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Avoid the 5 Dating Pitfalls

Avoid the 5 Dating Pitfalls

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Have you ever jumped gleefully into a puddle - only to find yourself knee-high in mud? That's about how much fun it is to trip over a dating pitfall. To make sure it doesn't happen to either one of us, here's the lowdown on five of the most common dating pitfalls around.

Pressure from Family and Friends There's nothing like family and close friends. But when they become too involved in your dating life, it can be a serious problem. It's true that they care about you more than anyone else. But they also have an emotional stake that can cloud their objectivity.

Sometimes, you'll confide in a friend or relative about the person you just met on a blind date. After the third or fourth date, however, you decide that it's not for you. You've thought things out well, but when you confide again in that friend/relative, they disagree with your decision and try to convince you to continue the relationship.

This is pitfall number one. Don't do it. Don't reverse your decision because you feel pressured. It's not fair - not to yourself, and not to the person you're dating. Now let's flip this around. This time, you decide that you're not going to tell anybody about the person you're dating until the fifth date at least. Lo and behold, you find yourself going out on a sixth and seventh date. You're developing a relationship and things are great. You now confide in that friend/relative you've been dying to tell, and what happens? They think you should break it off.

Welcome to pitfall number two. Do not break off a relationship with someone who might really be for you because a friend or relative thinks you should. If you know that this person cares about you deeply, and they convey a real concern, then file it. Think about it. But beware of general comments like "you can do better than that". The decision has to be yours alone.

Here's pitfall number three. Once upon a time, the world was a much smaller place. People lived in the same town, or the same area, for their entire lives. When it came time to get married, it was only natural that they marry someone from their hometown (or a neighboring one). In that scenario, a couple didn't need to date for very long before deciding to get married. Their backgrounds were so similar that a few meetings were enough to know. Times have changed. Today, the likelihood of people from entirely different backgrounds - cultural, national, you name it - is much greater. And that means that you're going to need more time to get to know the person you're dating.

Don't jump the gun. If you've met five times and you think "this is it", hold off unless the two of you really do share the exact same background. Take your time.

Now for pitfall number four. Now I'm going to throw you. Because pitfall number four is, don't date for too long. This is even more common than pitfall number three. People today can date for three or four years. Eventually, the stress of not being married destroys the relationship and they break up. They then need to recover emotionally before looking for someone else. The tragedy is that, in the meantime, the most precious years of their lives are ticking by and they're missing out on being happily married. So what's the fine line between not dating enough and dating too much? I would say that after three to six months of dating, you'll know all you need to know. But if the courtship drags out beyond a year, watch out.

And finally pitfall number five.

"We can't get married yet. We still need to get our careers off the ground and establish financial independence." Ladies and gentlemen, you have just been introduced to pitfall number five. The thinking here is wrong on two major counts. First of all, pragmatics. It is not cheaper to rent two apartments or pay two electric bills. Married couples also get a tax reduction. So from a purely financial perspective, it makes no sense to wait.

But there's another issue that's much more serious, especially for women. I have seen so many women push off marriage until they've established their degree or career. Why? Because they need to have a backup in case the man leaves them at some point in the future. Although this is understandable, it's also destructive.

Let's say that Alison and Greg are dating. They've been taking things slowly, and now they're engaged. Alison wants to set the wedding date for a year from now so that she can establish herself at the law firm she just joined. Why? So that she'll have a solid career in case Greg leaves her in the distant future.

Now, what does this mean? This means that Alison is walking into marriage with a certain degree of hesitance. In her mind, she's planning for the end of her marriage. And that has an effect on her commitment to Greg.

It's very easy to understand Alison. Today's divorce rates are so high that it seems to make sense to for her to take care of herself. But she needs to realize that there's a vicious cycle here. If she - or Greg, for that matter - starts married life without being fully committed, that doubt will eventually turn into a reality that will end the relationship on its own. Don't make this mistake. If you've dated long enough, and you know you want to get married, do it. You'll make it married just like you made it single, even if you have to rough it out. It will only make your marriage stronger and cement the love and dedication that you feel towards each other. You can always finish a degree, and you can always pursue financial success. But don't wait to live with the one person who will make your life happy and meaningful just to make some more money. You can't afford it.


The Pretty Woman Lie | 10 Stupid Things You Shouldn't Say On a Date Quiz | Relationships Require Patience | Avoid the 5 Dating Pitfalls | The Dirty Dancing Love Lie | more articles »
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