Don’t fall in love with potential! You’ve seen this all over dating coaches’ websites, social media pages, and videos, but somehow you can’t seem to be able to detach yourself from the outcome of dating. You are tired of the rinse, lather, repeat of online dating and want to give up dating altogether. But, you also know that the only way to potentially find someone is by staying in the process, no matter how disheartening it is.
Finding the balance between feeling excited and happy about dating, and grieving dating failures seems to be a daunting process that you want to put a full stop to. Trying all over again without letting past failures creep into your mind is not something all of us can do naturally. Some of us require practice and patience as we learn to detach our emotions from the dating process.
If you’re here looking for practical ways to avoid having expectations tied to the dating process, I am here to help you with tested and proven ways that helped me to shift from a desperate situation of finding love to a more curious and open mindset when meeting new people on dating apps.
As someone who has been in the dating scene even before my 30s, and stretching through my early and soon mid-30s, I am here to share my thoughts (actually speaking my thoughts as I am so excited to have found the speech-to-text dictation Google Chrome extension that saves me time typing – oh, and it is FREE) on how I work through my emotions and what has worked for me in facing this situation, so that you can navigate through this phase gracefully and also when next time you are confused with dating icks, you can decide how to better teach your mind to discern between red flags or incompatibility and avoidant attachment dating style.
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- The Various States of Mind of People on Dating Apps
- The Nature of Dating Apps
- What's Dating Fatigue
- Don't Fall in Love With Potential – Is It Wrong To Have Expectations?
- #1 Feel The Grief and Disappointment
- #2 Practice Talking To and Dating Various Types of People
- #3 Your Expectations Are Not Necessarily The Reality
- #4 Have a Curious Mindset To Let People Reveal Themselves and Surprise You
- #5 Don't Tie Yourself To a Timeline
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The Various States of Mind of People on Dating Apps
While there are a lot of motives people go on dating apps like finding something short-term and discreet dates, in this post, we’ll look at those who are looking for something serious.
1) People who are new to dating apps and are excited to meet new people – people who’ve not tried dating apps are rather excited and carry enthusiasm in the process of getting to know others. It’s easy to get to know them and they are potentially more responsive on the app and are open to face-to-face dating. This applies to even those who are in their 30s trying dating apps for the first time.
2) People who have been generally dating for many years and are basically tired of the entire process, but still want a relationship. They are afraid of getting hurt or emotionally investing in the process and therefore, can be seen as very distant and cold. They may take a lot of time to start conversing consistently with their matches. This would block out intimacy and discourage their matches from keeping up with the conversation.
3) People who are keen to date but want to fast-forward things, and prefer not to talk about anything much on the app but meet up face-to-face. While it is understandable that dating apps can be shallow, people who fast-forward the process can come off as desperate. Love bombing then ghosting can also happen when people move too fast. Scammers too will be pushy in moving the conversation off the app as soon as possible to avoid them being reported.
The Nature of Dating Apps
1) Dating apps are somewhat exciting but also lead to a paradox of choices.
The term, first popularized by psychologist Barry Schwartz, suggests that although having a wide selection of choices seems to be desirable, it can result in negative consequences like indecision, fatigue, and dissatisfaction.
You’ve got tons and tons of profiles to choose from and usually, your mind will start telling you that you can dismiss a match just because of a very superficial reason because anyway, there are plenty of fishes in the sea! Research from ScienceDirect shows that when you are presented with too many choices, you will struggle to make the best decision as analysis paralysis takes over your mind and keeps you stuck in the rut.
2) Superficial conversations can seem difficult to keep up with as people are just talking about very basic things about themselves. We all have been reduced to a profile on dating apps and that doesn’t give us enough time to gain the attention of matches on the app. We’re all rather skimming through profiles and not giving importance to each one of them that we’ve matched with.
3) Inactive profiles tend to be circulated on the apps (probably due to glitches or even done intentionally by the apps to keep you interested in the app) and you think you’ll get a reply from them, only to be disappointed later. This is especially worse for paying subscribers who’d obviously expect quality matches but end up having to deal with inactive profiles being placed on the card.
4) The goal of any dating app should be to bring you off the app so that you can go for an actual date with your matches face-to-face. However, when you match with someone who is not from where you live, meeting up can be a challenge, and usually, this would lead to people giving up using dating apps altogether. On the other hand, if your city is not large enough, meeting someone who fulfills your requirements can be a challenge.
A lot of people struggle with the proximity of matches that they get from dating apps, because meeting up becomes a challenge and people then do not know what else to do with the apps.
