8 Myths of the Dating Game, Set Straight

November 21, 2011  |  
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Dating often comes with so many rules.  Do this, don’t do that.  But when you push away all the fluff and see through the superficial aspects of dating, it comes down to a lengthy search for Mr. Right.  Many stereotypes and misconceptions come with dating and can cloud our view of reality and judgment… not what we want to happen on a date.  Take a look at these 8 dating myths that need to be eliminated sooner than later.

1. Online Dating is a Last Resort for Losers

Despite the negative stigma that goes along with a “loser, online dater,” studies show that one in five dating site users goes on to marry someone they meet online, and 94 percent of couples who develop a relationship online will make it to at least the second date. Those numbers blow away what you get meeting people the old fashioned way.  Why? One reason is people seem to be more open and honest online. It’s counter-intuitive, since the stereotype is that every hot girl is really a 40-year-old man, and the internet in general seems to be made up of people playing characters.

But what they’re finding is that in the world of online dating, that layer of confidentiality makes people more willing to open up without feeling like fools. Think about it. You’d probably never confide in some random guy at a bar that you’ve been emotionally wounded ever since you watched your pet kitty, Fluffy, get hit by a car when you were eight. Yet, people don’t hesitate to say that stuff in their blogs and dating profiles. Especially for guys, the physical separation seems to make it easier to open up.

2. Women Get All Emotional About Relationships, Men Stay Cool and Logical

A study of data collected from over a thousand unmarried young adults showed that men are actually more emotionally affected by relationship drama than women. They just don’t show it. They’re more likely to put on a brave face than post passive-aggressive Facebook statuses or complain about their significant other to their buddies. Meanwhile, they probably cry into their pillows at night after an argument with their girlfriend.

Researchers think it might be because girls generally have more close bonds with friends and family than men, so going through a rough spot with the boyfriend doesn’t cut off their only outlet for emotional support. Guys, on the other hand, tend to confide only in their significant other. Emotionally, that means they have more at stake if things turn cold in the relationship.

3. Feminism Kills Romance

The idea that feminists make bad lovers because after all, don’t they believe women even need men, is actually far from true.  Although the founders of the modern feminist movement even coined the phrase “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”  Sheesh, we get it! However, studies show women who identify themselves as feminists are, at any given moment, more likely to be in a heterosexual romantic relationship than women who don’t (no, “feminist” does not mean “lesbian”).  According to that same study, men who reported their partner was a feminist also reported more satisfaction with their sex lives than those who didn’t. So as for the idea that feminists are abrasive, boyish women in dressed in flannel, either it’s largely inaccurate, or there are a lot of men who are into that kind of thing.

4. Couples Who Live Together First are Better Prepared for Marriage

Society has moved on from the idea that an unmarried couple getting a place together is “living in sin.”  It’s become more widespread because of the belief that it is logical to move in with your significant other before making a legal commitment that is likely to end in tears and a hefty divorce settlement.  However, according to researchers at the University of Denver, couples who lived together before they were engaged have a higher divorce rate and lower marital satisfaction than those who waited until they were married, or at least engaged, to shack up.  Couples who play house pre-engagement are especially doomed for failure if they live together before marriage as a means of testing the relationship. Instead of treating cohabitation as a profound and lifelong commitment, couples treat it as another stage of dating and are quicker to move in.  However, once they’re living together, they find out breaking up can be next to impossible financially, emotionally and there’s always the fear of public humiliation.  Soon they feel pressure to get married and do so more out of obligation than want.  Yes, a whole lot of married couples out there are only together because one of them was too lazy to move out, and it was easier to just put a ring on it.

5. The more people I go out with, the better chance I have of meeting Mr. Right

This is a common attitude among people who have been dating for a short period of time.  Again, this is a game of quality vs. quantity and after a few years, they are headed for a dating burnout. It’s important that daters be selective from the start of their dating careers and only agree to dates with potentially long-term boyfriend material, if the goal is to truly find Mr. Right.

6. The smartest and prettiest women get married first

A woman who is very accomplished or attractive may receive more offers for dates than some of her friends, but many of them may be not be suitable for her. Because her “checklist” may be longer, she may have a harder time finding Mr. Right. A woman who is dating for marriage should be focused on finding the right man, and the length of this process doesn’t bear any relationship to her beauty, intelligence or talents.

7. The “right” girl will straighten him out!

This is a dangerous misconception. Change has to come from within a person and in no way does marriage “cure” someone who is having issues to begin with.  In reality, marriage adds a whole new level of stress and responsibility on a relationship.  Unfortunately, many troubled people believe that once they find someone to marry, they don’t need to whip themselves into shape, and unfairly expect their spouse to “fix” them. Most of the time, these marriages are very unhappy and unhealthy, or end in divorce. If you’ve heard a rare story about someone who turned his life around after marriage, it’s because he decided to do so on his own, not because his marriage forced him to do so.

8. If things don’t click on the first date, you are probably not right for each other.

First dates are great opportunities to find out about an individual and realize if you two are compatible or not.  It’s important to look for compatible values and goals, an agreeable personality and appearance, and overall “feeling.”  Unless a blatant deal-breaker occurred during your date, it is virtually impossible to know this early if a person is right for you. It often takes a few dates to realize that you’re starting to connect to each other. When in doubt, give it a second chance. Many couples are happily married today because they followed this advice.  Specifically, physical attraction often takes time to build and usually starts to develop within the first three to five dates.  Often times a man’s amazing personality and strong heart will increase your physical attraction, just give it a try.


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