It seems like everyone I talk to hates the dating process. They go through the motions because they have to, but not usually because they’re excited about it.
They feel it’s a huge source of pain and frustration. And any time we’re forced to do something unpleasant, we begin to loathe even the thought of it.
To start fixing this, there’s a level of personal responsibility to make the experience more fun for yourself. I often write about how…
You have to learn how to enjoy the process. You have to learn to speak, act, and express yourself in a way that is congruent and rewarding to you. If you’re always trying to figure out what other people want and how to impress them — you’re in for a bad, anxiety-ridden time.
But there’s another element that’s a real drag on everyone…
That comes down to how the other person treats you and also how you treat them.
Because I see a whole lot of people treating each other poorly. Sometimes, they may not even realize the gravity of their actions. But the result is still the same:
People get hurt. Then they start to lose trust or resent connecting with others in the future. This then leads them to be protective, defensive, and inadvertently hurt others themselves…a.k.a. YOU.
We get into a cycle where we all lose basic courtesy and treat each other like shit, when dating is supposed to be a beautiful experience.
So I want share the ways I see men and women mistreat each other. Only when we’re aware of our actions and how they affect others can we create healthier dating for everyone.
Disclaimer: These are just the more common trends I see. There are plenty of times where the roles are reversed and break the mold.
Men misleading women for sex
So you started seeing a new woman and she’s really into you. You find her attractive, too.
You’re not looking for anything serious. Or at least you know you’re not looking for anything serious with her.
Having that conversation can be really challenging. You know that it’s going to be a little awkward. You know that she might get hurt if she’s looking for more than just a casual relationship.
When you’re being honest with your intentions, you’re letting her decide how she wants to proceed. So you start to worry…what if she’s not down with casual sex? What if she wants to stop seeing you now that she knows how you really feel?
Oh no…looks like you could lose your chance to continue sleeping with her. So you decide the best solution is to ignore that discussion until she brings it up. Then when she does press you about it, you can tell her that you’re definitely open to a relationship, but not quite yet.
Finally, there comes a point when she says she wants commitment or else it’s not going to work for her. She may even hold out on sex to get you to make it official. In that case, I’ve seen guys agree to a relationship just to get laid and then break it off once they’ve gotten what they wanted.
That’s seriously messed up. This is a human being we’re talking about and you’re basically lying to use her body. She’s trusting you with the most vulnerable part of herself and you’re betraying her.
You have to be committed to being upfront with women. I understand it can be hard to know what you want before anything intimate happens. But once you’ve had sex — you need to let her know your expectations.
Sometimes, you need to let her know even earlier. The moment it’s apparent a girl’s looking for something more serious than you, you need to address it. This is doubly true if she explicitly tells you.
How it ruins dating: This is the kind of behavior that leads to serious emotional baggage and trust issues in women. I’ve known so many girls who’ve had guys lie to them for sex and drop them soon after. And that can haunt them for years.
Women become more worried that ALL men have bad intentions. They tell their friends and their daughters that men are pigs who only want one thing.
Women are more hesitant about hooking up. They withhold sex to try and weed out skeezy guys. We start to create a society where women fear men as sexual predators, even when they just politely say hello in public. Anti-flirting movement, anyone
Women cancelling on plans last minute
Sometimes you need to feel someone out before you decide whether or not you want to meet up with them. That’s fine. You’re not required to go on a date with someone you’re texting or chatting with online.
But the moment you make plans with that person, you’re making an agreement you should follow through with.
A client of mine met a girl online who lived 90 minutes away. She didn’t have a car (she lived in the city) so he offered to drive down to her area. They setup the date days prior, chatted just an hour before he left his house, and then when he’s 20 minutes away she suddenly texts to cancel. No apology and no attempt to make future plans.
This guy works two jobs and has little free time. How upset do you think that made him feel?
When you make plans with someone, they clear their schedule for you. They are making the conscious decision to prioritize YOU for that precious free time slot. They’re sacrificing time usually spent on friends, family, other romantic prospects, or important work.
So when you cancel within 24 hours of meeting up, you’re royally screwing that person. Time is our most valuable commodity and it’s devastating when we’ve lost it pointlessly.
I know on the rare occasion things come up or you truly are overwhelmed with anxiety or exhaustion. But those should be the rarity.
I’m sorry…but how many surprise birthday parties do you have to attend? How many old friends randomly come stay with you at the last minute? How often are you suddenly too sick or injured to go on a date? You should probably get your blood work done.
So if you find yourself cancelling on people all the time….
Stop making plans in the first place! Don’t say you’ll meet up to be polite or to prevent losing a connection before you’re certain you actually want to spend time with that person.
You’ll get into less awkward situations and you’ll hurt a lot less people with that one shift in behavior.
How it ruins dating: When you repeatedly cancel on plans, guys start to feel that women treat them like shit. They believe all women are heartless or like to play games. They think women are always looking for the next best thing. Then they expect every woman to flake on them and can’t even get excited about dates anymore.
That’s when you see men blow up on you even if you have a legitimate reason for rescheduling. They’re not angry with just you, it’s a product of all their frustrating experiences being taken out in that moment. I’m not saying it’s justified but that’s just what happens.
