dating expectations vs reality

I’ve been single for awhile now, and it is actually really fun, but I still hope to find someone special who I can share my life with eventually. I’m really not searching for fun dates (they would be nice), but I’m hoping to find a special and lasting relationship with someone who I can really connect with. You see, I’ve always been a ‘relationship’ guy… I’m not the type of guy to do one-night stands, date primarily for sex, or just date a lot of women to inflate my ego.

That being said, my dating life has been difficult for a number of reasons. Maybe I’m being too selective in the dating process, maybe I’m just picking the wrong women, or perhaps it just comes with my age (over 40), as many of my friends are already married or in happy relationships. I thought that it would be worth my while to share my views about dating expectations vs reality, because perhaps you can learn from my experiences, successes, and failures within my own love life.

It takes a lot of time and patience

I can’t speak for a lot of guys, but for me, I’ve learned to be very patient with my dating life. That means that I may line up some dates one month with a few women, but then I may take a break from dating for multiple months, before I land more dates. I realise that you need to be consistent with looking online on dating sites, or in real life, but I’ve just found it to be easier to not try too hard, and let your dating life come to you. Take what life gives you, to an extent. I’ve previously been on dating sites for months at a time and gathered up a few dates that were fun, but then I may just cancel my account for a half year or so, because I get frustrated with not finding the right match or the results that I desire. I’m just being brutally honest here; I’d rather wait than jump into a new relationship with somebody new that I’ll eventually want to get out of. I’d rather take my time, and ensure that it’s the right relationship for me, similar to a job or career.

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Some dates won’t work out

The expectation that you’ll meet someone perfect for you, and you’ll live happily ever after is misconstrued. Unless you’re extremely lucky, you’ll go out on some dates that are subpar or underwhelming. Maybe they’re not complete disasters, because at least you’re getting some experience going out and meeting new women. I’ve been out on some dates when I just instinctively knew that I was completely wasting my time. I’ve been out on some other dates that seemed to be working, but then they’d nosedive after the first meeting for one reason or another. I can’t completely describe it or wrap my head around it, but most of the time it’s difficult to find mutual chemistry or just the right fit for myself. So, you may go out on some dates that won’t work out for you, and you’ll eventually learn from them. It’s similar to going out on job interviews. Some jobs you go in with high expectations, and they end up disappointing you, or you interview for that dream job that you want, but it doesn’t work out for you, because they ended up hiring someone else for whatever reason. It’s not exactly like you were that bad for the job, but they felt like the other candidate worked out better for them, and is a better fit for them. This is reality, and we all get rejected at one point or another. The key is to learn from it, and let it motivate you for the relationship (or job) that you really desire.

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Reality is not like the movies

You must keep in mind that reality is not like the movies where everything works out perfectly. I’m mainly thinking about that special romantic film that you thought you could creatively mirror in your reality. You may watch a really special film or show where you witness that interesting and fulfilling relationship, and you want to create it in your real life. Sorry… it probably won’t work out for you that way. This means that you should go into your date without keeping your expectations too high. If it eventually works out for you, by all means enjoy the ride, but don’t expect your date to be exactly what you desire. It will likely take some time to find your right fit.

She lives miles away

Location is everything in dating. You may find someone online who you really vibe with while messaging, but if she lives far away, it’s ultimately going to do nothing for you. So you have to date local for realistic and best results. This isn’t always easy, especially nowadays when everyone is more connected on social media from all parts of the world. I’ve found that it’s been easier for me to strike up a connection on social media, not even considering the distance factor, but eventually you’ll find that it will fizzle out when you live too far away from her. Concentrate on dating locally, so that you won’t fall into the pitfall of long distance relationship. Sometimes it may work, but it normally just doesn’t work out.

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Don’t dwell on your memories

You may compare your dating life to times in your past when you were happy in your relationship, young, with your whole life ahead of you. It’s unrealistic to compare your new date to fond memories of a first love, a sexually satisfying relationship, or a previous relationship when you felt really happy. You need to live in the now with your dating life, and the past is over now, despite the fond memories that you will always take with you. Don’t compare your newfound dates to previous relationships when you were elated, young, or even naive. Your dating life should be filled with discovery, exploration, and creating new happy times that will become new warm memories. Enjoy your dating life, and stay in the now. If you’re 43, don’t expect to find a relationship like you once did in your twenties. You’re a different and more mature person now.

These are the most common dating expectations vs reality. Obviously, you want to find someone special, but don’t expect it to happen the very first minute that you leave your house. It takes time to find the right connection. Keep your expectations realistic and life may surprise you.

William is a graphic designer and creative writer. One of his favourite interests is reading books about relationships. He recommends ‘How to Succeed with Women’ and Doc Love’s ‘The System’. He has two adorable children that he enjoys spending time with. William is currently single and is preparing for his next relationship. You can follow him on Twitter.

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