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Dating these days can be a minefield. While there may be a clear path through, it sometimes feel like one incorrect misstep can lead to everything just blowing up in your face. If you have had some dates that could have gone better over the last few months, it could be just a bad stretch. Or, it could be that you are making serious dating mistakes without even knowing what you are doing. Here are a some of the biggest mistakes daters make, and the psychology behind them.

●      Game playing. This is one of the biggest mistakes people can make when dating someone new. Do what feels natural, but be careful not to come off as too desperate or needy. Game playing can range from how long they wait to call them, to even the proverbial "playing hard to get." No matter what form it takes, it is akin to manipulation, and is the exact opposite of the honesty it takes to lay a solid relationship foundation.

●      Reliving past failed relationships. You might feel that your last relationship's ending was not your fault, and you want to make sure the new person knows it. However, you could also give the appearance that you are hung up on your last relationship, and carrying a serious amount of baggage in to your new one.  It’s important to leave the ex in the past and recognize any sensitivities and pains you may have in order to ensure they don’t creep into your new relationship.

●      Lack of rational thinking. It is only normal that after a number of successful dates, to start thinking about where the relationship is headed.  If that involves writing your first name with his last name all over your notebook cover, you might not be in your right mind. That's okay, it is not your fault, it is the oxytocin, a powerful hormone that can cloud your judgment in the first three to six months of dating.  Remember that, and keep your head clear when assessing if this relationship is right for you.

●      Over analyzing and Obsessing too much. The devil might be in the details, but obsessing too much over small date missteps can be harmful.  Imagine you are on a date, and a joke does not go over well.  If you instantly start to worry you have ruined the date, you will start projecting anxiousness.  Anxiety can be a real turn-off for your date, so instead of freaking out about that failed punchline, move one and brush it off.  Call it out and laugh about it.  If the other person really likes you, they are not judging you on one little quip.

●      Failing to acknowledge red flags. Sometimes we think that another person is so right for us, we ignore red flags such as being stood up or them being funny about it when you call them out on it. These and other signs might indicate a bad fit.  Do not be afraid to be honest about the red flags you observe.

●      Compromising too much. Compromising many of your ideals to make a relationship work can also be a major dating misstep.  Finding common ground with your new interest can help form a strong relationship bond, but if you do it too often, you can also give the impression you are a doormat, which can end a relationship quickly.

Offer nothing less than you expect and accept nothing less than you deserve – F.F. Davis

Dating certainly can be a nerve-wracking experience in many ways.  Keeping your cool and your focus on your date is the best possible way to end the vicious cycle of dating mistakes you may have been making without even knowing it.

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