For many singles out there, a top priority for the new year is finding a partner. With renewed optimism, your plan is to go on lots of dates and allow a special relationship to blossom. The problem is that most people don’t have a realistic understanding of what early relationships look like. Often, some type of hurdle pops up, and they aren’t sure if they should jump ship or stick with it. So, here are eight myths about dating to help you navigate some of the most common early dating concerns.

1. Having A Partner Makes You Happy And Complete

Be careful not to make a relationship the Holy Grail. You don’t want to be sitting around, unhappy, waiting for a partner to feel content. Sure, being in a relationship can add a dimension to your life, but you still need to lead a happy and fulfilling life without one. A relationship is the icing on a cake, but you are responsible for creating your own cake – no one can do it for you.

2. Sexual Attraction Will Come With Time

You think you may have found someone great, but you notice that you are not as sexually attracted to them as you want to be. You hope that you will be more attracted to them and have better sexual chemistry with time, but the odds are against you. It’s complicated to define all the elements involved in sexual attraction, but research shows that you either have it with someone or you don’t. If there’s absolutely no sexual spark to start with, don’t plan on one appearing later on.

3. Lots Of Sexual Chemistry = A Great Relationship

You have never been more attracted to someone; the two of you have incredible sexual chemistry. That’s great, but it might be clouding your ability to see if this person is a good match for you. Once you are able to get out of the bedroom, time will reveal if your attachment styles work well together. Just be careful not to move too fast so you can distinguish lust from love.

4. Communication Should Be Easy From The Start

All couples have bumps in their communication, especially at the beginning of forming a relationship. The nature of dating is that you are learning about the other’s communication patterns and style, and they are learning about yours. You are discovering the ways that the two of you are able to navigate problems. It is healthy and normal to have conflict, and it is not necessarily a sign that you are ill-suited for one another. The challenge is to figure out how the two of you can best solve difficult moments.

5. We Need To Have A Lot In Common

Some people like relationships that are more enmeshed where you have common interests that you do together and little desire to cultivate your own interests. Others like relationships in which there is more separateness and independence. One end of the spectrum is not healthier or better than the other. You just have to make sure that you and your dating partner have the same notion of what it means to be in a relationship.

6. You Should Know Immediately If They’re Right For You

You can determine immediately if you are attracted to someone physically, but you won’t know if you are compatible yet. That only comes after you see how it feels to be in a relationship together. Don’t dismiss someone because it doesn’t feel like “love at first sight.” It’s unlikely to happen that way, but that doesn’t mean your relationship can’t be romantic.

7. Don’t Reveal Your Feelings Too Soon

You have probably been told that if you reveal your hand too soon, you will look needy and desperate. The same thinking says it is better to be distant and hard to get so the other person will have to work for you. However, there is a happy medium. You don’t want to be too available and eager to lock down a relationship. But on the other hand, you want to be careful that you aren’t too aloof so as to come across as disinterested.

8. Finding Someone Should Be Easy

It actually takes work and effort and requires you to have a lot of conversations, coffees and dates. If your expectations are realistic, you won’t get discouraged when it takes a little bit of time.

Dating is hard and building a relationship can be wonderful, but it also requires you to persevere through some bumpy times. While you should always listen to your gut instincts about a new relationship, be careful not to fall into the trap of dismissing a relationship due to misperceptions about the realities of dating.

You may also be interested in 4 Steps For Getting Back In The Dating Game

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