What’s Dating Fatigue
Dating fatigue happens when you’ve said “Hi, my name is XYZ” to so many people you’ve dated, and you’re just tired of repeating the same thing about yourself to people again. If you’re thinking of recording yourself a short intro video of yourself so that people can watch it to get to know you (so that you can save energy repeating yourself), you have dating fatigue. 🤣
Whether you’re dating intentionally or not, dating fatigue is bound to happen, depending on how much it’s taking a toll on your mental health. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way, as many people have taken a break from dating and focused on themselves, only to come back with a better perspective on dating.
When dating fatigue happens, it’s telling us to reevaluate our emotions and how we’re approaching people on the app. It’s a good indicator that something we do needs to be changed in order to approach dating in a more positive and empowering manner.
Are you giving people who you seemed to have liked a lot more importance than the others? Are you judging someone by their looks? Are you swiping a lot that you’ve 15 people to talk to at once but you’re not able to give quality time to either one of them?
Don’t fall in love with potential. That is the best way to avoid dating fatigue. But is it wrong to have expectations and how do we get through the process of preparing our minds to not fall in love with potential? Let’s dive into the topic.
Don’t Fall in Love With Potential – Is It Wrong To Have Expectations?
Is it wrong to have expectations when you’re dating someone? After all, we all want to end up with people that we like being with. So, is it wrong to expect our dates to fulfill our requirements?
Yes! Having expectations when you’re meeting someone new is absolutely the wrong way of looking at dating and getting people to meet your needs.
Let’s make things clear over here. You can certainly have expectations about your love life and what you expect your partner to be in a relationship. However, you cannot perceive that every single person that you need in your dating life is a potential candidate to fulfill those needs. Yes, they are somewhat potential candidates, but you have not seen their capabilities in meeting your needs yet. In other words, you are just like an employer trying to see if they have the potential to meet your needs.
Just like the probation for a new employee, the dating process is when you will be able to gauge if they could indeed be a lifelong partner for you. You should be taking enough time in order to see if they are who they portray themselves to be.
Don’t fall in love with potential. Take time to evaluate if the potential that you see in them is indeed something that they inherit or if it is just your perception of them.
Something that has really helped me to lift off the expectations when I’m dating someone is to shift from the mindset of “I see potential in him as he seems to be nice, and I have known him for quite some time as a friend, and therefore I think this would work” to ” I see potential in him as he seems to be nice, and I have known him for quite some time as a friend, but I will see if he walks the talk and if he actually is the person that I perceive him to be”.
#1 Feel The Grief and Disappointment
You cannot possibly shift your mind from the state of bereavement, disappointment, and anger instantly to a positive state of mind that helps the entire dating process like happiness, excitement, and a sense of curiosity to understand people better. This is especially true if you have been facing a lot of failures in your dating journey. Any dating coach out there can tell you to have a positive mindset in order to attract the right person into your life. But, doing this can only bring more harm than good sometimes.
When you are dismissing the emotions that you have within you, and you are rushing the process, and trying to shift your mind to a more positive state, you are not acknowledging the pain that you have felt along the way. Emotions, when are not acknowledged and given a space to be present in your system, will only amplify when you are trying to push it away.
So, all I would say is that you need to feel the grief and disappointment. Take all the time that you need, block out noises that come from external sources, embrace your emotions, and let them go. You may want to uninstall the dating apps and just stay in silence for a week, a month, or just however long that you think you need in order to feel better and ready to come back to date people.
#2 Practice Talking To and Dating Various Types of People
Dating fatigue happens because you quickly attach yourselves to the outcome of the process. When you meet someone new, you instantly start to fantasize how it would feel if this is the person that you would end up being with. This usually happens because you do not get the opportunity to date a lot of people. And therefore you naturally tend to place a very high expectation for things to turn out favorably when you date someone.
Your mind would go like “It has taken me a long time to even get a date that I really like, so if this is not going to happen, will I take forever to meet the next person?”
In order to shift your mind from scarcity to abundance, you should start going out with a lot of people without really having any expectations of the dating process. Do not try to be absolutely sure if you would like this person and only then go out with them. This would take up a lot of energy even before you have gotten to know them. Instead, if you think you like someone from a dating app and you have spent a few days chatting with each other, just go for the date and see what happens for yourself.
Do not also date people that you only like or maybe the ones that fit in the boxes that you have created mentally. Try people who are not your type and see if you actually like them or not. You have to experiment with a lot of things before you can decide if it is for you or not for you. When you expose yourself to different experiences, you are giving your mind new information and you will learn how to evaluate if you like different types of people.
