All women make dating mistakes because, duh, dating is hard. No matter your age, dating can be quite the experience. If you’re a woman who has even just dipped your toes into the dating world, you know it’s no joke. It’s seriously intense and can be a daunting task to decide to put yourself out there and find someone who you could one day care about and maybe even love. At the end of the day, though — whether you’re 30 or 40 — dating should be fun, not intimidating!
Fortunately, rules, guidelines, and pieces of advice exist to help us out in the dating scene. Whether you’ve been dating for years or are just getting started, you’ll want to stay tuned. These are the common dating mistakes all women make — plus ways you can avoid making them and live your best life while dating.
Keeping quiet about expectations is a dating mistake all women make
For the most part, people tend to have expectations when they go out on a first date. Some may hope their dates are super attractive or that the night will end with a romantic goodnight kiss. Expectations tend to change the longer a person dates his or her partner — and those expectations tend to get bigger. If you aren’t honest and upfront about any of the important expectations you may have, it can be a huge dating mistake.
“Everyone thinks of time differently, so it helps to actually sit down and have a real talk about exactly what your expectations are, instead of waiting for your partner to magically change,” Emily Morse, sex and relationship expert and host of the Sirius XM podcast Sex with Emily, told Cosmopolitan. If you want to build a relationship with someone, you have to be honest about what you want from that person. Even though it can be intimidating, the relationship will benefit in the long run.
Not sharing interests is a dating mistake all women make
“Opposites attract,” according to the old saying. That can certainly be the case, but that doesn’t mean you should always be looking for someone with whom you have nothing in common. It’s one thing to have different tastes in music, but quite another to be on opposite ends of the personality spectrum. In fact, it’s a huge dating mistake to not share any interests with someone you are going out with.
As dating expert Clare Gillbanks told The Guardian that it’s crucial to go out and meet people who share at least some of your passions. “Using a mutual interest to get talking is the easiest way to approach someone without involving alcohol,” Gillbanks said. “It’s about getting people out there.” She continued, saying, “After a consultation I give clients 10 recommendations: join an evening class, a book club or a parents’ group, for example.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should only be dating people who love all the same things you love, but it definitely helps to break the ice and get to know someone better.
Constantly being on the phone is a dating mistake all women make
In this day and age, phones have become almost like an extension of our arms. It’s commonplace to see people chatting or texting on their phones while at restaurants — even if they’re on a date. While there’s no one right answer as to the proper etiquette involving cell phones and dinner, it is clear that being on your phone while on a date gives off a certain vibe.
Ira Hyman, a psychology professor at Western Washington University revealed in an article for Psychology Today that cell phones can disrupt relationships. “Sometimes a cell phone seems to be more important than a romantic partner,” he explained.
Additionally, a survey from Mashable found that over 27 percent of single people don’t think you should ever check your phone on a date, while around 23 percent think it’s okay if it’s an emergency. At the end of the day, it’s clearly big dating mistake to always be on your phone while you’re out on a date.
Comparing relationships is a dating mistake all women make
A huge dating mistake you can make is to compare your dating life to other people’s dating lives. It’s never a good idea to compare your relationship to those celebrity couples who are totally addicted to each other nor is it a good idea to draw comparisons with friends who are in seemingly happy, healthy relationships. Why? It can seriously hinder your own love life.
According to Claudia Cox, a relationship coach, when you compare your own experiences to those of others, it can put a damper on your happiness. “Our expectations are higher today because we are flooded with images of ‘perfect love’ from TV, films, advertisements, and social media,” Cox told Elite Daily. “We expect perfection and, if we don’t find it, we move on quickly. This makes dating harder because it’s common for us to look for what’s wrong with someone, instead of focusing on what’s right.”
You might be having a great time with someone, but if they don’t bring you flowers on the third date like they do in the romcoms, don’t be disappointed. Enjoy your dating life; don’t compare it.
