By: Erica Djossa
The dating system is inherently flawed and the only solution for daters is to REVOLT!
We are all pretty much used to the dating “system”: we meet someone, get their number, text, go on a couple of dates, hook up and if all goes well build a lasting relationship with each other. But, more often than not, all does not go well. We don’t end up in a lasting rewarding committed relationship. The solution? Revolt against the system!
The current “system” has some inherent flaws. First, we get attached before knowing the person. This is probably one of the most common mistakes made in dating. We go with the flow, “get to know someone”, and before you know it have given away more then we bargained for, just to find out the person isn’t a great match. Secondly, we allow our expectations and hopes to be in the driver’s seat. Rather than assessing the current situation for what it is, we start to get attached to what could be with the person. This is a flaw because the thinking is not grounded in reality. Lastly, we can’t make a fair assessment of someone’s character when they are on their best behaviour trying to impress their date. Getting to know someone takes time, it is a necessary part of the process that shouldn’t be skipped.
The dating system needs a make over and here is what I propose, let’s call it Dating 2.0.
Have a probationary period
A probationary period is a 60-90 day period where we don’t make any commitments, to see if the person is a suitable match. Just like when we get hired as a new employee, we are put on probation to ensure that we mesh well with the team and fit the job description. During this time, the benefits are withheld until a commitment is made, and the employee’s position is not guaranteed.
Know what you want
Lists are not just for anxious overachievers. In fact, I think that having a list of the traits and characteristics you are looking for is important. Having a list engages our critical thinking and you will approach your dating in a more objective way. You won’t entertain the idea of dating everyone that has potential, but you will narrow your focus to someone who has compatible goals and values, and who has the personality traits you are looking for. The list is not meant to be full of superficial traits, but rather of personality traits and characteristics that you value in a partner.
Time is on your side
Slow and steady wins the race. Rome couldn’t be built in a day and neither can a relationship. We live in a culture where we want things to happen instantly and we want to know exactly where we stand. The need for certainty causes us to rush the dating phase of our relationships. If you feel like things are moving too fast, they probably are. Slow down and enjoy the ride. The rush of anticipation, desire and butterflies eventually diminishes in relationships. Take time to enjoy the newness instead of focusing on your need for certainty.
The dating world is a jungle and the norms are ever changing and evolving. Learning to navigate through the terrain can be difficult. But here is the simple truth: if what you have been doing isn’t working, you likely need to try a new method. What do you stand to lose?
Erica Djossa is a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships. She has a Master’s degree in counselling psychology and has spent most of her lifetime observing and learning about various relationship dynamics. As a passionate professional, she works full time in a private practice, writes a relationship blog and is the relationships expert for Rogers Daytime TV’s in Durham Region. She has a desire to educate people on the ways they can improve and strengthen their relationships in order to foster satisfying and lasting connections. Visit her www.the-love-compass.com or connect with her on Twitter and/or Facebook.