So, bottom line, you wouldn’t know if you would like someone who is not from your type if you have not given them a chance to date you. As long as you are staying safe, go out with as many people as you can and ask yourself how you are feeling with each one of them and then you will see yourself making better decisions six months from now.
#3 Your Expectations Are Not Necessarily The Reality
The primary reason why people say don’t fall in love with potential is because your expectations are not necessarily the reality of the people that you are dating. What you should understand is that the dating process is a journey that will reveal who people are to you and vice versa.
No, let’s assume that you are hiring an employee and you are waiting through potential candidates’ resumes. Now one particular candidate has mentioned that he has done a course on project management. Really think that he will be good at project management. So you call him in for an interview, you ask him about his work experiences and he elaborates on his past experiences on project management. So, now you think that he would be a good candidate for your company.
However, you can only be sure about it after you have worked with the candidate for about six months. That is the reason why companies have probation. Because they would actually want to see you doing the job hands-on before they can decide if they want to keep you forever in the company.
Now, if you were to apply this scenario to your dating journey, I believe you can now understand that expectations are not necessarily the reality of someone. Give people some time and take some time to gauge who people are.
#4 Have a Curious Mindset To Let People Reveal Themselves and Surprise You
Now, what a lot of people do is quickly jump to a conclusion about someone even before they get the opportunity to get to know them well. We have seen that employers usually give opportunities to people whom they think have the best potential. However, we have also seen people complaining on LinkedIn saying that they absolutely have what it takes to qualify for the job but employers judge candidates based on looks and other superficial credentials.
That is also another reason why people say don’t fall in love with potential. What you initially see may not be the best version of people. Do not judge a book by its cover. That is the reason why we should always have a curious mindset to let people reveal themselves, especially in the dating world where people may not necessarily bring the best version of themselves when they go out for the first date with you.
You would only get to know about someone after you have spoken to them a few times and met them at least twice before you can actually come to a conclusion about them.
“How do I know if I would still want to talk to them and see them?”
If you are not sure if you should reject them after the first date, it is a good enough sign to go for the second date and see how you feel about the person.
#5 Don’t Tie Yourself To a Timeline
Another common reason why we have dating for take is because we always tie ourselves to a specific timeline in order to settle down. When you have a time frame in your mind when you’re getting to know someone new, it adds pressure to the entire process. Just imagine if you have a very rigid way of getting to know people – like one month to get to know someone six months before you say yes to someone or if you have a timeline to get married before you hit 30, you are simply dodging the entire process.
I’m not saying that you should just be going with the flow, or let men string you along with the indecisive mindset. All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t be getting into a state of desperation in order to get married. “All my friends are getting married and I should take the dating process seriously in order to find someone soon”. Let’s face the fact, how many of us have had this thought on our mind?
I bet every one of us have felt that way especially when we see people around us finding their love of life. However, being in a desperate state will only land you in trouble especially if you entertaining discreet dates and then wonder why do guys like situationships.
Don’t fall in love with potential. Give yourself some time to gauge people’s characters properly. And for this to happen you shouldn’t be tying yourself to a timeline.
Why not to fall in love with potential?
It is because we refuse to see someone as they indeed are, in real-time. More often than not the potential that we see is not a reality of people but rather what we want to see in them. It is not wrong to expect people to have potential and indeed they could be the right candidate for you, but you should always test the waters and see if what you perceive them to be is actually who they are.
Can you be in love with potential?
In a 2019 article, “Falling in Love With Potential,” Dr. Kai Swigart says, “Most relationship problems start when we fall in love with what someone could be, sometime in the future — instead of who they are right now, and then strive to turn them into this potential person.” This is mostly just your fantasy about someone and how you would like them to be. As you might have known love is all about accepting people for who they are and not turning them into someone that you want them to be. Therefore, you should identify if a person could actually meet your needs in reality and not just in the fantasy world that you live in
What is falling in love with potential relationship?
Relationships happen in the present, not in the future or the past. A person could have the potential to meet your needs only if they strive to become better in the future. However, whether this future version that you have in mind becomes a reality or not will ultimately depend on the person and not you. That is the reason why you should always evaluate someone based on who they are today and not what they could become in five years’ time.
What is the meaning of potential love?
To love someone’s potential is to love their significant other’s future self. And the problem with the significant other’s future self is that people do not have control over others. That is the reason why dating coaches always say don’t fall in love with potential.