Life Advice



Erika Ettin: In dating, it's easy to get in your own way

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

"We were talking online, and then he asked for my number to make it easier to schedule a date. Well, it’s been a week, and all he does is text with no date in sight! (Or he never texted at all!)"

It happens all the time. Someone gives their phone number on a dating site and says, “Text me” or “Reach out to me.” Does it really make communication easier? Not if you remember to check the app!

My recommendation is to simply exchange phone numbers a day prior to the date so you can 1) confirm and 2) contact each other the day of in case someone needs to cancel.

Besides the never-ending text relationship that might form with no date in sight, by texting or sending too many messages, you run the risk of building a false impression. And, of course, you also run the risk of saying something stupid (for lack of a better word) that might cause someone to think better of going out with you. Why add that risk?

Here are a few other ways you might be getting in your own way when dating:

— Focusing on the past

It’s great to reflect on and learn from previous relationships, but when meeting someone new, be fully present and don’t drudge up gory details about your exes.

— Telling yourself something isn’t going to work

People often try to avoid rejection by not taking a chance. Stop telling yourself this new person isn’t for you. You don’t know unless you try. If you go into the dating scene with the preconceived notion that you aren’t going to find someone, you’ve automatically hurt your chances.


— Projecting a bad experience onto others

OK, so you went on one really bad date from Bumble. This does not mean that Bumble “doesn’t work.”

— Dwelling on every little flaw in someone

People are flawed. You, me, everyone. What you have to figure out is which combination of perceived flaws you can live with and which you can’t.

— Continuing to “shop” online rather than getting to know someone

If the end goal is to meet that one person to spend your life with (or even just some time), then you have to take the time to get to know this person. While it’s nice to know you have other options, you might be losing out on the best option to make sure you always have someone waiting in the wings.

In dating, there will be rejection, and there will be joy. There will be inevitable obstacles you can’t avoid. So don’t add your own. Rather than the one with road closures, take the path of least resistance.

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