A dating mistake all women make is not talking money
Money can be a somewhat taboo topic for a lot of people. It can be awkward to discuss how much you make, how much you spend, and what your financial goals are — especially with someone you’re hoping to date. However, it’s actually a dating mistake not to discuss money early on.
Speaking to Refinery29, Georgia Lee Hussey, certified financial planner and founder/ CEO of Modernist Financial, explained that it’s important to be clear about your monetary expectations. “When I think about splitting the bill, it’s all about transparency — and it’s specific to each couple,” she said. “When it comes to a first date, each person needs to come in with their own beliefs and expectations.”
As unusual as it may sound, Hussey advises that something as small as the bill provides an opportunity to have a worthwhile conversation. “All these things will be important to the success of your relationship overall,” she added.
Not getting fully invested is a dating mistake all women make
Online dating has been an awesome new development when it comes to meeting new people. These days, it’s easy to just open up the Tinder app , find a potential partner, strike up a conversation, and maybe even make a plan to go out on a date. This can bode well for casual relationships, but you may find yourself closed off from anything more serious.
If you notice yourself avoiding getting too invested, that may mean you’re being emotionally unavailable, which isn’t advised if you want to start a relationship. “It suggests that a person consciously or subconsciously creates a wall that prevents them from being intimate with another person,” Jill Sylvester, a mental health counselor, told The Oprah Magazine of what it means to be emotionally unavailable. “The person on the other end of the relationship is often left feeling rejected and unloved,” said Sylvester. Being emotionally unavailable and not invested enough in the person you’re dating can really hurt your chances of turning that relationship into something deeper.
Withholding trust is a dating mistake all women make
It sounds obvious that trust is important in a relationship, but it may not be clear just how important trust is in a relationship. Some relationship experts even argue that trust is more important than love in a relationship because trust is a foundation that you must have in order to be with someone.
As Alison Stone, a licensed clinical social worker, told Well + Good, trust is important at all points in a relationship, even when you just first start to date someone. “Being dependable, consistent, and reliable are crucial components in building trust, not just in the beginning, but throughout the course of the relationship,” she said. Of course, slip ups can still happen. Licensed family and marriage therapist Linda Carroll added, “And when you don’t keep your word, clean it up, make amends and don’t do the same thing again,” she says.
Your partner is going to make mistakes, that’s inevitable, but it would be a huge dating mistake on your part to withhold all trust. It will also take time to develop that trust, but it’s crucial to the success and health of your relationship.
Being inauthentic is a dating mistake all women make
One of the most popular words people like to throw around these days is “authentic.” The word is used by Instagram influencers to convince their followers that they really are being themselves, and it seems to be everywhere. But the thing is, authenticity is truly super important, especially when it comes to dating. As it happens, being inauthentic is a big-time dating mistake.
If you aren’t being completely authentic, it could even be a red flag that you aren’t dating the right person. “Any time you are not authentically yourself it’s a sign that you are not truly comfortable in a relationship,” relationship therapist and licensed clinical social worker Aimee Hartstein told Bustle. “If you are hiding things, embarrassed about things, faking things, it suggests that you don’t feel that [your partner] will truly like you for yourself.”
A dating mistake all women make is giving into jealousy
Jealousy is not only an extremely common dating mistake, but emotion in general. If you’ve ever felt jealous in a relationship, you’re certainly not alone. Whether you’ve just started dating someone and are jealous that they may be seeing other people or you’ve been seeing someone for a while now and get jealous whenever they spend time with other women, a lot of jealousy comes from feelings of insecurity. At least, that’s what relationship experts say.
If your jealousy stems from insecurities, clinical psychology professor at the University of Oxford in England Daniel Freeman explained to NBC News, it can really hurt any potential relationship you might have. “If your self-esteem is low, give it a boost,” he said. “Make sure you have interests and activities outside of your relationship.” When you give in to jealousy, you are also giving in to your insecurities — and that’s no way to go about dating, nor living.
