Psychology Today teamed up with six psychologists to talk about the Dos and Don’ts of dating. This is because approaching dating from the wrong mindset can be very toxic and hurtful to a person’s psychological well-being. Done correctly, dating can mentally boost you up and improve your life.
According to Dr. Jamie Long, Psy.D, you should never narrow your preferences down to one “type.” In fact, you should be open to people who do not quite meet what you think is the “perfect” “type.” Narrowing down your preferences to a particular “type” can mean narrowing down your preference to someone of a particular style, scene, subculture, interest or whatever else.
You should not be overly critical of everybody around you, and you should be understanding and compassionate of people who you date. Nobody is perfect and if you harshly criticize everyone who walks your path, you are going to end up with no one.
Kristina Fecek, MFT, mentions that you shouldn’t complain about the dating scene in the place that you live in. This is because dating is difficult for anybody—no matter where you live. Some people like to blame statistics such as the ratios of men to women and the ratios of married people to unmarried people. However, at the end of the day, a person’s attitude is what ultimately affects how successful she is at dating.
Dr. Kate Campell, Ph. D, LMFT, recommends not be excessively influenced by the thoughts and preferences of your loved ones. For example, your loved ones may want you to get with someone of a certain background, religion, or socioeconomic status. It is wise to listen to the ideas and concerns of your loved ones. However, at the end of the day you must use your own intuition to decide what is best for you. You should never feel obligated to follow the preferences of your friends and family members.
According to Dr. Gina Marchando, DMFT, LMFT, CHt, you should not talk too much about your past, your problems, your hang-ups and your heartaches. Keep the conversations positive and talk about who you are now and who you strive to be in the future. Also, do not be a narcissist. Do not make the conversation all about you all the time. Have an open ear to what others say. People do not like it when others monopolize the conversation, and doing so is a good way to deter good love interests.
Dr. Rebekah Doweyko, LMHC, suggests a person should present the most accurate version of herself. Never try to change who you are please a love interest. If the person does not like you for who you are, then he will never like you. In the long run, you are just going to end up miserable if you feel that you always have to change who you are.
According to Corinne Schultz, Ph.D, LMFT, you should not stop having hobbies or doing activities just because you are partnered with someone. If you stop doing things just because you have a partner, you have lost sight of life. Once you have a partner, carve out time for yourself and still go to activities on your own time. You can have both “you time” and “couple time.”
In conclusion, if you want a healthy dating life you should be open to different types of people, understand that dating success is ultimately up to you and your attitude, keep having hobbies and have an open ear.