Love Lesson #16 – The #1 Mistake Most Women Make When Dating

As most of you know I’m a researcher in the science of love, but I’m also a Love Coach. I’ve worked with hundreds of women and a few men over the last several years to help them find love. From that experience, I’ve learned the #1 mistake most women make when it comes to dating and finding love. Now, I’m going to tell you want it is and it may not sound very scientific, but there happens to be a very important scientific principle behind it.

Are you ready? The #1 mistake women make when it comes to dating is being to being too picky or not picky enough. Now this may sound confusing. On one hand I’m saying you’re too selective then on the other I’m saying you are not being selective enough.

What happens is that many women will go out looking for the feeling, the buzz, the chemistry. Which is important, but you can get that feeling with many people. Just because you get a tingle it doesn’t mean he’s “the One.” It just means you are attracted and you need to investigate more. The problem is some women take this as a signal and jump head long into a relationship with the wrong person. Later on she will admit that he really wasn’t a good choice for her. Maybe he was a merchant marine and she wanted someone who came home at night. Or maybe she wanted kids and he didn’t. Whatever the issue the relationship would end with a frustrating impasse that could have been avoided if she just was a little more selective.

The other issue, is being too picky. She will create wish list that is almost impossible to obtain. But instead of being created out of healthy self-esteem, her list is often the manifestation of her fears. She is afraid to get involved again so she creates a list that is insurmountable. I’ve seen crazy requirements of these lists. For example, I had a women in her fifties say that he must want kids, even though her ability to have them is pretty much over. Or she may have earning requirements that limits her to the top 1%. Wanting someone who makes a healthy living is okay, but if the only people you are willing to date are on the Forbes 100 list, you requirements may be a tad to restrictive.

So, how can you avoid making this mistake? Simple create a list. But it’s a very specific list. You start by brainstorming all the thinks you want in a relationship. No matter how crazy they might sound. If you want a man that plays the French horn, write it down. If you want an artist, a poet, or a biker, write them all down. Next, take your list and pick out the top 5 must haves. Your top five will be different than mine. Maybe it is must like dogs. Or must be bilingual or have a quirky sense of humor. Whatever are the 5 most important things on the list for you are pull them out.

Next, you are going to write down your 5 deal breakers. Those are those things that you can’t live with. For example, my deal breaker was drugs. I was dating a guy I really like but one day he showed up for a date and I detected the smell of pot. I ended the relationship. Although by body was saying “yes.” Based on my list, my head said “no.”

This is why making the list before you start to date is so important. When we are attracted to someone our body produces norephinephrine. Its part of your stress response. And that’s the problem. When you feel stress, you brain naturally pulls the activity from the thinking part of your brain and moves it to the more primitive survival part of your brain. So you walk into a date, with this idea of what you want in your life and but then you find someone you are attracted too and that idea flies out the window. Next thing you know you are saying, “I know he’s not exactly what I want, but he’s so cute.” You start making excuses and compromises. And when you divorce a couple years later, you sheepishly admit he you knew he wasn’t right for you from the start.

By creating the list well in advance you allow the thinking part of your brain to come back and shut down that physical attraction response if it needs too.

Now you have the opposite problem if your list is too long. You may never find yourself attracted to anyone because your brain will not allow it. It’s constantly vetoing and attraction with, “yeah but.” You see the perfect man for you online, he cute, successful and just emailed you. You look at his profile and although he has everything you want, you notice that he went to Rutgers University. Your cousin dated a guy once who went to Rutger’s and he turned out to be a jerk, so you don’t want to take a chance. You can find any crazy excuse to avoid dating, something as trivial like a gaped tooth or a misspelled word in the email and you say no way. Your brain shuts down any attraction, leaving you complaining that there are no good men out there anymore.

So if you are serious about finding love. Start with your list, the 5 must haves and 5 deal breakers. Then go have fun. Having fun can be almost as important as the list. Why? Because he has his on list and someone who is fun to be with is probably on top.

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