Lower Your Expectations: Why Dating Should Be A Clean Slate

by Eric Santos

When I go out on a first date, I rarely have expectations; however, I've noticed that most of the women I date do.

It’s not uncommon for a girl to ask me what my intentions are. Usually, I get asked something along the lines of, “What are your intentions with me? Are you looking for something serious, or are you just looking for a hookup?”

Being the very blunt and candid guy I am, these can be very difficult questions for me to answer. Not to mention, I haven’t even known the person long enough to formulate a truthful answer.

Keep in mind, typically, I am asked this on the first date or even when I first get their number.

I reply with an answer along the lines of, “To be honest, I really don’t have any intentions yet. I would just like to get to know you first and see where it goes from there.”

Of course, I would like something serious with the right person; however, I am still young and not in a rush. Just because I am looking for something serious doesn’t mean I am automatically looking to get into a relationship with every girl I meet.

When I first meet a girl, I am just genuinely interested in getting to know her. One of three things will happen after I first start dating someone: 1) I start dating that person seriously, 2) we date short-term and hook up, or 3) nothing materializes.

Truth be told, the latter two options happen more often than not, but that’s just me. Please understand that I am not saying you should just be hooking up with people and never have intentions for anything more.

I am simply saying you should get to know the person of interest a little bit before creating any expectations.

I date without expectations, not only for myself but also in the best interest of the girl I am seeing. Here is why you should do the same:

Not being let down

Macklemore said it best in his song, "Vipassana":

Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.

I don’t believe this quote is always accurate, but it rings true in many scenarios. I am pretty sure many of us have experienced finding love at first sight, only to be let down once we got to know that person.

When you set expectations before getting to know someone, you’re setting yourself up for potentially being let down. Whether it’s the other person not living up to your expectations or vice versa, expectation too early can lead to unnecessary disappointment.

You should have no preconceived notions when you first meet someone. Sometimes we paint images of how we think certain people are before we get to know them, and we are let down when our images don’t match reality.

When you get rid of expectations, you mitigate the chance of being disappointed.

Finding the right person

They always say you will find love when you least expect it. I believe you're more likely to find the right person when you don’t have any expectations. This tends to hold true for a couple of reasons.

When you date without expectation, you tend just to be yourself because you have no motives yet or any reason to fear rejection. You’re more likely to find someone who likes you for you. When you date with motives too early, you sometimes front or try too hard to impress the person, which, more often than not, backfires.

The second reason is that when you date without expectations, your only intention is to get to know that person so you’re more likely to find someone with whom you’re compatible. This way, you don’t fall for the "idea" of someone or fall for someone you forced yourself to like due to some preconceived notion.

Dating without expectations allows you to recognize when the right person comes into your life, as well as realize who’s not worth your time.

Less chance of someone getting hurt

Going back to my first point, dating with expectations can lead to being disappointed. Many times, disappointment can lead to hurt, which sucks. Dating without expectations doesn’t only decrease the chances of you being hurt early on, it also mitigates the chances of you hurting or leading on someone else.

I don’t fear getting hurt as much as I fear hurting a good girl. I will never lead a woman into believing I am looking for something serious when I am not. The majority of them appreciate my honesty and bluntness.

Sometimes, when you date with intentions too early, you try dating someone you don’t necessarily like because you already set expectations you don’t want to break.

Unfortunately, that person gets dragged along into believing you do, and he or she is probably catching feelings for you. When you date without expectations, you are less likely to lead someone on or hurt someone because you only date people in whom you’re genuinely interested.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It