“Why didn’t he ask for my opinion before choosing the restaurant?”
“Why does it take him a day to reply to my messages?”
“She dressed up so casually for our date. Was I like that as well?”
“She left right after she finished her coffee. She probably didn’t have a good impression of me..”
Our clients at 2RedBeans often tell us that their dates don’t seem to “live up to their expectations.” We’d like to share the realities of expectations we have for our dates and what we should do to prevent those “unreasonable expectations” from popping up to begin with.
Why do we set unreasonable expectations for our dates in the first place?
1. We are not clear about our own roles during a date
Sometimes, people expect their dates to be their actual partners. This is a common mistake made by a lot of people. Some people even go to the extreme of setting particular standards for their dates because this is what they expect from a partner. This usually leads to dissatisfaction and, in some cases, people wouldn’t give their date a second chance. In actuality, dating is a process in which two strangers get to know each other and gradually progress from being acquaintances to become friends. From there, if all goes well, things may progress from being friends to a more intimate relationship. When we meet new people or make new friends, we try to think from their perspectives and be open and accepting towards their idiosyncrasies. Due to the fact that we often see our dates as potential partners or even actual partners, we adopt this skewed mindset and believe our dates aren’t able to meet our standards.
2. Setting unrealistic expectations for our dates
Many people often have a so-called “ideal partner”. This is more common among people who have little to no experience when it comes to relationships. They think that there should be some must-haves for their dates. For example, some women might want a boyfriend who is tall and masculine. Some men might want a girlfriend who is cute and feminine. When we set such expectations, our tolerance for those not-so-good traits or behaviors lowers and it makes it harder for us to look past them.
3. Obsessively overthinking the actions of others
Renowned psychologist Charles Berger said one of the motivations underpinning interpersonal communication is the acquisition of information from others in order to reduce uncertainty. Since we are all trying to acquire as much information as possible about our dates, people often read and try to interpret the intentions of others based on their actions,. From there, we make up an image about our dates even though these can be highly biased and inconclusive. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your date is disrespectful if he didn’t hold the door open for you or your date has no feelings for you since she arrived late!
How do we keep cool during our dates?
1. Be clear about our roles during a date
A date to get to know someone better is not a date with your partner. Go into a date with an open mind and get to know more about your date first. Most importantly, enjoy your time with them!
2. Have realistic expectations of others
It is important to understand that there’s probably no one out there who can match all of your expectations. Have an objective view of your date and don’t be too obsessed with the differences between both of you.
3. Avert your attention from the actions of others
Instead of obsessively reading into the actions of others, you can avert your attention away from them and focus on topics that you are passionate about. This not only reduces your focus on trying to read the intentions of others (based on their actions), it might actually become a common topic between you and your date. Who doesn’t feel happy talking about the things that they like and are passionate about? Your passion might become infectious and it might stir up more common topics between you and your date!
If you have more questions in regards to dating and relationships, click here for a free 10-minute consultation with our matchmakers.