Dating can be frustrating and disappointing when done incorrectly. There’s an art to dating and properly developing a relationship with someone. It requires your openness to sharing moments of your life through a new connection. Although it can be intimidating and outside of your comfort zone it can lead to a beautiful, exciting relationship when done right.
It’s important to get clear on your dating goals and to become more specific about your desired experience. Although finding your husband is a great goal, it’s actually too big of a step to take in the beginning of meeting a person. It’s nothing wrong with having marriage as an ultimate goal but in the beginning stages of dating, simpler and easier to grasp goals may be, having fun, feeling emotionally safe, and having great conversation. It’s important to take your time and become open to gradually building on the relationship of getting to know a person. It’s a step-by-step process and just like building a house starts with laying one brick at a time, building a relationship that leads to marriage is a step-by-step process that takes one date at a time. Let’s explore the following toxic dating habits to avoid.
#1 You’re moving way too fast
You’re moving way too fast. You fall so hard and fast that you begin to move quickly by spending every open moment of time you have available with your date. Your habits of moving too fast may even go as far as moving in together shortly after meeting. When you move too fast it creates an illusion that you already know the person very well instead of taking your time and treating the person as someone you are gradually getting to know. According to Medium.com about 75% of couples move in together before marriage, but studies show these same couples report fewer happy marriages. Premarital cohabitation increases the risk of divorce after the first year. Unfortunately, when you later discover incompatible things about the person that you weren’t aware of, it can lead to heartache, confusion, and disappointment. However, it takes years to really get to know a person and it’s very unrealistic to expect to know everything about a person soon after meeting them. Take your time and be more observant in the relationship, spending much of your time getting to know the person you’re dating before making any quick commitments.
#2 Taking too long to meet in person
Taking too long to meet each other in person. The convenience of technology and the popularity of long-distance relationships has resulted in couples taking way too long to meet in personal. Talking every day and night on the phone is not enough. This habit can be suitable for people with busy schedules, but this can be toxic when building a relationship. There are things that aren’t expressed or seen through phone calls, video calls and text messages. Relationships are much more different when the two spend quality time up close and in person verse behind a device. It’s important to have in person interactions with your date frequently. Waiting too long to meet each other can lead to catfishing and other deceptive relationship encounters.
#3 Expecting some big sign or spark
Expecting some big sign or spark to confirm “he’s the one, in the beginning.” If you’re waiting to feel goose bumps or feel butterflies when you first meet you may miss out on a great connection. There’s no perfect guy, and he may not be as charming or charismatic when you meet. There may be things you may not care for like the fact that he’s not 6 foot tall, but it’s important to be open to getting to know him and taking your time. Focus more on how you feel around him. Do you feel comfortable being yourself? Do you feel like you can engage in natural conversation? Genuine connection isn’t about the superficial things that’s glamorized in romantic movies, it’s often encountered in the simple small moments.
#4 Focusing on other people’s opinions
Focusing on other people’s opinions. You don’t need to second guess yourself by getting everyone else’s opinion. Sharing too many details with others and seeking their opinion can only confuse to process. Keep your dating process to yourself. Silence is power. Overanalyzing your dating communication and including the thoughts of your BFF when it comes to your new relationship will only complicate things. Just enjoy yourself and learn to trust your own judgement and opinion as good enough for the dating experience. Remember to follow your intuition and be honest with yourself and how you feel. Journal your thoughts to get clear on what’s best for you.
#5 Being emotionally unavailable while dating
Being emotionally unavailable while dating. If you are not ready to connect through the dating process, you need to be clear with the people you are dating. Being emotionally unavailable can be toxic while dating a person who is emotionally open and available to connect. Your disconnect and detachment can be hurtful to another person. It’s important to clearly communicate your intentions and focus on healing before getting involved in a new relationship. Emotionally unavailable people are often unavailable for their own self-care. Emotional unavailability destroys relationships, save yourself the pain and work on your self-love and emotional healing before dating.
It's important to be intentional while dating and avoid toxic habits that interfere with your enjoyment of a healthy relationship. It helps to prepare yourself for dating by healing and recovery from past relationships, slowing down, becoming mindful and nurturing the relationship you have with yourself. This requires your full dedication. When it comes to relationships and healing, loving a person is simply not enough. Relationships should also display respect and setting healthy boundaries. It requires a daily self-care commitment to unlearning toxic dating patterns and developing new self-worth reinforcements that creates new neural pathways that rewire your brain and serves you better. To start your healing journey, join my free Toxic Love Detox Challenge at www.HealToxicLove.com
Rainie Howard is a relationship expert reaching millions online as an award-winning CEO and Podcast host of The Rainie Howard Show. For the past six years, Rainie has sold more than 120,000+ copies of eight books as a self-published author. Rainie also hold a master’s in business management and leadership.
Editor's Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.