How to Be Proactive Against Pitfalls in Dating and Singleness
Dating can be an exciting time at any age and can come with new experiences and feelings along the way. Although dating is primarily thought of as a positive experience, there are a few common pitfalls we can fall into at any stage of the partnering process. Regardless of if you are thinking about dating or entering into a relationship, practicing proactiveness can help you improve the relationship and avoid pitfalls in the future.
If you recently broke up with someone or have been out of the dating realm for quite some time, you may be wondering where the pitfalls are. Some common places to get stuck are thinking in extremes about your future involvement in dating. People often decide that they are done with dating and might be unworthy of finding a partner, resulting in them hiding from dating altogether. Others may be determined to find their worth in a partner or romantic relationship, resulting in them pouring their energy into perfecting themselves to be worthy.
Proactive Shifts in Singleness
We can be flooded with messages that push us into one of those pitfalls around Valentine's Day. Instead, a proactive shift to get out of this pitfall might be to take this time to know yourself and grow your interests and understanding of God. The dynamics in a romantic relationship are magnified in marriage. A season of singleness can be a great time to get to know yourself and develop what you will bring into a marriage. There are many other loves and relationships worth celebrating in February beyond romantic love. Who are the people who have been a light in your life this season?
Proactive Shifts in Dating
If you are in the early stages of a relationship, you may experience many thoughts running rampantly through your mind. We often are consumed with how our future could look with this person or are concerned about whether the other person likes or accepts us. One of the most common pitfalls in the early stages of dating is to become consumed and focused on what you are doing to be acceptable or ask yourself, "Am I loveable? Does this person love me?"
A proactive action that can help you get out of this pitfall is to choose to take an offensive stance to your thoughts or questions about the relationship. Instead of thinking, "does this person like me?" You can ask and decide if you like the person. Remember that to clarify your conclusions about this person, it is essential to continue to build on your understanding of the life you want to live and what you hope to achieve, or what kind of impact you want to have. Maintaining a more precise understanding of your hopes for your life will better help you recognize what type of person would help or hinder you.
There is More
Pitfalls are common, and it's impossible to avoid them entirely. But choosing to be proactive can increase your ability to date well and avoid unnecessary grief in the future. Dating doesn't only have to be about finding someone who accepts and loves you but can also be about deciding who you want to build a life with and how this would impact the goals you pursue.
Whether this year is a time of learning about yourself, a time with family, or a time with your beloved, we wish you a sweet Valentine's Day.
Learn more about how to help young adults navigate through dating and singleness with the How to Date Best module from the Relationship IQ Curriculum.