I genuinely believe this is one of the biggest modern causes of resentment and distrust young men have with women.
Women ghosting on rejections
About a year ago, one of my best friend’s girlfriends walked out on him after five years together. I don’t mean that figuratively. She literally just one day up and left their house, dog, and the life they built together.
She didn’t communicate with him for over a month afterwards. She ignored almost all of his calls and texts and never had a proper discussion with him about why she left. Even to this day, they’ve talked very little about it and have only seen each other when she came to get her stuff.
While they had a struggling relationship, he wasn’t emotionally or physically abusive towards her. The end of a five-year commitment deserves at least some basic communication, no matter how difficult it was for her to confront him.
This is a more extreme case, but I see this happening all the time. People who have been on a couple dates, been together for months, or even longer, suddenly give the other person the cold shoulder.
They don’t text that person to say they aren’t interested in seeing them again. They ignore the other person whenever they reach out. Then they unmatch or block them from all social media and other forms of communication.
They just don’t see it as a big deal or can’t muster the courage to provide a two sentence rejection. They don’t understand how soul-crushing that behavior is.
How it ruins dating: Getting no closure at all about the end of a connection leaves people feeling worthless. It makes them feel like you didn’t respect them or their time enough to be honest with them. They begin to doubt if anyone could ever really like or love them for a long time.
In turn, they feel like future partners may leave them at any moment and they have to be prepared to be let down. They hold back in relationships and put on masks to avoid getting crushed when being abandoned.
Men acting cold and aloof
After experiencing numerous “flakes” and ghosted rejections, many guys go looking for advice on how to make women stick around. They almost always find themselves getting the same bullshit answer: play really hard to get.
So they dedicate themselves to being more aloof. They purposely wait to reply to girls’ messages. They set up a date and then don’t communicate again until the day of so they don’t seem desperate. After hooking up with a woman, they wait a few days before they contact her again.
They want to look busy and seem like they have a lot going on (but they usually don’t if they’re resorting to this tactic).
Playing this game often has the opposite effect on women. When a girl is interested in you and puts herself out there, she wants to know you’re interested back.
When you’re distant, it makes her feel like you’re not that into her. Or she thinks you’re a player and that she’s dispensable. Either way, it causes her to pull away and reciprocate the same behavior back to you. She doesn’t want to fully invest in someone who she feels like is halfway out the door.
I’ve watched so many connections die because both parties compete on who can be the most aloof and non-committal.
Instead, you need to understand that there are much healthier ways to convey you’re a confident, non-desperate man. You have to develop your self-worth and an active lifestyle. That means going after what you want, flirting with the girl you’re interested in, getting involved in new hobbies, expanding your social circle, and setting boundaries if necessary.
When you invest in yourself, you’ll become confident and have an exciting lifestyle FOR REAL. Women will pick up on that and pursue you without you needing to be standoffish.
How it ruins dating: You’re treating dating like a game instead of an emotional investment between two people. The more you do it to women, the more you perpetuate women giving you the same, which leaves you frustrated as all hell. You’ll also attract girls who enjoy drama and chase unhealthy validation.
Most importantly, you’re preventing yourself from having any close, intimate connections because you don’t let anyone in.
Everyone staying out of pity or comfort
When you start dating someone, you’re consumed by emotion. Everything is fun and exciting because it’s new. Your attraction levels are off the charts.
Soon enough, however, you start to see the real person you’re with. You see their values, quirks, insecurities, and all the little things that strip away your idealized view. You see them.
That’s when you might realize, deep in your heart, that your new romance is not a good long-term fit. You still like and are attracted to that person, but you’ve gotten to a point where you’re sure you don’t have a future together.
Letting that person go isn’t easy. You still care about them. And you know that they care about you, so breaking things off is only going to hurt them.
Sometimes, you may struggle with leaving because it means you have to give up all the advantages of the relationship. It means you won’t have someone who shows you affection and attention. You won’t have that emotional or physical intimacy anymore.
For some people, that kind of closeness doesn’t come around often. So they have a significant fear of going back to being alone and having to search for a new connection.
Whatever the reason, you convince yourself to try and stick it out. You just can’t do that to her or relinquish that convenience.
Sometimes you wait a month. Sometimes a year. Sometimes people stick it out through marriages and find alternate ways to fulfill their needs, like cheating.
The problem is, that itch to leave doesn’t go away. If you’re truly not meant to be, that fact almost never changes. It’s really just a matter of time before your need for a more fulfilling connection outweighs the comfort of staying in the relationship.
If you care about the person you’re with, you should let them go when you know the relationship has run its course.
How it ruins dating: The ending is always the same…when you postpone a breakup you hurt the other person so much more than if you had done it earlier. You cause more devastation when you leave after 3 years instead of 3 months. You waste a lot of time that could have been better spent by both of you finding more compatible partners.
Your partner can also carry the weight of your rejection to their next relationship. They develop trust issues that can hinder the development of healthy future connections.
The small effort required for you to treat someone well can make a huge difference in the lives of many.
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