Couple head over heels

How to not lose your head when dating

by Eharmony Editorial Team - July 20, 2016

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you meet someone great, but it’s always worth taking a step back and keeping your head in the game. Laura Yates explains why

Falling for someone is an amazing feeling – especially if you’ve been a long time for it to happen! However, it can often catch us unaware. You’ve been chatting to someone online and not thought too much about it and then you arrange the date, turn up and get completely swept off your feet, totally unexpectedly.

Or it’s easy to fall into the other camp, where we pin our hopes and dreams on every single date, imagining the wedding, the cake, the dress and the guest list, only be repeatedly disappointed when an ‘amazing’ date doesn’t make it past the ‘great to meet you too, glad you got home okay’ text.

It can be so easy to completely lose our heads when dating. My tendency has always been a bit all or nothing. It takes a certain someone to really catch my attention (and every time it’s been a completely different ‘type’ of someone) but when they do, I’m all in!

So, there are a few things I’ve learned about being open to meeting someone, allowing yourself to go with the flow and enjoying that feeling, while simultaneously keeping your head (and dignity!)

If you really like someone, still date other people
With the sheer number of people dating these days, until you’ve both discussed being exclusive (I know, it sounds so cliché), you should assume that the person you’re dating is also still dating other people. And that’s what you should be doing too. Putting all your eggs in one basket, and placing so much emphasis and emotional energy onto that one person can leave you disheartened if it doesn’t work out, and closed off to other people who might be great for you. By being open to dating other people, you cultivate an abundance mindset and it helps offer perspective.

Don’t put your absolute heart and soul into dating
Dating is one part of your life but try to avoid making it the only part. Make time to date, of course – you certainly have to commit to it – but it’s so important that you still engage in the things that make you happy and the things that make you feel like you in your everyday life. Friends, hobbies, passions and projects are all important. Don’t put them on the back burner in hot pursuit of finding ‘the One.’ The more you have going on, the better your dating life will be anyway!

Take a ‘one foot in, one foot out’ approach
Maybe you’re two or three dates in and you’ve been totally bowled over by how fantastic this person seems. At this point, it can be so easy to fall head over heels, idolise the person and lose all sense of logic and perspective. Now, I’m definitely not saying it’s about hurtling to the other end of the scale and becoming cynical or sceptical, but taking the one foot in, one foot out approach allows you to go with and enjoy the feeling but also pay attention to your intuition and look out for any red flags. We can let go of our boundaries so easily when we really like someone so quickly, but being aware can help you set the tone for the potential relationship as you move forward.

As I say, this definitely doesn’t mean you need to cautious of everyone you meet and take a cynical approach to avoid potential heartbreak. Instead, allow yourself to enjoy the experience while staying mindful – it’s all about striking a healthy balance.