Why dating isn’t always the answer

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Everyone has problems in life, some big and some small. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if only you were with that special someone your problems would be easier to manage or, better still, would disappear altogether. The bad news is that even people in happy fulfilling relationships have problems.

Dating isn’t a fix to problems and using it as such can actually make some situations worse. Here we look at cases where dating isn’t the best answer.

To resolve financial difficulties

The cost of living is rising every week and many people are struggling to meet their financial responsibilities. It is logical to think that if you had a partner you would be able to share many living costs such as the rent or mortgage and utility bills once you live together. The reality is that is takes months, sometimes years, for a relationship to move to a position where a couple has shared finances, this is not a quick fix solution.

Dating because of financial hardship can stop you from really getting to know someone because you will rush to move the relationship on. It may also mean that you start looking at matches in a mercenary way only considering those that are solvent or affluent. This is not the best way to judge someone’s character and even if you do manage to marry a millionaire the foundations for the relationship are likely to be very unstable.

If you are facing serious difficulties look into alternative ways of making ends meet like taking in a lodger or cutting back on overheads. If you can’t find solutions yourself it may be wise to seek professional advice from an agency specialising in debt management or can help you with day to day budgeting.

To please family and friends

If your family and friends are putting pressure on you to date it is better in the long run for you to resist the temptation to please them and wait until you feel completely ready to date again. If you have been through a divorce or bereavement it is doubly important that you come back to the dating scene in your own time rather than someone else’s. Dating too soon can damage your confidence in the long run and your heart won’t be fully in it if you are doing it for other people. That is not to say that a gently nudge in the right direction isn’t a good thing sometimes but in the end unless you are dating because you want to it is unlikely you will find the love you deserve.

To avoid problems

We all have problems and while dating can be a pleasant distraction for a while it is not a long term strategy. The most common types of problems people use dating to try and avoid are dissatisfaction with life, family tensions – particularly issues with an ex partner or parents – emotional problems and addiction issues. It is easy to see how dating can be a soothing balm if you are dealing with any of these issues but the fact is that the problems aren’t going to go away unless you address them directly. The temporary excitement of a new relationship can make people forget about deeper issues as their head is full of the joy of romance. Inevitably when the honeymoon period is over the problems usually resurface and you will have the added complication of someone else’s feelings to consider as you try to tackle them.

You will know when you are using dating as an avoidance tactic. Be brave and tackle your problems while you are single so that when you do start dating you are really emotionally available and have nothing to hide.

To replace a lost partner

It is painful to lose a significant relationship however it happens. For some people the pain is so intense they can’t bear it and they start dating again immediately in an attempt to fill the emptiness they feel inside. Rebound relationships rarely last because the pain of the loss hasn’t been dealt with. It is like a dentist filling a tooth without removing the decay – the pain will eventually return and may be worse than it was before.

However difficult it is to cope with the loss it is important that you work through it and come to a place of peace and acceptance before you start dating again. Talk to somebody, get professional help if you need to, but work it all now or it will come up again later.

If someone has hurt you dating for revenge is the very worst reason to get involved with somebody new. It is unfair to use someone in this way and the chances are you will both get hurt in the end.


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