The world of dating has turned upside down since I first dipped my toe in the internet dating pond. But there are some things that won’t change. By nature and how we are socialized, women fall into traps that make them ineffective daters and relationship partners.
Whether you’re dating online (which you should be in order to achieve optimal dating) and/or meeting men organically, it’s in your best interest to be mindful of three big dating pitfalls into which women can fall and how to avoid them.
1. Feeling obligated because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or displease your date.
For example, on his online dating profile he lied – a lot; by a decade, by a foot, by posting pictures of his best friend instead of himself. If you show up on a date and someone has lied to you – one of the pitfalls women fall into is that they politely sit through that 45 minute or two hour date.
You don’t have to do that. Without being harsh, you can get out of it gracefully by saying in your very first interaction, “Looks like you stretched a little bit on your profile and I’m not going to stay for this date because we’re not quite a fit. So, I’m going to give your Saturday afternoon back. Good luck.”
If he hasn’t told you the full truth, what else is he lying about? You have a limited time on this earth, so why would you give it to a stranger who lied to you?
2. Characteristically, women lead with the end game in mind.
We know we’re capable, amazing women who’d make a great partner and we’ll lead with that on the online dating profile like: “I’m looking to be married.” Our tone is very serious. We talk about our attributes from a wife or partner stand point. It’s what we do by nature.
It doesn’t work well because how men view it and, especially in online dating, is he thinks,“She’s a stranger. This is a first baby step. I don’t know anything about her and she’s talking about being a wife? I need to know if I can be her friend first. I need to know if she can tolerate going to Ohio for Christmas with my crazy family every year. Is she going to be cool with me riding century bike rides every Saturday with the gang? Why are we talking about white picket fences at this stage of the game?”
It’s too much too soon.
Instead, approach it the way men do, which is the first step of saying, “Hey, this is who I am as an interesting person. Who are you as an interesting person? And, do we want to spend 20 minutes together in a coffee shop or not?”
3. You date one person at a time.
This is one of the biggest dating pitfalls. You want to date more than one person at a time for good reason. If you only date one person at a time you’re putting a lot of emphasis on him. You’re comparing him against being alone. You’re picking from a pool of one.
That’s not good because it’ll have you missing important things about him. It’ll have you not asking questions or digging in when you need to see if he’s compatible. Because if there’s just one – it’s better than none and you stay.
Dating more than one person at a time is not saying, “I like him against him against him.” Rather, it’s how does this person in front of me now – how is he with me? How is this other person with me? What qualities get pulled out of me with this one? Am I my best self? Am I like I am with my best friend – all goofy? What’s happening with this one? Am I contorting? Is there too much to lose?
My personal and professional experience tells me that when a woman dates one person, she’s waiting for the man to choose her. As opposed to if she’s dating multiple men, then she becomes the chooser.
What dating pitfalls resonate with you? Are you willing to experiment with a new way to date to have the relationship you deserve? Post a comment below and I'll meet you there.
This article originally appeared in PRiMEWomen.