Why You Hate Dating & How to Be a Better, Relaxed Date
Learning to like dating is critical if you want to find your match.
Posted May 27, 2011
"I love unicorns. How about you?" Oh, dating. There's really nothing quite like it. Conventional wisdom tells us that dating can be downright treacherous, and your own experience with this supposed one-eyed monster might confirm that. The truth is that most people are terrible at dating, hating every minute of it and wishing they could find The One...and STAT! If you hate dating, it usually boils down to two factors, one of which is obvious; the other of which is not.
The obvious factor is anxiety, a dirty, weasel-like state that makes men and women alike want to crawl out of their skin as they sit across from a stranger and try to pretend they're perfectly at ease. What's the anxiety about? Simply put, it's about the dreaded pauses, as well as the rote questions people feel compelled to ask each other upon first meeting.
The most common report among men and women fresh from the battle field -- er, a date, I mean -- is that the social awkwardness puts the kibosh on the fun factor. In other words, everyone hates the uncomfortable pauses and usual questions: "So, where are you from? How many brothers and sisters do you have?" If this is true, daters might need to mix it up a bit. To that end, an experience I had this weekend taught me a lesson. Specifically, I watched the film "Lost in Translation," starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansen. It occurred to me that these two strangers, both guests at a Tokyo hotel, had several conversations before either asked the other The Basics. By avoiding the predictable questions, the characters developed a relationship more organically which, in turn, lowered their anxiety.
The less obvious factor that causes most men and women to hate dating is impatience -- and, wow, is patience a virtue in the relationship department! The primary reason why impatience is a problem when it comes to dating is the fact that it often causes men and women to attach too quickly to someone who isn't good for them, all for the sake of removing the negative stimulus (dating) as soon as possible. Bottom line: most people seem to hate feeling cast adrift in the dating pool.
If you know someone who is good at dating, my guess is that said individual tends to be more patient. These rare individuals often actually enjoy the process, as they're able to focus on the bigger picture: On a date, you're not at work, you're (most likely) in an enjoyable atmosphere, and you stand the chance of meeting either a new friend or romantic partner. That doesn't sound so bad, does it?
So, the keys to dating are quite simple: Refocus your attention on things that matter, enjoy the process, and work on becoming more comfortable with the uncertainty of how things will go. In conversation, try avoiding The Basics ("Where were you born?") in favor of more thoughtfully picked questions which get to the essence of who your date really is. Ultimately, the more patient and the less anxious you are, the more likely you will be to be yourself, feel happy, and find a yummy match.
Feel free to explore my book on dysfunctional relationships, Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve, or follow me on Twitter!