Dating and Decisions

July 2, 2018 / BY Kristin Fry

When it comes to dating apps, I’ve noticed a reoccurring sentiment from women, typically after the date or the relationship goes south. It goes something like this: Why are the men I get involved with always…[fill in the blank]? One time hearing this and I’ll let it pass. Two times I may even let it slide. But if I hear you saying this three, four, or five times, we’re going to have a problem.

And that problem is not him. It’s you.

Ok well, it is his problem if he doesn’t have his life together, but it’s more your problem if you keep choosing to be with men like that. Have you ever considered you may be the common denominator?

It’s interesting how we can make conscious decisions about less consequential things, but when it comes to dating and relationships, we tend to respond in the moment. We agonize over noncritical decisions like buying the yellow or blue top, or which restaurant to go to for dinner. In many cases of dating, however, we often don’t even recognize that it’s a decision; we just react.

You may open your app and see the notification that you’ve been matched with not one but two very attractive guys. Who wouldn’t be excited about that? Better yet, they seem normal. Impulses springing into action, it never even crosses your mind that you should consider something else outside of what you’re seeing on your screen. In the moment, your next move feels like a no-brainer. Do whatever you need to do to communicate acceptance and figure out when and where you’ll connect.

We’ve all had our share of disappointing matches to the point of being tempted to poke ourselves in the eyes if we get just one more letdown. It’s no wonder we want to immediately act when a good one comes through.

But if we don’t make some crucial pre-decisions before saying yes to the second, third, or fourth date, we’ll find ourselves on dates, and maybe even in relationships, that we don’t want to be in.

Put it another way, unshared expectations are predetermined disappointments.

What does this mean? Decide what’s important to you now in a relationship and don’t compromise. But easier said than done, I know. When you’ve swiped through hundreds of men, it will be tempting to be overly excited at the sole semi-good one that comes through.

But, do not allow your loneliness to lower your standards. It will rarely be worth it and you’ll usually regret it.

So, what does all of this mean for you? If it’s important to you, or more specifically, a non-negotiable for you, then pre-decide on the front end and don’t say yes to men to who don’t meet your standards.

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If you don’t make the decision on the front end, you will inevitably find yourself in the same situation with the same type of guy over and over again. Have you ever heard the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. I want to spare you from that.

When we’re trying to make healthy pre-decisions about our dating lives, sometimes we confuse what we want in the short term with what’s most important to us ultimately. For example, as girls, we naturally want to be loved, honored, and adored. Every girl wants to feel beautiful, and we often look to men to affirm that in us. We love getting attention from guys because it makes us feel important, valuable, and wanted. Dating apps can provide these things. And let me add, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be loved and for someone to think we’re beautiful and important.

But the potential is there for dating apps to tempt us to compromise our long-term goals for temporary gratification. In other words, we may want long-term companionship, but we will go out with a guy we wouldn’t otherwise be interested in, merely because he showed interest in us and because we’re feeling lonely. This is completely understandable, so if you have found yourself in this position, it’s okay. Pick yourself back up and try again. It’s never too late to start fresh.

The point is this: I don’t want you to confuse a natural desire for long-term companionship with a need for instant satisfaction.

When you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to say no to the guys that won’t be a great match for you. Let’s just all spare ourselves from the aftermath and comments from our girlfriends that go something like this: “Why would you even think to go out with a guy like that?”

Let’s get dating!

If you want to read more about navigating the single life in today’s modern culture, you can order Beyond The Swipe here. 


This post originally appeared on Kristin’s blog here. Used by permission.

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Kristin Fry is an author and speaker on topics of leadership, relationships, and emotional health. In her book, Beyond the Swipe, she addresses dating in the digital age, instilling confidence and hope in those who are wanting to date well. She has been a staff member at the nation’s largest churches and Christian Universities, and currently lives in Atlanta, GA. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, or kristinfry.com

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