If you're like me, you keep sticky notes on your computer to remind you of important things. On mine is a note labelled HAPPINESS BUSTERS--things to avoid doing in life in order to be happier. And I believe they apply to dating as well:
1. Overthinking things
2. Taking things personally
3. Seeking validation from others
4. Having expectations
Let's talk about how each of these can rob your happiness and sabotage your efforts before and during the dating process...
Overthinking things means dwelling too much on something--analyzing and dissecting it until you've read into it more than is there. For example, you might have let a potential date's casual comment in an email, text, or phone call spin around in your mind, trying to figure out what it meant. And you did that to the point that you took the remark to be critical, thought you did something wrong, and believed you had to fix the situation or yourself. This can cause unnecessary turmoil for you and drama for the budding relationship.
Taking things personally means you interpret everything others say or do as if they're about you or a response to something you said or did. For example, you might think that a potential date's expression of a thought or feeling is actually an indirect comment about you...when usually it's nothing more than a general observation. It's better to ask the other person for clarity rather than assuming the comment is directed at you. It's often reflective of his or her "stuff" or mind-set and not about you at all.
Seeking validation from others means you're looking for outside approval because, inside, you don't approve of yourself and/or don't feel worthy and special just as you are. In other words, your self-esteem is low. In this case, you'd need to take time alone to improve your self-esteem before heading into the dating world. Confidence is the most important factor for dating success.
Having expectations of others or expecting situations to go as you envision them sets you up for disappointment--a definite happiness buster. Just letting things flow and unfold naturally in the dating world is a much better strategy. That way, you won't emanate vibes of urgency, desperation, or impatience--definite turn-offs to potential dates. You'll be letting others be who they are...something they'll appreciate and that will help to create a nice bond based on acceptance.
If you notice yourself exhibiting any of these 4 behaviors while searching for dating prospects, in the initial stages of dating, or while building a relationship, you'll need to modify them. That's how you'll attract and sustain better partners and partnerships (and be a LOT happier as a result!) If you need support with this, let me know. I've "been there and done that"--which led me to my current happy relationship--and I'd love to help you too.