Why unrealistic expectations can hold you back in dating

Having been a matchmaker and a coach for more than 30 years, it has pained me to have clients come back to me saying that they realise they let the perfect person slip through the net due to superficial reasons. Often it is because they see people like commodities and discard them without investing the time and energy to really get to know them. The reason they don’t invest further in this person is because they feel that they don’t match their unrealistic and often long list of expectations. Old patterns and fears hold people back from something magical because they get stuck in a trap of thinking they know who they want, and who they don’t want. If they had an open mind and met people based on aligned values, life aspirations, and beliefs, they would have a much better dating experience.  

It may be hard to recognise that you’re falling into the expectations trap, so I’m going to ask you a few questions: 

  • Do you wonder where you went wrong in past relationships, and are you concerned about repeating these mistakes? 
  • Do you feel someone better will always come along and dismiss good people, hoping for someone who ticks all your boxes? 
  • Do your expectations, wants, wishes and desires make you dismiss people quickly? 
  • Do you find yourself finding faults and reasons why you should not date someone or see them again? 
  • Do you go on dates and like the person, but still not give them a chance? 
  • Are you chasing a unicorn, someone who doesn’t exist? Do you try to make even the wrong person work for you? 
  • Do you procrastinate over agreeing to go on dates or seeing somebody again?  

So how many resonated with you and your dating journey?  The more honest you are the better! 

If you are looking for superficial qualities in a partner, such as a specific height, type of job, income bracket, dress size, geographical location, fitness level and so on, then you are caught in a trap that will keep you single or dating the wrong people. You are basing your tick box on a recipe for disaster, not a long-term loving, healthy relationship. The emotional space is key to recognising the right person when you meet them. Start looking for aligned values when it comes to family and work ethics. Are you both wanting a family? Are you invested in your current family and both open to creating a healthy blended family together? Do you both share the same beliefs on raising children, or even have the same wants, wishes and desires for retirement?  Your aligned values and aspirations for the future are the key to creating the right life together. Shared dreams become a joint reality. 

Clients who work with me get to unravel the expectations trap that keeps them single as well as building confidence to date authentically. I help clients identify the patterns, fears and unhealthy beliefs that are keeping them single and work with them to unlock these. Firstly, we fact-find and discover what is holding them back, then we start implementing the tools to create new healthier ways to date, and finally when clients are dating, we ensure the tools are embedded for long-term success. I have had so many successful happy clients who are all in relationships that they would never have had the confidence to recognise as the right person for them.  This is the best part of my job, watching clients reach those “a-ha” moments and finding the right love that goes above and beyond any tick box! 

At Ignite Dating, your dedicated matchmaker is with you every step of the way, working closely with you to understand the characteristics and values that are important to you. Our experienced matchmaking team brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to make your dating journey as streamlined and enjoyable as possible. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you! 


Does getting back together with an ex ever work?

Anybody who has been through a painful breakup knows it can often be hard to imagine what the future looks like without their ex in it. Though it may seem impossible in the aftermath of a breakup, there becomes a time – eventually – that this particular relationship fades into the past. For some people though, the past does not stay in the past and they rekindle a romance with an ex-partner. But does it ever work if you get back together with an ex? After all, there’s a reason you broke up in the first place, so it may feel like wishful thinking that everything will be ironed out if you try again. However, there are plenty of couples who have made it work the second time around – research suggests the amount of couples who break up and get back together is as much as 50%

Why people give it another shot 

For some single people, it just may feel easier to get back together with an ex rather than putting themselves out there in the dating world. This person feels very familiar, and you don’t need to go through the effort of getting to know somebody from scratch if you pick things up with an ex again. They may feel lonely without the person who, once upon a time, felt so perfect for them, and they are prepared to try again. For others, they have a niggling gut feeling there is still something between themselves and their ex-partner and it was a mistake for things to end when they did. They may have lingering feelings for this person they can’t just ignore. 

But what do you need to consider if you think the relationship might have a chance of working the second time around? We’ve shared our top tips below. 

Are you genuinely wanting to rekindle things?

It’s natural to miss an ex after you’ve broken up but don’t take this as a sign that supposed to be together. You may also be viewing the former relationship with rose-tinted spectacles, so you need to be honest with yourself about your motives for wanting to get back together. This includes not overanalysing what it means if you’re missing their presence in your life. You decision must be the best thing for you, so be sure you are doing it for the right reasons, and you aren’t just idealising what you had together. It’s even possible to be swayed by other people in your life that love your ex and miss you being a couple. 

Have you decided what has changed?

You need to decide what’s changed to make things different this time, otherwise you risk history repeating itself once the initial excitement has worn off. Have a careful think about what went wrong in the first place, making sure you can understand why the relationship did not work. Consider whether you’ve worked through the issues and reasons behind the break-up. You both may well have matured in the time you’ve spent apart as well as invested time in personal growth, which may help the new relationship succeed. You both need to be willing to put in the work to address what happened the first time around and be able to rebuild trust in each other. Then you must ensure you are leaving the past in the past, by making sure you don’t open old wounds in the heat of an argument. 

Distance can give you a fresh perspective

A long stretch of time can mean your circumstances have changed or you’ve had a change in priorities and life goals, which may make you more compatible than the first time around.  Your break-up may have just been down to bad timing if your goals did not align at the time. It’s possible you are both much more on the same page about what you want out of life now.

Spend some time together

If you are adamant you want to give it a try, spend some time together, seeing if you connect. Go back to the dating stages and get to know each other again, rather than expecting everything to be the same as before. Don’t be afraid to take things slow, giving you plenty of space to assess how things are going. Trust your gut feeling and watch out for red flags that suggest nothing has really changed this time around. And remember – people don’t change that much, so if there were old habits and routines than felt like dealbreakers at the time – they are likely to crop up again.

If you are frustrated with dates that just fizzle out and go nowhere, get a helping hand with finding your perfect partner by teaming up with the experts at Ignite Dating. We understand the kind of person you’ll really share a connection with, and we can’t wait to introduce you to them! Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you with a stress-free and enjoyable search for love.