Just like any other skill, dating takes practice. However, most people aren’t very excited about the prospect of practicing for weeks, months, or even years. Those who are tend to find the thrill wears thin after the first few bad dates. You likely don’t have a huge circle of close friends, and that makes sense. It’s challenging to find people who share the same values, morals, ethics, and interests as you—or even enough to make for an interesting overlap. Once you try to add in attraction and chemistry to the mix, the possibilities can get even slimmer.
We live in an era of instant gratification, and big pools of the dating population were raised with the idea that they could have it all. That may be true in some niches, but when it comes to dating, there’s no such thing as the perfect person (on either side of the equation).
Here are some of the most common dating mistakes that are made and how to avoid them:
Getting addicted to dating apps
It’s exciting and very validating to download a popular app and start swiping away. However, the idea that there are limitless options makes us feel like, well, there are limitless options. That’s not the case. It encourages us to flirt a little on text, never meet up, and always think that if something doesn’t work out then there are thousands more options just a swipe away. Try seeking out a real connection and focusing on one possibility at a time.
Sharing too much
It used to be that talking too much about personal things (such as past lovers) on a first date was taboo. It still is, but now people have taken it farther. It’s common to ask for and receive naughty pictures before ever meeting in person. It’s easy to “stalk” an interest on various social media platforms. Wait until you meet in person more than once to get intimate (if you’re looking for something serious) and keep your social media private.
Regularly starting long distance relationships
Sometimes long distance can’t be avoided, and sometimes it can work. However, if this is how you start, it can be nearly impossible for something real to come of it. When neither party will be in a position to move or has the time/finances to regularly visit in person, these online and distance “relationships” can keep you from finding a real connection.
Not giving your full attention on a date
Dating is still a thing—whether you want to call it talking, hanging out, or something else. When you’re spending time with someone one-on-one, put your phone on airplane mode. Avoid one of the biggest dating mistakes and don’t check it—and certainly don’t prowl dating apps when you think the other person won’t know. It can be tough because our phones are like security blankets. However, it’s rude and tells your date that they’re not worth your time.
Limit your drink to just one
Particularly on the first date, it’s tempting to build up a little liquid courage. However, drinking lowers inhibitions and can make you sloppy, making this high on this list of top dating mistakes. You might ruin what could be a great relationship because the other person sees red flags. Avoid bars for first dates and try to choose a daytime activity instead so you’re not tempted to over-indulge.
Make sure you’re over your ex first
It’s fun to date casually to help in licking your wounds after a messy breakup. However, there’s also a risk of becoming a serial monogamist. If you can’t keep things casual, challenge yourself to take a few weeks’ break from dating after a breakup.
It’s normal to make mistakes in all parts of our life, including dating. However, we also need to learn from our mistakes. What big dating mistakes have you experienced?
Further reading: Five Cheap Date Ideas
Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer, currently writing on behalf of Ohio Addiction Recovery Center. He’s written a variety of education, travel, health, and lifestyle articles to share his experiences with the world. In his free time, you can find him playing his guitar or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.