Are you ‘charity’ dating?
Being big-hearted is great, but going on dates simply because you want to be nice is not. Here are match.com’s ten warnings you might be ‘charity’ dating.
1. You try to make a mate into a date
Moving a friendship to a relationship can sound tempting- you already get on well as mates, why wouldn’t you get on well as dates too? Trouble is reality isn’t always as you hope. However much you or your buddy want to think otherwise, sometimes people are best suited just as friends. Be wary of trying to magic a friendship into something it shouldn’t be – liking someone is different to loving them.
2. You want to be nice
Kind-hearted acts are great when you’re volunteering at a charity or organising the annual office cake sale. They are obviously also great when you’re dating someone you really care about too. But that’s the crucial thing – you have to really care about them. If you’re only dating someone because you think it’d be nice to make them feel happy, then step back and remember the old mantra: ‘Sometimes you’ve got to be cruel to be kind.’
3. You feel you owe someone
If a friend set you up with someone because ‘you’d be the perfect match’, you might be feeling a little duty-bound to give your date another shot. While your loyalty to your chum is admirable, cosying up to someone you don’t like simply to be polite is not. Firmly say ‘thanks but no thanks’ to your date and your friend, then move on before you waste everyone’s time.
4. You mistake feeling bored for feeling comfortable
Normally before a date you spend hours preening and picking the perfect place to meet. Not with this one. You rock up in clobber you’d normally only let your sofa see and suggest dining out at the local chicken takeaway shop. It’s great to feel comfortable with someone, but there’s a line between being relaxed, and being totally disinterested.
5. You want to be a shoulder to cry on
Forget your date impressing you with how great they are, they’ve done nothing but whimper about how tough their life is. As a result, you feel emotionally drained, but also guilty – would dumping them spark even more despair? It’s sweet of you to care, but it’s also unnecessary. You’ve only met this person a handful of times and it’s not your job to buoy them up.
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6. You fall for their sob stories
Every time you start to mention you’re not interested, your date flings out the sympathy card, saying their cat just died, their boss is mean or their boiler just broke. Basically, they know you’re a nice person and that each ‘disaster’ will turn on your sympathy sensors, making you back-track on ending things. It’s hard to ignore your inner call to support someone in need, but don’t let their clever sob-story game make you feel trapped.
7. You want to avoid confrontation
Confrontation has never been your thing, so you’d rather pretend everything is fine than tell someone you’re not happy and risk a row. Remember how someone else deals with bad news is their problem though, not yours. As long as you’re firm, fair and true to yourself, there’s no need to feel like the bad guy.
8. You want to fill up your diary
Your diary is looking pretty barren at the moment, so you decide to fill the blank pages with some dates – any dates that ask, in fact. Of course, it’s good to be open to meeting new people, but be careful you don’t say yes to any offer that comes your way simply because you’re afraid of being lonely.
9. You’re looking back
Perhaps you know your date has liked you for ages, or perhaps you even dated a few years back then bumped into each other again. It’s easy to get caught up with the idea of ‘fate’, thinking that if you have a nice back-story with someone it must mean you’ll have a nice future-story too. Make sure you take a step back and are keen on the actual person, not just the idea of them.
10. Your friends say ‘you need someone nice’
Perhaps you’ve been through a tricky break-up or you’ve had a run of nasty dates and you’re feeling a bit battered and bruised. Your friends instinctively tell you ‘maybe you just need to date someone nice for a while.’ They have a point- nice is good. But be cautious of dating someone just because you think they’re some sort of safety-net. As soon as your confidence comes back, you’ll be wanting a more exciting catch.
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