When you are dating, friends and family mean well. They recommend someone they know because they think they are ‘perfect’ for you and that you should definitely go on a date with them. And we often go along with these recommendations because your friends and family know you, so their matches should be better than a random dating app, right? But sometimes, these recommendations can backfire – so how do you know that you and the ‘perfect person’ just aren’t right for each other?
The number one reason that the perfect date didn’t work out is usually a lack of chemistry. Okay, it is hard to define but there’s this something that happens when you meet someone. If that something isn’t there when you go on the date, this is a bad sign. Doesn’t matter that your mum/sister/best friend says this person is the perfect match for you, if there’s no spark then there’s no reason to carry on dating. Don’t be afraid to follow that instinct and use it to make a decision about a second date.
Life would be boring if we all thought the same, had the same goals and ideas and did the same things in life. But for someone you are going to spend potentially the rest of your life with, you do want some common ground. There are the big issues like having kids, having a career, even approaches to money – if you are too far apart on these, this might indicate a compatibility problem.
The issue can be more subtle too. You may chat about sex and how you like to have fun with Sex Toys for Her or him while your date may be horrified at the idea of anything involving sex toys. They might talk about how their friends will always be their priority even over a partner – this is another sign of problems if you don’t feel the same.
Similarly, values are things that you need to find shared ground on. Sure, relationships are about compromise and you often need to change yourself to make it work, as does your partner. But there are some things that are your core values and beliefs that can be extremely incompatible with others.
Classic example – you are a dedicated vegan who is very environmentally conscious and wants to live in a small home with low carbon footprint. Your date loves his big, gas guzzling vehicles, doesn’t care about what it does to the environment and wants a massive house where he can have his own meat refrigerator. Sure, there is always room for compromise and changing ideas, but these are very different core values. And this is something a gap that cannot be bridged.
Sometimes it isn’t even about dating – sometimes you just don’t like someone. There’s no real way to predict how we react to someone and this is why dating recommendations from close friends and family can still go wrong. There’s this intangible something, a bit like chemistry, that comes when we meet someone. For some of us, it is an instant reaction that we have – we like or dislike someone.
Other times, it comes on over the course of the date. There are little things the person says or does that just puts you off. You realise that you don’t like certain things about them or the way they talk about stuff. It isn’t easy to quantify but it is usually a reliable instinct. You can try to overcome it but once you take a dislike to someone, it is usually final.