On the one hand, bad dates do suck…
The anticipation of an upcoming date is often accompanied with the same nagging doubt: what if this goes just like last time? Or the unthinkable… what if it’s worse?
It’s not just a bad first date that can negatively affect our confidence when it comes to looking for a new partner either. Friction experienced in any past relationship can have us second-guessing whether we’re bound to repeat the same cycles over and over again, ending up back at square one, and alone.
The truth is that bad dates can be as important as good ones. While holding onto unpleasant emotions can be damaging, if you remember what went wrong, or more importantly what made the other person wrong for you, the chances are you’re now even closer to finding someone you like.
Think about the way you’ve dated…
Consider a time you found yourself starting to date someone exactly like your ex-partner, knowing that it already worked out badly once. Before you know it, you’re single again, chastising yourself for coming to the exact same outcome. Maybe there’s something important you’re ignoring about the way you made a decision before.
It may be an old cliché that you have to kiss a few frogs to find the handsome prince but according to the numbers, it’s true.
Now think about when you were bouncing between opposites. Perhaps one date was a quiet, cerebral type, then the next person you chose was an athlete, outgoing and tactile. Neither may have worked out and even though it feels that you’ve just met another person who is not for you, you now know a little more about the person you do want too because you’ve experienced more.
Taking your time is an advantage.
In the UK more people are single than ever before and the average age of a single person is getting older. Our expectations from life are different so it’s not surprising we’re becoming choosier in our romantic lives and rightly so. It may be an old cliché that you have to kiss a few frogs to find the handsome prince but according to the numbers, it’s true.
The Optimal Stopping Theory determines the right time to make a decision in order to gain the best result. Take recruitment for example, when you’ve seen 37% of applicants you know who you’re looking for to fill the position. The decisions you make early on (even bad ones) affect the ones you make later and when it comes to finding the right person Mathematician Dr Peter Todd suggests you should try at least a dozen partners before you start looking seriously.
There’s certainly something to be said for knowing what you want, and what you don’t want, because it’s definitely going to help you know where to start looking. So even though bad dates can leave us with reservations and nerves, they’re actually leading us a step further along the way to making well-judged, rewarding decisions about our love-lives.