With summer underway and all my favorite shows on hold until fall, I watch reality dating shows once in a while. (Just for research, of course.)  After just a few episodes, I can’t help but feel worried when I see singles repeatedly making classic dating mistakes.  I’d like to stop wasting time talking to the television and take my advice to you!  Trust me, you’ll want to steer clear of these faux pas (whether you’re on or off camera).

Dating Mistake #1.  Racing to the bedroom

When you click with someone new it’s hard to ignore the hormones that accompany your heart pangs.  It’s also easy to mistake physical chemistry for an emotional connection.  However, sleeping with your special someone early on usually leads to confusion, false attachment, and stress:  three things that young relationships don’t need!  Enjoy the delicious anticipation as you invest in getting to know each other first.  When intimacy is an afterthought instead of number one on your initial agenda, it is sweeter, more enjoyable, and a genuine expression of emotion instead of pure, physical attraction.

Dating Mistake #2.  Becoming a relationship chameleon

Are you quick to change your hairstyle or habits to meet the expectations of your partner?  Did you swing by a bookstore the day your new crush mentioned the name of their favorite novel?  Many people feel nervous when their date expresses an interest that is different or unfamiliar so they scramble to appear compatible, even if it means lying about tastes or opinions.  Chances are, your date or mate can sense your lack of authenticity and confidence.  Embracing your own unique self and owning it is just as attractive as being able to pore over the things you have in common.


Dating Mistake #3.  Eating, sleeping, and breathing each other

Did your first date last over four hours?  Have you seen each other every day for the past two weeks?  Do you barely have any time for yourself between all the long looks and stolen kisses?  Beware the love vortex!  It may feel natural and magical when you’re in its clutches, but it can turn into a relationship black hole.  My clients whose trysts end suddenly and unexpectedly often overlook the most likely suspect:  spending too much time together.  Although it doesn’t always feel like a dating mistake because you are loathe to leave the side of your sweetie, spending 24/7 together suffocates a new relationship, which needs lots of space to breathe.  Make sure you set aside time for yourself every week to relax, catch up, and nurture your unique passions; a strong, independent life is the perfect partner to happy relationship.

Dating Mistake #4.  All talk, no action

If you spend more time talking about your relationship than living it, you may be talking around its imminent death.  I know lots of guys and gals who sense that their love boat is sinking and mistakenly hope that hours of analytical or emotional conversations will keep it afloat.  If you feel the need to keep talking, it may be because you are afraid to actively solve the problem or you want to avoid confronting the reality of incompatibility.  Yet, by continuing to discuss problems you exacerbate the false expectation that talking alone can solve the problem.  If your relationship is truly a sinking ship, talking your way to a solution is like patching a hole with tissue paper.

Dating Mistake #5.  Failing to set boundaries

When you say “No,” you are saying “Yes” to a healthy relationship.  That’s because expressing your limits helps teach your mate how to treat you while establishing that you value and respect yourself.  When you fail to set boundaries you essentially give your partner permission to treat you any way they please, opening yourself up to be taken advantage of and mistreated.  Setting and maintaining limits in your relationship is like watering a young plant; it will only help your partnership grow stronger.

What do you think?  Has watching “The Bachelorette” or living through the reality show of your own life taught you a thing or two about dating mistakes one must avoid?  Let me know!

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