How High Expectations Ruin Dating

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I had a funny “Ah-ha!” moment recently when thinking back on some of the almost-boyfriends I’ve had. At the time, when things erupted…dissolved…or exploded, I thought it was the guys’ fault. That’s just sort of a rule of being young—everything is everyone else’s fault. I didn’t struggle with some of the self-love or insecurity issues many of my friends did, but perhaps my problem was on the opposite spectrum—I was unwavering in my demands and I had an uncompromising idea of what it meant for a man to respect me. I didn’t really think about where he could have been coming from or what he may have needed. If something struck me as the least bit unsettling, I cut bait. In retrospect, I realize that, while most of those men weren’t right for me anyways, it was my high expectations that ultimately sent those relationships to their graves. Here is why having high expectations can ruin your dating experience.

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You expect instant conversation flow

You believe that, like in the movies, you should have easy, witty, electric banter, right out the gates. If you struggle to get the conversation going, then you think you two just aren’t meant to be.

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A small disagreement throws you

If you can’t agree on which table to sit at, which appetizer to share, or even where to get a drink while waiting for a table, you just feel that you’re not a match. You assume you and your match will be in sync on these details.

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Little differences upset you

When you discover little differences—like he likes dogs but you like cats or he doesn’t like coffee and you can’t live without it—you just feel things won’t work out.

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You come in too hot

You arrive very excited and even ask too many questions (some too personal). You want to share everything you can about yourself in the little time you have and learn all you can about him. Your date feels like this is a speed interview, more than a casual, social interaction.

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Any diversion from your vision upsets you

You have a very specific idea in your head of how the date should go, how the venue will look and feel, and even exactly how your date’s voice will sound. When you have such a specific vision, your dates are bound to let you down.

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You read into the physical interaction

It’s normal to have a weird interaction at the end of the date. Nobody is quite sure if a kiss is allowed. Or is it just time for a hug? Maybe you both go in for a kiss but there is an alignment issue and he gets your cheek. That’s normal—but it’s not part of your fantasy, so you believe this isn’t a match.

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You have high scheduling demands

If a date goes well, then you believe you’ll both be itching to schedule another one as soon as possible. So, if your date asks to see you again but in…a week…you just feel deflated. You think that if he really liked you, he’d want to see you tomorrow.

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You have high communication demands

You also believe that if there is a real match there, you’ll be texting and calling throughout the day, starting immediately after your first date. But not everyone wants to move that fast with communication—some reserve hourly texting for serious relationships.

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If he’s dating others…

While dating a lot of people at once isn’t necessarily a great idea, it also doesn’t make someone evil. If a man you had a great date with still schedules dates with other women, it certainly doesn’t mean you two couldn’t be a match. But you have high expectations, so you decide he’s wrong for you all because he doesn’t cancel on every other woman…after one good date with you.

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You think misunderstandings are signs

Misunderstandings are bound to happen between two people who just met. But you believe that you and your soul mate will understand each other at every second, from the first moment you meet. So you’ll write someone off if there is a little misunderstanding.

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You want constant chemistry and excitement

You believe that there should be a big spark, right away, that never goes away. If you don’t feel it, you give up on the date immediately. But not even long-term couples who love each other feel a spark all the time.

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You over-talk it with your friends

You talk to your friends about it too much—it was just one good date. So that makes you build up your expectations even higher. You know they’ll have questions about the second date, so you especially want it to go well. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.

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You get ahead of yourself in conversation

If a date is going really well, you think it’s fine to say something like, “My family has a great cabin in the mountains we should go together some time.” That will frighten someone you just met.

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Your energy is unnerving

Your energy is just a bit unnerving. You are so excited that you come off as nervous. You aren’t relaxed. You aren’t thinking straight because you’re hyper-analyzing the interaction. Your date doesn’t get the real you.

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You write someone off forever

Essentially, when your expectations are high, you’ll write someone off permanently over one little hitch. You have a mental block about that person now and won’t give him another thought.

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