Dating Myth 1: You'll find that special someone when you least expect to.
You know this one. You've heard this from countless well-meaning aunts and old family friends when you complain about your love life. They touch your arm sweetly and say, "don't worry, honey! As soon as you stop looking…" And you want to return their gentle touch with something a little…less gentle.
Because, really, love doesn't come when you least expect. Just like any other opportunity, love doesn't usually fall in your lap. You have to work at finding the right person – you have to put yourself out there and work hard and make yourself vulnerable. It's all about being available – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
But while you shouldn't think that love will drop in your lap, I have to admit that there is one drop of truth in this silly myth. And what is it? That sometimes you'll find love in the places (or with the people) you least expect. So keep an eye out.
Dating Myth 2: When you meet "the one," you'll know.
When you meet the man or woman of your dreams, something deep down will tell you. Things will click in an amazing, never-experienced-before way, and when you look in their eyes, you'll see eternity. Or your soul. Or some other cheesy noun.
Can you tell I have some scorn for this particular dating myth? I do – I think this one is a load of…well…something not very nice-smelling. It's raised so many daters' expectations to outrageous levels that it's made finding "the one" nearly impossible. At least, for those who find themselves believing it.
The truth is, finding the right person for you can be a lot of work. And it can take a loooong time before you even begin to realize that somebody you're dating might be right for you. So while it's important to listen to your gut, don't let that "he's The One" instant chemistry get the best of you. If when he (or she) touches your hand and looks into your eyes, your stomach flips over and you want to rip your clothes off, well…that's just physical attraction. It's not a soul-to-soul connection.
Dating Myth 3: You should never settle in love.
At the risk of sounding much too practical to be a romantic, I'm going to say it: sometimes it's okay to settle. Especially if, as happens with many of us, what you're looking for just doesn't exist.
Many of us are super picky when it comes to who we have a relationship with. If after one date you don't see that your date likes the same books you do, is interested in the same cultures as you, and shares your exact sense of humor, you mentally discard them as unsuitable. You don't want to settle, and you're doing yourself a favor by tossing that not-quite-right fish back into the sea. After all, you don't want to end up in a pointless, fruitless relationship, right?
The truth is, everything in life is give and take. And almost no choice we make is the perfect one – there are always compromises. If you try to maintain a rigid "only this and nothing else" mindset when it comes to love, you're setting yourself up to be alone. Because here's a news flash: that perfect person probably doesn't exist. And by not allowing anybody else a chance, you're missing out on a lot of potential partners who could be great for you – even if they're not perfect.