Managing Expectations While Dating
The fact of dating means that you will have some expectations, hopes and anticipation. Those emotions are important because they help to put a lot of excitement into your dating experience. But they also have to be kept in check as they can also work to your disadvantage.
In dating, you will justifiably expect to spend time with the person and to be a part of their private world. In getting to know the person, in sharing information about yourself and in getting information about the individual, you have to be respectful of your date and give him or her personal space.
Personal space means that you give your date time to be alone, to do other things without you and to also be with others. It also means that you have to respect your date’s privacy and not seek any personal information that your date isn’t very forthcoming about revealing.
You also have to be careful and mindful about your expectations as they relate to your date’s time – how much you demand and how you infringe upon the person’s time. Again, dating undoubtedly means that you both will have to make time for each other. But you can’t expect the individual to always make seeing you and arranging dates their only, or even most important priority. There may be times when your date will have to give priority to other matters that won’t include scheduling dates. So long as those matters are reasonable and justified, you should understand, respect and support your date’s decision.
Another thing to be cautious about is expressing displeasure by showing negative emotions or becoming irate. It’s quite easy for this to happen if you have expectations that aren’t being met, or if you were disappointed about something. Before you display any negative emotion or voice a complaint, it’s best to ask your date to explain the reason for whatever happened. Even if it’s the total fault of your date, by seeking an explanation an not becoming angry, you would have shown great self-control and a lot of understanding. Those are attributes that will indicate to your date the extent to which you really care and want the dating relationship to move forward in a positive way.
If you are relatively happy with your date you may have the tendency to want to move things along very fast. But your expectation of how the relationship should be developing may differ from what your date expects. Consequently, in managing your expectation, you shouldn’t be too pushy. You will need to pace yourself and your date and go with the natural flow of your dating experience. If you act to try to affect the pace of the relationship, especially to speed things along, you could actually cause a negative effect to result, even though your intentions were positive.
In managing your expectations while dating, you also need to do to your date as you want done for you. That means you need to be thoughtful and considerate about what your date may want, or about what will be best for him or her. If you act only based on your expectation and what you think is best, you will again risk doing something that won’t necessarily please your date.
An important way to manage your expectations while dating is to evaluate the progress of the dates and of any bond you have developed. In doing so, you will need to assess what is working and what doesn’t produce the desired results. Those periodic evaluations will help you to determine the status of your dating relationship and also help you and your date to set common goals that you both can strive to achieve to meet your shared expectations.