Are you a desperate dater? 7 signs to look out for



Desperation isn’t sexy. You’ve probably recognised it in some of the people you’ve dated, and you may have been guilty of it yourself before. When you’re under stress – whether it’s your first date in ages, or that you just really like this person – the over-wide grin and the ‘like me!’ tone can come all too easily.

But how do you know whether you’re just showing your interest, or you’re being that desperate figure? Here are seven signs – are you guilty of any of these?

Desperation means…always being available
You have a great time, but your date doesn’t call as soon as you’d like. You start to wonder if they like you, if they felt the same as you did about the date. Then suddenly, at 8pm a couple of days later they’re on the phone. ‘Hey, fancy some dinner tonight?’ The desperate dater in you says, ‘Yes! I’d love to! I can be out the house in 20 minutes!’

But, what does this really say about you? You could rationalise it by saying that you’re an adult, and that game playing just isn’t your thing. But at the same time, at the start of a relationship, your behaviour tells the other person how you like to be treated – and in this situation you’re telling them that you can be picked up and dropped at any time.

If your instant reaction is to say yes, bite your tongue and have the confidence instead to say, ‘I’d love to but I’m busy tonight, let’s do something at the weekend.’ If they’re interested they’ll be happy with your response, if not, they’re really not worth it.

Desperation means…clinging on for dear life
Human nature means that the more we fear losing something, the more we cling onto it, and dating is no exception. The desperate dater will fall into the mindset of thinking that they need to focus all their attention on one person, lest they slip through their fingers. They fear they’ll never find anyone else as good.

The desperate dater calls and texts constantly, and asks prying questions: ‘What were you up to last night? Why didn’t you answer my call? Who’s that woman on your Facebook profile?’ Rationally, we know the opposite is true – the tighter you cling onto someone, the more likely they are to pull away. Give the other person space to breathe and they’ll be naturally drawn to you.

Desperation means…needing constant status updates
Do you find yourself wanting to know if you’re dating, or serious, or boyfriend and girlfriend yet? The desperate dater needs to put a label on everything because it makes them feel more assured about their relationship. We liken it to a small child on a 2-hour car journey, constantly asking ‘Are we there yet?’ At best it’s annoying; at worst it pushes the other person away. Also, the other person may feel obliged to give an answer, which will just create a false sense of security before they eventually jump ship.

Desperation means…fishing for compliments
Desperate daters need to know they’re loved and constantly fish for compliments. A common tactic is self-deprecation, such as saying something like ‘I hate the way my hair looks’. At which point the other person has so say ‘No! It looks amazing!’

Their need for approval can come in many forms though, and it is simply exhausting for the other person. It’s possible that enough reassurance will make the desperate dater more confident and the compliment fishing will tail off – but not many people will take that chance.

Desperation means…forgetting friends
Who needs friends when you’ve got a loving partner? After all, if your relationship ends, you’ll be able to pick up with them where you left off, surely? Wrong. Putting effort into a relationship is one thing; putting your life on hold for it is another. In fact, it’s a bit weird. For starters, no one wants to feel like someone else’s happiness rests entirely on their shoulders.

Desperation means…lowering your standards
There is a difference between being realistic and lowering your standards so much that you’ll date anyone who’ll have you. It’s tempting, especially after a dry spell, to convince yourself that the next person you meet is your soul mate – even if they’re an unappreciative, unhygienic slob. The desperate dater forgets all the standards they previously had in place, and believes they can’t get any better than the lowest common denominator.

Desperation means…it’s ok to be treated like rubbish
You’ve become so desperate to be in a relationship that you’ll put up with any behaviour from your partner – sound familiar? If you find yourself excusing your partner’s behaviour to your friends, perhaps things aren’t as rosy as you’ve persuaded yourself. In this case, it’s time to take a long, hard look at things. You know deep down that your happiness is more important than a bad relationship; you just need to act upon it.

Portrait of the non-desperate dater
Taking into account the above, the non-desperate dater:

•    Is sometimes unavailable, as they’re busy with their own life
•    Enjoys space in a relationship
•    Doesn’t need constant reassurance – be it on the state of the relationship, or on their own appearance
•    Keeps friends and family as their priority
•    Maintains good standards for whoever they date
•    Doesn’t take bad treatment in their relationships

This ‘checklist’ might sound like we’re describing someone who’s tougher to date, but the fact is that they are much more likely to enter into happy, healthy relationships. If you’ve found yourself doing any of the things we’ve listed above, maybe it’s time to change your approach.

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