Why Single People Should Always Date With Zero Expectations

by Sheena Sharma

I'm always single AF. Part of that is because I'm pretty damn hard to please.

There are a ton of great men in the world and they each have their strengths and weakness. But I want a guy who has little to no weaknesses (in my eyes, for example, not being passionate enough about his job is a weakness.)

When you've been dating for as long as I have with nothing to show for it (except some awesome stories), you learn a thing or two about yourself and your massive expectations: They're unrealistic.

We all have weaknesses (myself included!). We're human.

Having too many expectations in dating could be keeping you from finding love. Here's why.

You expect the worst in people, even if you've always dated douches.

I'm only going to say this once, so listen up: Not every guy is a douchebag. Maybe every guy you've ever dated was a douchebag, but if picking douchebags is your pattern, there's usually a reason behind it.

If you're a serial bad boy dater like me, well, you're bound to rack up a lot of bad dates.

In the beginning, a bad date, a shitty guy, whatever, feels like a major hit. But the more shitty experiences you have, the more you realize every loss doesn't signal the beginning of the apocalypse.

That is, it doesn't have to if you don't let it.

Every loss doesn't signal the beginning of the apocalypse.

Your past dating life should never affect your present or future dating life. Your subconscious might try to steer you otherwise, but when you meet a new guy, you really need to tell yourself he isn't going to treat you like your emotionally abusive ex did. That kind of thinking is self-sabotage.

One of my biggest mistakes is writing men off before actually hearing them out. Collectively, we need to stop assuming the worst in people and give them an honest chance.

Would you want some dude to project things his crazy ex did onto you before even meeting you? Didn't think so. If you bring baggage from your past into the future and expect every guy to be a douche, well, of course he's going to be one.

If you go into a date with a checklist, you're setting yourself up to fail.

I want a guy who's kind, smart, painstakingly attractive, funny, loyal, confident (but not too confident), a feminist (but not a pushover) and at least six feet tall...

Oh, I'm not done. I could definitely go on, but I won't. The problem is, I can never find someone simply because I expect too much of one person.

If you're single and picky like me, you might be on dating apps looking for exactly that. Or maybe you take up every friend on their invitation to set you up with someone who looks and sounds just like the guy you imagine in your head.

Whatever it is, we singles all have a unique vision of this perfect person we want to end up with. But when we put our eggs in one basket, like only using Tinder or always going for the same type, we really limit ourselves.

Chance encounters are often the ones that amount to something wonderful.

Be open to chance encounters, which are often the ones that amount to something wonderful, partly because they surprise us, even though they don't fit our laundry list to a T.

If you don't expect too much, you won't be disappointed.

I used to let the fate of a date determine my entire happiness. But that was a time when I, admittedly, didn't have a strong sense of self and couldn't garner happiness from my job, family or friends or hobbies..

But I've finally gotten to a place in my life where I feel OK on my own. (Hell, I feel better than OK!) So when I do go on a date and the guy isn't who I'd imagined he'd be, I don't feel like my world is ending, because my life is fab.

The secret to a fulfilling dating life is to live a life of you're proud of without a guy, and not to expect too much, while still holding on to the core values you look for in a partner. It's a difficult balance to strike, but it's worth working toward.

Listen, it's only natural to have some expectations. So if you do have them, manage them. No one ever got significantly hurt by having low expectations.