Dating has been around forever. It’s evolved over the years from asking parents for permission to go out for a milkshake to swiping right on a dating app to indicate that you are interested. 

“Online dating is becoming an increasingly popular way to meet people,” explains Jay Shetty.

The University of Chicago funded a seven-year study on married couples who met on and offline. Marriage breakups were reported among 6% of couples who met online and 7.6% of offline couples. Online dating is now responsible for 22% of weddings.1 

For as long as dating has been around, so have dating issues. They too have evolved with the times, and it’s having an effect on many. According to a study by Pew Research Center, half of those surveyed agreed that it's harder to date now than it was 10 years ago. Sixty-seven percent said dating life wasn't going well.2

So what mistakes are we making that hinder us from finding that perfect partner? In this article, Jay Shetty unpacks eight mistakes we make in dating, and he reveals eight methods anyone can use to improve the process.

Waiting Too Long to Meet

So you met someone online. You’ve been chatting for a while, trying to figure out if you vibe with them or not. Jay Shetty suggests that you meet them in person as soon as possible to see if there’s a connection. 

“When you meet someone in person, you are going to figure out far quicker if there is chemistry, compatibility, understanding, connection, attraction, care, kindness and support, than If you don't spend time with them physically,” explains Jay Shetty. “It is very difficult to know what triggers them and how things affect them online.”

By meeting sooner rather than later, you can apply the three-date rule. The three-date rule is a technique that Jay Shetty encourages people to use when dating to help learn about and understand the person you are dating. 

“The idea is that even if you don't like someone after a first date, you still see them three times,” Jay Shetty explains. “It helps you understand and learn about them and helps them understand and learn about you. It helps you learn about yourself as well.” 

When you date, you are learning about that other person, but you are also learning to recognize your own likes and dislikes. This helps you narrow down what you might be looking for in another person. 

Swiping left on dating apps might mean you’re missing out on someone who could be right for you. It is essential to meet face-to-face so you can take some time to get to know that other person. Just because they do not initially seem like your type doesn’t mean there is no potential for them to become someone you want to spend time with.

Jay Shetty explains that our tastes change, our desires change, and our possibilities change with time. Don’t wait around for someone else to make a move. Jump on the opportunity to meet face to face sooner rather than later.

Obsessing Over Messages

Too often, we focus our energy on checking for that one message from that one person we want to message us back. We are attracted by those who reject us, and we obsess over why they haven’t responded. 

They may not even be your number one choice, but because you don’t get the response you are seeking, you obsess over it because you feel like you are missing out. They could be the one if they would just respond! 

Is waiting for that “one message” an indicator of lack of communication across the board? Not necessarily. The Pew Research Center study stated that 30% of single women said they get too many messages, while 45% said they get the correct number of messages. 

Why obsess over the one message you didn’t get? It is normal for people not to return messages. It’s important to remember there are plenty of people who will respond.

Giving Up Too Soon

Just because you put yourself out there doesn’t mean the responses will come rolling in right away. Too often, people fall into feeling like they are not attractive enough or interesting enough, that no one likes them, or that it will not work out. Keep trying. Don’t give up.

According to Jay Shetty, you need to be prepared not to receive the number of responses you think you should get. It is not considered a failure if you don’t hear from anyone in a specified period of time. 

“We just talked about how many women think they get too many messages,” Jay Shetty points out. “Don't see a lack of response as rejection. It is about recognizing that all you need is one person to respond.”

One way you can wade through the uncertainty of all the different dating applications is to become part of a site that has a fee to join. When you align with other people who are also paying to be there, you may have better results because they take it more seriously. 

“It's so important to make sure you're investing to attract people who also want to invest,” shares Jay Shetty. “When people pay, they turn up and they're more present than when it's free.”

Limiting By Your Type

We all have a type … or at least we think we do! 

When looking for someone to date, we compare those who cross our path to the mental checklist that contains all the things we think our type must possess. Do they have the right hair? Are they tall enough? Do they have the right body type? Can they sing or dance? Do they have a good job and prioritize family? 

We have a preconceived notion of what we want in a partner, but according to Jay Shetty, having a type can limit you from finding someone you might connect with.

