When it comes to dating, do you ever wish you could have a do-over with someone? Wish you wouldn’t have put so much pressure on Dave to get married? Wish you wouldn’t have broken up so quickly with Tom? Wish you wouldn’t have kissed another guy while dating Tony? Wish you wouldn’t have actually told Tony you kissed another guy? Wish you’d have been more open minded and gone out on a second date with Greg?
Everyone has regrets when it comes to relationships. We all mess up, and we all wish we could take things back or handle things differently. But, we can’t. What we can do though, is learn from our mistakes and try to be better in certain ways in our next relationship.
I’m not a psychologist and I’m not an expert by any means when it comes to dating, but what I can say is that I’ve dated a lot in my life and I’ve been around lots of single people. That’s why I feel I have the credibility to write “The Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Dating.” Remember, this is only my opinion. I’m sure many of you who read this will think of your own mistakes, some that might not be on my list. All I can advise you to do is remember them in your next relationship, so that you don’t make the same mistakes. Here are “The Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Dating:”
10. THEY DON’T GIVE THE PERSON A CHANCE. I have so many friends (and I have done this myself) who go out with a guy and they know in the first two minutes that there is no way this is going anywhere. Looking back, I think there were a lot of guys who I judged too quickly and walked away without really getting to know them. TALK! Sometimes the spark takes awhile to ignite.
9. THEY TELL THEIR FRIENDS TOO MUCH INFO! If you have an argument with your boyfriend, or he does something that upsets you, don’t be so quick to tell your girlfriends all about it. Because when you get over it and you’re all lovey-dovey with the guy again, you’ll forget what your guy did to you. BUT, your girlfriends never will.
8. THEY STOP DOING THE THINGS THEY LOVE. Don’t ever lose yourself. In other words, don’t stop doing the things you love to do. If you love to go to a diner and have breakfast by yourself and read the paper, keep doing that. And NEVER stop going out with your girlfriends. I don’t care how busy you are. Make time for them!
7. THEY FREAK OUT AND BECOME DISTANT. I see this mostly from guys, but women do it too. They stop calling because they put too much pressure on themselves and they freak themselves out that the relationship is getting way too serious. Guys, if you feel this way, keep it to yourself. The girl hasn’t done anything you haven’t done. You are both responsible for the relationship heating up. So, just take a mental break and regroup. Talk it through to yourself logically. Or even better, talk to the girl! Tell her how you are feeling. Don’t just stop calling. Commitment can be healthy! It’s natural to be afraid, but try to work through it instead of blowing a really good thing!
6. THEY PUT MAJOR PRESSURE ON THE OTHER PERSON. On the flip side, I see this mostly from women (and I’m sure I’m guilty of it.) Let the other person breathe. Let him get there. Let the relationship take all the time it needs to develop. I know it’s really difficult because you love, love, love this guy and you want to be his bride yesterday!! But SLOW DOWN. If you say nothing to the guy about the future, you will see him get closer and closer to the things you want.
5. THEY DATE TOO MANY PEOPLE AT THE SAME TIME. If you go into Dunkin Donuts and you buy a dozen assorted donuts and you start having a bite of each of them, they won’t taste good. You’ll probably just make yourself sick. Sort of the same concept with dating. One guy or girl at a time, please! You can’t really give someone a chance if you are dating 5 others at the same time. Focus!
4.THEY IGNORE RED FLAGS. If the guy has 8 beers on your first date, hmm… maybe he’s a big drinker. If he has 8 beers on the second date, hmm…maybe he’s a big drinker. If he has 8 beers on the third date, hmm… Ignore it because his eyes are dreamy and he’s a great kisser? I don’t think so. Get the picture?
3. THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT KIDS COME FIRST. If you are dating someone who has kids, never forget that the kids will always come before you. If you can’t handle that, you shouldn’t be dating someone with kids. It’s not a bad thing, by the way, and it’s not wrong. It’s just the way it is. Don’t YOUR kids come first? And if you don’t have kids, do NOT take it personally!
2. THEY TRY TO CHANGE HIM OR HER. What you see at the beginning of the relationship is going to magnify more and more as time goes by. You have two choices. Live with it or find someone else. Does he like to play hockey on Friday nights and will be unavailable every Friday night for the rest of his life? If that bugs you, it’s not fair to tell him not to play. Let him play or break up with him.
1. THEY RUSH INTO IT. I know it’s really hard not to rush things when you fall in love. You want to spend every second with the person and more. But, pace it. Let things breathe. Especially if there are kids involved. Going slowly will make it even stronger and better!
Lastly, on a side note, when one relationship ends, let yourself grieve it. I’m not saying stay home and cry and eat junk food and watch TV. But, don’t feel like you have to rush into another relationship. BE BY YOURSELF. You’ll like it!!
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the novels Jackpot and Hook, Line, and Sink Him. She is a graduate of Boston University with a master’s degree in communication, and she currently writes for various magazines. Jackie lives with her family in Chicago where she is working on her next novel. To learn more: www.jackiepilossoph.net