Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but they end up dating each other. Reams and reams can be written about the dating flubs; here’s a pick of the biggest flubs. Are you forever looking for Mr. Perfect 10? Did you learn from your previous mistakes? Are you too available? Is the ex-factor haunting you? Are you ignoring the red flags? Are you a dating dud?
1. In search of perfection:
Miss A stepped out for the blind date with eyes packed with dreams. And imagined images of the man: Tall, Dark, Handsome, Rich, Polite, Chivalrous, Humourous, Caring. Miss A thought her search for The Perfect 10 Man had finally ended. She was about to meet/date him. The man she met was certainly not a Perfect 10, but he could have easily passed off for a Not-so-bad 7. But Miss A was disappointed, her dreams shattered.Miss A is not an exception. She is not the only one seeking perfection. Almost everyone else is. Before you step out on a date, remember the truth: Mr/Miss Perfect 10 is a myth. In this big, wide world, there are no perfect creatures. There’s the Average Joe and the Better Jane. Look at yourself: You are not perfect either. Get real. Do not chase Perfection. You’d never find it.
2. Too much, too soon:
If you know the thread count of his bed sheet before you notice the colour of his eyes or the fact the he hates sea food, you are on the wrong side of the bed. Literally. The guy could be sexy, the girl seductive, but getting too intimate before knowing each other can spell doom. In this age of instant dating, sex often precedes love, but if you are looking for a long-term relationship you might want to reverse the sex-then-love sequence on its head. Too much, too soon ends in a question mark: If she/he is so easily available for me, would she/he be for others as well?
Take your time. Go slow. Don’t heap your date in a hurry and leave the details for later.
3. The Ex-Factor:
Mr. B is nursing a broken heart. However, he is not the kind to sulk, he is already raring to go on a date. He has moved on but with a heavy baggage. On his first after-heartbreak date, he went on and on talking about his ex – how much he loved her, how she dumped him, how the wounds till hurt. His conversation was so full of his ex that Miss A did not get to speak even in the edgeways. Miss A never went out again with Mr B.
Well, it is good to be honest about your past; the ex-factor eventually would crop in a discussion (specially if one is seeking a long-term relationship), but the details can be held back in the first few meetings. If you think you want to walk the long mile with your new love, talk of your past honestly. But do not carry old baggage in a new relationship. It is called Clutter.
4. Are you playing games?
Every time she goes out on a date, she leaves behind the idea of love. For her, dating is not synonymous with love, it is about sex. So, she happily plays the game of love so that she gets what she wants. He, on the other hand, plays a different game. He has a fat, inflated ego and fears rejection. So, he puts up a mask, pretends, plays it cool – basically, does all that that he is not, yet assumes would get him the girl.
Initially, it is good to put the best foot forward, be cautious, try hard to strike a balance between being available and aloof, but playing games would get you nowhere. Be who you are. Do not pretend. The real cat would get out of the bag one day!
5. The same mistakes, again!
Call him the Repeat Failure. For he never learnt from the mistakes of his previous relationships. He never called her, never cared, never paid the meal bills, vented his anger on her, was too selfish, borrowed money and never returned… She is no better. She was so clingy and nagging with her last boyfriend that he felt claustrophobic and called it quits. But the two never learnt from their mistakes, they never soul-searched for their flaws and follies. When love knocked on their doors again, they repeated the same mistakes. Guess what happened. They repeated their status as Repeat Failure.
To err is surely human, but not to learn from your mistakes is absolutely stupid. Do not repeat mistakes.
6. Ignoring the red flags?
Love, they say, is blind. But whoever ignored the dating red flags certainly fell into a pit. She said she’d call at 5 pm, she did not. She promised to meet you for dinner but did not turn up. No SMS, no apologies either. She forgot your birthday and did not call when you were unwell. Is this happening too often? Mark them as red flags. He borrowed money from her, but never talks of returning it. He borrowed money again. When he gets sloshed, he talks of you disrespectfully. Big red flag. Do not ignore them. Well, she might have a genuine reason to not call; he might have borrowed money in an emergency. If it is a one-off thing, do not jump to conclusions. But if it is a pattern, think again. You could be dating the wrong person.
7. Questions. Questions. Questions.
If you heard Mr A talk to his new girlfriend, you’d think he is interrogating a hardened criminal. On the first date, he threw so many questions at her that she was completely rattled. Of course, you’d be curious to know about this new person in your life, but do not rush it with a long questionnaire. If you spend time together, you’d know about the likes and dislikes and even calibrate the compatibility meter, but do not hurry with your questions. Be subtle with your curiosity and questions. No fast and furious questions, please.
8. Rush in. Rush out.
Patience, my dear. The big dating rule is patience. Impatience would compel you to rush in and rush out of relationship. Like Mr A always does. He cannot wait long to know everything about the girl. He gets too involved too soon and expects the same of the other. He loves the chase, but once he gets the girl, he rushes out to look for another prey. He is reckless; even before testing the waters, he takes the deep plunge.
Rushing in and rushing out is sheer recklessness. Shun it.
9. Rehabilitating the bad guy:
They say, good girls fall for bad boys. There are enough stories to prove the adage right. This one is for the girls with golden hearts who not only fall for the bad guys, they take upon themselves the onerous job of rehabilitating the bad guys they so love. Remember, you are dating the guy; you are not an evangelist on a mission. It is good to help someone become better, but, girl, you want to be his girlfriend, not his mommy or messiah. Leave the bad guy rehabilitation to someone else, you go get yourself a good guy.
10. Are you the selfish dater?
Heard the story of a certain Mr A who never looked beyond his nose. Certainly never when he’s dating. He is the selfish dater who wants everything his way. On Friday, he wants to hit a pub, the girl wants to go a long drive, and the two invariably end up in the pub. He wants to spend Saturday in bed, she wants to go for a movie; he has his way. On Sunday, he prefers a vegetarian brunch, she wants Mexican lunch. You guessed it right. On Sunday, the vegetarian brunch happens.
Relationships are not about one, it is about two, it is about mutual interests, about mutual benefits. More importantly, it is about respecting the needs/choices of the other. You do not have to be the sacrificial lamb but do look beyond your pretty nose.
Preeti Verma Lal
Visual Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/couscouschocolat/