More often than not, I used to arrive on a first date with a goal in mind.
Sometimes, it was just to leave feeling successful, with the promise of a second date that might turn into a relationship. Other times, it'd be to kiss them and ultimately sleep with them.
So with these intentions in mind, I could never just go with the flow. Chalk it up to me being a serious organizer, but I liked to have order, and I liked going into a date with a plan.
Not anymore, though.
Over time, I've come to realize that by going into dates with the expectation of something — whether big or small — you're setting yourself up for failure.
It's just heartbreak and disappointments waiting to happen.
Sometimes, people can't live up to this concept you've depicted in your head. We overestimate the success of a situation and end up feeling let down, confused as to why things just couldn't be as you imagined.
And who wants to suffer through that over and over again? Certainly not me.
Here are a few simple ways to date with no expectations:
Let "the one" come and find you instead.
Everything happens for a reason, right? And things always tend to fall into place when you're not even trying.
While it's easier said than done, just sitting back and forcing yourself not to actively look for something (in this case, sex or love) will feel so much better when it actually does just fall into your lap.
Going into dating with no expectations whatsoever means you don't change who you are for someone else. You simply act as you would in any day-to-day situation without actively searching for someone to date.
Going into dating with no expectations whatsoever means you don't change who you are.
Then, you're more likely to find a meaningful connection because someone will find you and appreciate you for you. And that's the kind of person you want to be dating.
If you're in hot pursuit of someone, and you're constantly going on dates with a set game plan, dating starts to feel redundant.
You become a dating robot who follows the same strategy with the same personality that ultimately gets you nowhere. It's frustrating to end up back at square one each and every time with your expectations never met.
Let someone come to you. It's much more flattering to have someone throwing themselves at you instead of the other way around. Trust me.
Disregard the notion that you "have" to be in a relationship.
Don't throw yourself into the dating sphere just to date.
Avoid feeling this sense of urgency behind finding the right person to be with. You shouldn't expect to have the right person waiting at your door when you want them to — unfortunately, that's just not how life works.
You shouldn't expect to have the right person waiting at your door when you want them to.
Having life fast-tracked like this will only bring about this expectation that things need to happen at a certain time, and that any partner you find will never live up to this world you want to create.
But no one is actually telling you that you need to find Mr. Right by a certain time. You are.
If you're the type of person to feel connected almost immediately, it'll be hard to get rid of those feelings of attachment and dependency that come about as soon as you start dating someone.
But slow your roll. Instead, value taking things one day a time.
Avoid clinging on to "promises" at all costs.
Disappointment: a "D" I could certainly do without.
You gave yourself to someone and trusted them so much that when they didn't live up to their words, it was disheartening. What was the point of being so sincere to someone if they couldn't even hold up their end of the bargain, right?
Well, unfortunately, it's not uncommon for someone to break a promise if you have them seated on such a high pedestal. You've taken their words and made them into a bond that, in your head, is everlasting.
It's not uncommon for someone to break a promise if you have them seated on such a high pedestal.
But you can only feel disconnected from what you cling onto.
When you set these lofty expectations that cause you to already predict how your romance will fall into place, it's painful when it doesn't work out.
If you stop holding onto these expectations, you can successfully close a chapter that may need to end and have a fresh start in your mind.
Just rid yourself of expectations, throw away that godforsaken dating map of yours and avoid the heartache altogether.
Ain't nobody got time for that.