Trying to fix a partner’s flaws is a dating mistake all women make
When entering into a new relationship, it’s only natural to feel a little swept off your feet at first. Maybe you can’t stop thinking about their smile, great sense of humor, or just how good they look in a plain t-shirt. But, eventually, you’ll also start to notice some flaws, which is totally normal. However, it would be a dating mistake to try to correct or change all those flaws in your date.
The thing is, if you try to change too many things about the person you’re dating, it could hurt their feelings and then ruin the entire relationship. According to online dating site EHarmony, “Women have a way of doing that because they tend to be caretakers by nature but frankly, it usually doesn’t end well for either party, and it just feels bad all the way around.” Sure, your date may have some flaws or things you wish you could change, but that isn’t your job. Plus, focusing on the things you want to change will only make dating that much more difficult.
Sticking with a type is dating mistake all women make
Whether or not you think you have a “type” when it comes to people who you want to date, you probably do, at least to some extent. Maybe you always date someone who’s a bit of an academic or someone who enjoys good food and wine or maybe even just someone with blue eyes. Most people have a type of sorts, but, if you never date outside of that niche, you’re making a huge dating mistake. Plus, sticking with one type may be the trap that keeps you falling for the wrong guy.
Bridgette Hall, a matchmaker at Three Day Rule, told Elite Daily that it’s important to date people you may not think you would want to date. “Try dating people outside your normal wheelhouse,” she said. “Go out with a match who doesn’t exactly fit your ‘checklist’ — or better yet, ditch your checklist and give everyone a chance to exceed your expectations.” Truly, if you only date people who have certain jobs, a certain body type, or a certain personality, you aren’t really dating at all.
Failing to appreciate being single is a dating mistake all women make
Dating has changed over the last 100 years, which means “dating” and “courtship” are not one and the same. When you’re dating, you’re still technically single — and it can be a big dating mistake to not take advantage of all the perks that singleness has to offer. Once you get into a committed relationship, you can lose a lot of what it means to be single, which is all the more reason to take full advantage of those single-person perks.
Niloo Dardashti, a psychologist and relationship expert, told TIME that being single is a great time to focus on yourself, which you don’t always get when you’re in a relationship. “People say a lot of times, when they’re in relationships, that they’ve lost themselves,” Dr. Dardashti explained. “And that’s largely because we stop doing things independently.” She continued, saying, “When you’re alone, it creates opportunity for being more in touch with something inside of you.” Whether you recently became single, or have yet to find that special someone, enjoy that time in your life.
Getting too attached too soon is a dating mistake all women make
While there’s nothing wrong with believing in love at first sight or falling in love quickly, it is a common dating mistake to get attached too soon. According to EHarmony, many women tend to assume they are in a serious relationship too soon, or without talking it out with the person they’re dating. This is a gaffe that can have serious consequences.
When you jump into a relationship too quickly, it can quickly become “chaotic and impulsive,” leading to unhealthy situations, Susan Krauss Whitbourne, professor emerita of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts, wrote in Psychology Today. “Relationships that form under these circumstances, should they lead to marriage, are more likely to suffer in terms of quality,” she continued.
While your emotions are definitely valid, jumping into something too quickly or getting too attached to someone you’re dating usually doesn’t end well. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t follow your instincts and be true to yourself, but getting attached too soon means you won’t seek out anyone else or truly enjoy being single.
Failing to get out there is a dating mistake all women make
The possibility of getting hurt in a relationship is what can stop many people from really putting themselves out there in the dating world. But, if you don’t take some risks to meet new people and go out on dates, you likely won’t find what you’re looking for and you’ll eventually realize you’ve made a dating mistake.
“Relationship satisfaction is compromised and limited by our fears of being vulnerable,” Shadeen Francis, a relationship therapist, educator, and author, told Insider. “This can begin even before people start dating as the fear of rejection prevents some people from approaching the people they are interested in. If you want to feel loved, understood, seen, or accepted, you have to put yourself in a position to take an emotional risk.” To make the most of the dating world — especially if you want to find a serious relationship in the end — you have to take risks, as scary as that may seem.