's Opposite

After a bad breakup, there is a natural inclination to go for the opposite of whatever personality type / habits / profession / appearance you were just dating. After all, if it didn’t work with your ex, finding someone else who shares none of their attributes seems like a good bet. As I discovered, taking this to heart can often lead to non-ideal results.

I once went out with this guy who was extremely artistic. He played the guitar and was the lead singer is his band. He painted. He would write poetry. He wore flip flops year round. He was, in a word and at that time in my life, pretty much perfect. Unfortunately for me, his artistic nature also came along with a propensity to completely disregard plans and live entirely spontaneously, including spontaneously meeting and going out with other girls who also thought he was perfect. I figured out pretty quickly that this wasn’t going to work for me.

n response to Mr. Spontaneous Artist’s habits, the next guy I dated was in law school, regularly wore khakis and collared shirts to class and his schedule each day read like a minute-by-minute production plan. Up at five to lift weights for one hour. Shower. Protein shake. On campus by 8am to study. When we went out, the timing was precise and everything was planned, down to the most minute detail. However, when he completely freaked out one night after I showed up ten minutes late to dinner, I bailed. My 180 dating plan was clearly ill-advised.

bviously, like Goldilocks, somewhere in the middle of Mr. Spontaneous Artist and Mr. Minute-by-Minute, Esquire was what I was looking for, but that was something I learned only after I’d done the 180 flip. And perhaps it is a necessary part of the break-up process to flip-flop like this to learn what you’re really looking for. But if you’re feeling logical, avoid avoiding everything about your ex. After all, you loved them once. Pick and choose the things you liked, take note of (but don’t dwell on) the things you didn’t, and try to find a happy medium in your next date(s).

By moving forward like this, and not sideways or backwards, you’ll find yourself bouncing back and moving on in no time.

Originally published by BounceBack, LLC on, where I'm the dating expert.