“It's more normal for people to meet someone when they broaden their type,” explains Jay Shetty. “We turn people down based on the tiniest things. To really make it work, we have to be more curious, be more of an experimenter, and be open to possibilities.”

Dating used to be centered around people you were connected to in some way, like a friend of a friend or a colleague from work, but online dating has opened a new world of possibilities for finding love. 

“We're connected to so many more people from different backgrounds in different walks of life, which is a beautiful thing,” Jay Shetty shares. While there is some comfort in dating familiar people, comfort doesn't equate to compatibility or chemistry.

Not Being Present

Are you guilty of not giving your date your full attention? Say your date is running late or slips off to the restroom. Do you pull out your phone and start looking at the other messages you have received from other potential dates? This is a mistake because it indicates you’re not fully present at the moment.

Having Too Many Choices

It’s assumed that the more choices you have, the better the possibility of finding the perfect person.  But sometimes the idea that there are unlimited choices limits you in your pursuit to find that person. 

“We are made to believe that the more choice you have, the more freedom you have and the luckier you are,” expresses Jay Shetty. He references Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less in saying, “But the paradox of choice stipulates that when we think we have more options, it becomes easier. But it requires more effort to make a decision. That can lead us to feel a sense of anxiety, which can lead us to feel a sense of stress and pressure.”3

When you are juggling too many people simultaneously, you may be on a date with one while thinking about the next date or the previous one. You compare the person you are on the date with to the possibilities of the others that you are missing out on. There is no way for that person to compete with that. 

“If you're talking to someone, talk to them,” Shetty says. “If you're trying to date someone, date them. Don't keep trying to keep your options open. You will confuse and overwhelm yourself with the paradox of choice.”

Letting a Bad Experience Hold You Back

If you are in the dating world, you may have had a bad experience at one time or another. The negativity of this may be holding you back from getting back into the dating scene. 

You don’t have to continue to go through toxic treatment or abuse of any kind. Get yourself to a place in life that feels safe to rise above the negative experience, and when you feel ready, to take the plunge back to dating. There is someone great waiting for you.

Sharing Too Much Too Soon

If you feel comfortable with a date, there is a possibility that you may overshare. We have all heard not to say too much too soon, and that is true. You shouldn’t lay it all on the table on your first date, but not for fear of scaring them away. Build a level of intimacy and trust before you share personal details.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share anything though. One thing you should share is your priorities. 

“It's really important for you to say, ‘This is my priority for the growth I want to have in my life’ and list what they are,” explains Jay Shetty. “If you don't verbalize your priorities, you can end up misleading someone else as well as yourself. Your priorities may change, and that's a great thing to verbalize too.”

Using Too Many Dating Apps

The last mistake we make is trying to use too many apps all at the same time. 

Single men spend on average 58 seconds looking at each dating profile, while single women spend about 84 seconds on each profile. Now imagine if you are spending that amount of time across multiple apps. It reduces your chances of finding someone. 

“When you have too many dating apps, it’s hard to get into the rhythm of one app,” Jay Shetty shares. “You have way too many apps, one app annoys you or one app you don't like. And now you write off every app and miss a message from someone that you are interested in.” 

Now that you can identify nine common mistakes in dating and learn how to improve the process, you can implement them into your dating life and share them with your family and friends who are also seeking the right partner.

More From Jay Shetty

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on Jay Shetty ON “8 Mistakes We Make in Dating” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.

1 Cacioppo, John T., Stephanie Cacioppo, Gian C. Gonzaga, Elizabeth L. Ogburn, and Tyler J. VanderWeele. “Marital Satisfaction and Break-Ups Differ across on-Line and off-Line Meeting Venues.” PNAS. National Academy of Sciences, June 18, 2013. https://www.pnas.org/content/110/25/10135. 
2 Brown, Anna. “Americans' Views on Dating and Relationships.” Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project. Pew Research Center, October 2, 2020. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/08/20/nearly-half-of-u-s-adults-say-dating-has-gotten-harder-for-most-people-in-the-last-10-years/. 
3 Schwartz, Barry. The Paradox of Choice. New York: Harper Collins, 2004. 
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