#294 - Are you setting the proper dating expectations up front?

communication dating relationships

Are you setting the proper expectations up front?
This is an interesting and important question. It applies to both the expectations you set for yourself and for others.

Let me share some examples with you. One big complaint I get from both men and women is about online dating.

You all complain about the lack of results, the lack of quality, or the overwhelm of online dating.

What are your expectations for online dating apps? Are you expecting to just jump on, scroll through a few profiles and then find your soul mate?

Is your expectation for everyone on any given dating sight to share your same morals and values?

Or, are you looking to connect with people that you wouldn’t normally meet in your day-to-day walk through life?

As I’ve said so many times, online dating apps are just tools. When you learn how to use them correctly and to set proper expectations of what the tool can and can’t do, you’ll have a much better user experience.

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It’s a matter of numbers.
You have to sort though a lot of profiles. You have to start a lot of conversations. You’ll even have to block some inappropriate users.

For every 10 conversations you start, you might get 2 or 3 that are worth moving to a telephone conversation.

From there 5 out of 10 might be worth meeting. Of the ones you meet, maybe 1 in 10 will be worth seeing more than a couple of times.

For some of you, your results will be better and for others they’ll be worse.

The point is that if your expectations aren’t right, you’ll be disappointed, frustrated, and burn out quickly. When this happens, you’ll say that online dating isn’t for you.

Setting expectations for yourself.
When you don’t correctly manage your expectations and those of the people you date, you’ll always be disappointed.

Think about what you’re expecting from dating and dating sites. To use a baseball analogy, are you expecting to hit a homerun every time you come up to bat?

Even the greatest baseball players in the world know this is an unrealistic expectation! They know they will connect with the ball no more than 25-30% of the time on average.

If you expect every person you talk to online or every date you have to lead to an extraordinary relationship, plan for a lot of disappointment.

On the other hand, if you expect to make a new friend, learn something new about someone, or learn something new about your likes and dislikes, you’ll be far more pleased with your dating results.

What about setting the expectations for others?
Before you go out with someone, have you properly set the expectations for the date?

Do they know what you expect and what to expect from you? Have you made it clear that there will be no sex on the first date, second date, etc.?

Have you told them how you like to be treated? Does he know that he should open doors for you? Does she know that you expect to pick up the tab on at least the first date or does she know you’re going Dutch?

For the record guys, if you don’t pick up the tab for the first date, you don’t deserve to see her again.

And then there’s what to wear on your date. Whoever plans the date needs to inform the other about proper attire. Sometimes it’s good to surprise your date with a fun activity that you’ll both enjoy.

Make sure you at least share what the proper attire will be for the evening. Showing up in casual attire for a formal event is going to be a big disappointment for everyone involved.

It’s important to share your expectations so all of this isn’t going to be a big surprise to your date. Don’t make this an ambush of unspoken expectations.

I also want to be clear that you don’t need to choreograph the whole date down to the Nth detail. Where’s the fun in that?

The expectations you need to set are general expectations. After that, have fun and enjoy your time together.

When you don’t set expectations up front you’re most likely going to end the date with the thoughts that he or she didn’t really live up to your standards.
I hope I’ve given you some food for thought to help you make healthier relationship decisions.

To learn more about how to focus on what you want, enhance your communication skills, and recognizing important signs of bad relationship, pick up a copy of my book, Dating Backward: A practical guide to dating and finding your soul mate. It’s available at and

For more personal guidance tailored to your specific needs, send me an email at [email protected] to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Have a great and blessed day!