6 Behaviors Probably Causing Your Dating Life Grief



Dating is rough these days. The world changes so fast. It’s hard to keep up and society changes just as fast. Having an amazing relationship is truly a gift in life. To get that amazing relationship, we first have to run the obstacle course, or should I say mine field of dating.

It’s no longer being a respectful gentleman. There’s a lot more that goes on these days, now that psychology has studied dating. You have all these dating coaches and podcasts giving dating advice. Some it if good, some of it is bad, and some of it is downright terrible and abusive to the other person.

I stick to the more basic things. I don’t talk about pickup lines and that kind of stuff. But I can give some general advice regarding your dating life. Here are some tips that can slow you down, make you miss out, and all around making your dating life challenging.

1. I Felt No Spark

There just wasn’t any spark between us right away — a common recurrent expression. The field of chemistry constantly misleads us. The zing doesn’t always hit us right away. Imagine Leonard and Penny (Yes, I’m a big nerd and like nerd love) that took a wile.

We need to feel sexual attraction toward a partner, but that attraction might develop over time. This is what I mean by saying that chemistry is hard to explain; it’s not a science like it is in a textbook. Human chemistry is more of a proof God DOES have a sense of humor.

Sexual attraction can grow as you get to know somebody. Attractiveness in a sexual sense might indicate “a pattern I recognize” at times (and if your pattern is picking the wrong person, you need to ANALYZE this a lot more!)

In an ideal world, attraction stems not only from a person’s outward looks but also from the less visible qualities we discover about them through time, such as their kindness, sense of humor, the way their eyes sparkle in a specific light, or the way they look at their cat or nieces and nephews.

The point is, you have to stick around for a bit to figure out whether you have chemistry beyond the surface level of “this person is hot, I want to have sex with them.”

While it’s possible to fall in love (well, probably lust) at first sight, it’s more reasonable to approach the situation with a sense of curiosity, connection, or enjoyment and give things time to grow if you don’t experience an instant spark. Consider the people you hold dearest. Did you immediately realize that you would become best friends with this person? Most likely not. So why should dating be any different?

2. It Just Sorta Lost Steam

Without effort, things always fail. Would you show up to a job and say you’re not sure whether it’s your ideal job, so sorry, but you’ll have an extra-long lunch break and come in late every day while you figure it out?

I dislike online dating’s low effort requirement…it’s a lazy approach. If you’re too busy to date, you’re too busy for a relationship. Online dating is more looking for easy low hanging fruit in my book. Guess what? Before the advent of the internet, people did date, and I believe it was much healthier than it is now.

The sheer number of people available to meet, the number of dates you might go on, knowing that another match is always around the corner, the ease of texting versus calling someone, and the comfort of meeting someone for 30 minutes for coffee instead of committing to a full dinner all contribute to this.

I am not advocating a return to the good old days, where we would likely have only dated two people, gone to church potlucks and dinners with both of them, run the spanking machine of their parents on the first date, and married one of them nine to twelve months later. Still, I suggest putting as much effort into a date as we do with a friend we haven’t seen in a while.

We want to be interested and hopeful about the connection, ask them questions about themselves, communicate semi-regularly consistently, provide thoughtful responses to questions and ask meaningful questions beyond “how was your day?”, take into account their preferences, give them a reasonable chunk of our time and interest, show up when you say we will, and treat them with kindness. Being a face on a screen or a phone number does not make a person disposable.

After giving a relationship your all, spending time with someone, or talking to them, you may realize that fundamentally you’re incompatible. If you don’t put in all the above effort, you might be writing off multiple people that could have changed your life in a very positive way.

3. Just Seeing What’s Out There

Not requiring anything means you’re not going to find what you want. You do have to decide what it is you want, and that’s what you go after. I’d be able to afford a Ferrari if I had one dollar for every time I saw this on a dating profile…just seeing what’s out there. It’s been four or five years since I’ve touched online dating, but I’m guessing it hasn’t changed.

Your chances of making meaningful connections with other people and putting in the effort required to find something lasting are low if you go into the dating scene with no idea what you want or even if you’re ready. You’ll probably have a so-so time and think the folks out there ‘just aren’t worth it,’ at least until the next time you feel lonely, bored, or just need to ‘get some.’ If you don’t actively participate in the process, each subsequent dating cycle will likely leave you feeling less satisfied and more disillusioned.

4. How Do I Know Who’s Right For Me

Many people want the perfect mate and say I’ll take a pass if they’re not perfect. Some are rather blunt about it, while others trick themselves into denying it and sometimes not even understanding that’s what they’re saying and doing.

Maybe, but think about how often you’ve passed on a potential partner because you didn’t like what they were wearing, they were too quiet or too talkative (people do funny things when they’re scared), you shared no common interests, or you thought there might be someone better just around the corner. Or perhaps, and many do say this, they didn’t make enough money for you. Yes, I have been told that once before. Were these really great selection criteria?

Think about a box of chocolates. The ones that have all the different flavors, but you don’t know which one is which. How are you going to know if you don’t try them? Yes, may get screwed and pick the maple one first (I don’t even know why they make the maple ones…who wants that in a box of chocolates.)Once you try several and figure out which flavor you like best, that’s the flavor you can buy in the future. It’s good. You know you like it. I’ve already tried others.

Realize this once you’ve found your favorite. You need to stop being curious and keep trying others looking for something better. Getting caught with your hand in the proverbial ‘cookie jar,’ will come the relation; you won’t get to enjoy your favorite flavor again. Would you play Russian roulette with your life? So why would you play it with your love life?

Remember that humans aren’t chocolate, that we all have varying personalities, and that even the best things have their imperfections. After you find out what it is you really want and find that person, staying committed to them is where real happiness will be found and maintained.

5. Saying You Want A Relationship But Really Wanting A Hookup Honey

Having contradictory desires and actions. Easy enough, right? I’m willing to bet that most adults who date have been motivated by feelings of longing, lust, or loneliness in a situation once or twice.

While it’s fine to indulge in your sexual desires, sex is a perfectly legitimate psychological and physiological need desire; remember that it’s best to keep your actions primarily in line with your long-term goals. If you’re looking for a serious commitment, but you’ve been sleeping with anybody who crosses your path, regardless of whether you’re compatible with them, you may not have the mental and emotional resources to devote to the people who might actually be worth it in the long run.

This has nothing to do with sex but rather with your emotional reserves, time, and the opportunity costs of every connection. It could also be a matter of timing, as doing so too soon could turn an otherwise promising connection into a friends-with-benefits arrangement due to the nature of the dates and arrangement (in other words, if you are busy having sex, you probably aren’t dating or talking) or the ocean between the emotional and physical intimacies you share.

Adopting these habits won’t ensure you’ll meet the love of your life. Still, it will dramatically increase the quality of your relationships and your capacity for self-awareness, intimacy, and closeness. It can have no negative consequences.

6. I’ll Know It When I Find It

In other words, you need to take the time to articulate what you want clearly. Would you go about looking for a job without direction? Is the person you love any less important than the job you have?

If you don’t have a sense of your preferences (don’t do it checklist-style, they another person, not a work project), it’s likely a sign that you approach dating is somewhat indifferent, with a lack of investment and interest. This could be because you’re trying to shield yourself from the possibility that you won’t find what you want in a partner.

If you do not invest anything, not even your thoughts, you will not be disappointed when you receive no return on your investment.

This post was previously published on


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