To take dating less seriously, let go of the idea of a perfect relationship and prioritize other areas of your life. If you tend to take dating too seriously, ask yourself whether that is caused by your own fears, perfectionism, or need for control.
Life is stressful enough. You have enough responsibilities. Don’t turn dating into unnecessary stress. And don’t make it a responsibility.
How has something like dating become so serious all of a sudden? Why have people become desperate to “meet the one” (or have fun, for that matter)?
First world problems, perhaps? I’m not going to argue that dating isn’t important. It is — just not as much as we think. And you have to know that.
How to take dating less seriously
1. Take yourself less seriously
Look within and you’ll find that, more often than not, the meaning you attribute to things reflects your state of being and who you think you are.
Are you the type who believes he/she has to get everything right? When things don’t go to plan, do you tend to adapt or dwell on disappointment?
If dating seems like a very serious thing, ask yourself whether life itself appears to be a serious thing for you. In your mind, do you often use words like must, should, or any word that conveys importance?
The thing is, there are reasons to believe dating is serious, and equally there are plenty of reasons to think it’s the most unimportant thing in the universe.
So provided you maintain a healthy balance, choose the side of it that is most advantageous. Taking dating very seriously won’t be beneficial to you, nor will it benefit any potential partner.
2. Try online dating
And if you have a profile already, try other ones as well. This helps you overcome the idea that dating should always happen in a certain way and follow certain rules.
There are many misconceptions about dating and relationships in general, and naturally dating apps aren’t immune.
Is it bad to have an online profile? Are dating apps for desperate people, or confident people? Are they a waste of time, or a precious resource? How many people actually use these apps?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Just do what you want. If you have been thinking about setting up a profile, go for it.
Worst case scenario: your curiosity will turn into a useful experience, so it won’t exactly be a waste of time. Best case scenario: one of those success stories you’ve heard of.
3. Prioritize other areas of your life
Do you have goals, hobbies, friends? Things you look forward to and work toward? Do you know what makes you happy, and do you actually do it?
Yes, dating can be an important part of one’s life, but you should always be whole and complete regardless.
Have you ever noticed that those with the happiest, most fulfilling relationships are those who don’t actually depend on that for their happiness?
If you tend to take dating very seriously, perhaps you should be focusing on other areas of your life first, and make them a priority.
And I think we would all agree that as much as having the right partner can change your life, that’s not the foundation of happiness, and it doesn’t pay the bills either (hope it doesn’t sound cynical).
4. Normalize normality
Social media, movies, stories of “true love” that are totally made up and in which the good bits are exaggerated and the bad bits mysteriously disappear.
These things are far from reality, and never actually reflect reality, yet somehow we like to idealize those things that trigger intense emotions, and dating is one of them.
But life (and love) isn’t a fairytale. Think of anything that is perfect and I guarantee that it doesn’t exist. It can only exist in your own thoughts.
Also, don’t compare yourself to others. A friend of yours seems to be luckier than you in this regard? Have they been blessed with the most amazing soulmate, and things are just smooth for them?
It’s their life, not yours. To stop taking dating seriously, you first have to let go of the idea of a perfect relationship or dating experience. Stop chasing and expecting what isn’t normal.
5. Abundance, not scarcity
I remember hearing an entrepreneur saying that the most dangerous number in business is one — one customer, one opportunity to scale, one exit plan, etc.
Guess what, it’s pretty much the same when it comes to dating. You want to be in a situation where there is abundance, not scarcity. That gives you more power and most importantly peace of mind.
An obvious example is where you live. Is it a lively city or a very small town where there isn’t much going on? Also, the amount of time you can dedicate to meeting potential partners.
If every date feels like it must be the right one, you’ll end up forcing things, and people will sense that.
Not to mention that most of the time scarcity is nothing more than our own perception of things — we believe potential dates are scarce when in reality we simply need to be a bit more proactive.
6. Know it’s a numbers game
I’ll say it one more time — stop looking at other people’s experiences because what you hear may be the exception and not the rule.
Specifically, don’t assume that you have been unlucky if all your recent dates have been nothing special, or not what you expected them to be.
The truth is that things take time, and much like in your career or personal development, there is often a phase where it seems nothing happens and you just have to go through it.
“Almost relationships”. Ghosting. Dating people who turn out to be psychopaths. Or who lie. Or who “breadcrumb”.
Yes, some of us are a bit more naive and seem to be drawn to all that, while others are wiser and luckier. But no one is completely immune.
7. Identify your biggest fears
Do you tend to take dating too seriously because deep inside you are afraid of the worst case scenario? Or anything that doesn’t match your idea of dating?
The easiest way to overcome such fears and limiting beliefs is to imagine they have already happened. Are they as bad as you think they are?
For example, if you are afraid of disappointment, really think of a scenario that matches your fear. Think of dating someone for a while then being disappointed.
Another example: vulnerability. Suppose a new relationship, or the process of finding one, makes you vulnerable. Even if it does happen, is it the end of the world?
The more you are afraid, the higher the chances of self sabotage — and the tendency to take dating too seriously rather than see it as it is.