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Are you sabotaging your love life? By Alpa Saujani

When you're single and searching for a partner, I don't believe that anyone sets off with an agenda to sabotage the opportunities that come their way. Yet often many people do, albeit unaware, sometimes through arrogance, or simply by picking up bad dating habits along the way:

Not making yourself available for a date/taking too long to set-up a date – what would be the outcome of a business that generated a new sales lead but then did not bother to follow-up, or took too long to close a deal? They would lose the business and the prospective client would find another supplier. This is no different when it comes to your dating life. When you're connecting with people through Asian Dating Events, or online dating sites, if you're taking too long to clear your diary for a date, or dragging out the process of arranging a date, it's highly likely that the other person will lose interest and move on. In these situations it's easy to blame the other person, or Asian Dating Services for not working, rather than accept that you reaped the crop of your seeds.

Treating a date like a job interview/business meeting – both men and women are guilty of this and I can tell you there will be no second date in sight! Most of us dislike job interviews at the best of time, why would anyone want to sit through a date where they are being grilled? Or made to feel that they are having to fight their corner in a boardroom meeting. Granted, no one wants to waste their time but you're never going to get to know the ‘real person' like this. You don't have to have all of the answers on a first date, or make a decision about whether they are the ‘one for you'. At this stage, the only thing you need to work out is whether you have enough in common, are they interesting & engaging enough that you would want to meet them again. Nothing more, nothing less.

Being unavailable, to appear more desirable – There's a fine line between the ‘chase' and outright game playing. Being calculated about your every move, waiting before responding to a text, email or ignoring calls can often backfire. As can only communicating via text or instant messaging. When you're serious about meeting someone, most people will move on quickly if the other person is not responsive in a timely manner. Rather than coming across as someone ‘cool', it's more likely to be interpreted as someone who is disinterested, playing games or simply too busy to have a relationship. It's also frustrating when the only form of communication is via messaging. If you're genuinely interested in someone, pick up the phone, communicate in a timely manner and build up some rapport & momentum! Otherwise you have no chance of getting a relationship off the ground.

Being over familiar – Constantly texting, or calling someone (especially in the middle of the night!) that you hardly know to the point where they stop responding is a sign that you have crossed a boundary. Sending messages with hugs, kisses, cute teddy bear photos etc is also a no no. Whilst you may be excited at the prospect of meeting or dating this person, they are still effectively a stranger and you will come across as a looney tune! It's inappropriate behaviour and highly unlikely to result in a future date, let alone a relationship.

My way, or no way – when it comes to date arrangements, both people need to work together to be flexible. If you're not prepared to travel into town/halfway, or make the effort to meet someone after work because it gets a little bit late it's not fair. Pulling out every excuse to ensure that it happens on your terms borders on being selfish. Would you want to date someone with this trait? By being arrogant and expecting people to travel to you, will result in you losing out, not them. Even if a date should take place, a lack of compromise from the outset, will cast doubts in the other person's mind about your ability to compromise in a relationship. Not to mention that your date will also inevitably start off on the back-foot .

Trying to catch someone out because someone else has wronged you – when you put yourself out there to meet someone and engage in a relationship, you also leave yourself open to getting hurt. This is part & parcel of the dating process. Whilst it is important to learn from the past, it's equally important not to judge the future by it. You should not assume that every man or women is going to be like your ex. Constantly looking for signs, or questioning and over analysing someone new, in an attempt to catch them out is unfair & unhealthy, not to mention probably exhausting. It's a red flag indicating that you ought to work out your trust issues before you can engage in a future healthy & loving relationship.

Going through the motions when your heart is not in it – the Asian dating game can be exhausting. Just as we all need time off work to recharge, sometimes we also need time off from dating. There is nothing wrong with this. It is much wiser and healthier to take time out when your heart is not in it than to go through the motions. You will not miss the boat, or be left on the shelf just because you decided to take a short break. Going on dates, or getting into a relationship when you're not in the right frame of mind, is a recipe for disaster.

These are just some of the ways in which people sabotage their opportunities in the Asian dating world. If you feel that you've not been getting your desired outcome in your dating life over the past few months, now is a good time as any to reflect, be honest and identify whether there is anything that you're doing that can potentially be ruining your opportunities. Please feel free to post any questions/thoughts below (you can do this anonymously). After all, none of us are perfect. Unless you become aware that it is broken, you cannot fix it and yield your desired outcome...

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Alpa, above is so true, when meeting people became hard work, I knew it was time to take a break, and do other things with our short life. Meeting people should be fun and not like a job , volunteer , spend time with family,learn meditation and yoga.

Meeting people is fun, and making people smile and happy is part of the process.

Dating should not be a business exchange, but a meeting of hearts !

Partnership is important but not the be all of life.
Great article Alpa and a subject that I think needs to be addressed. We're all putting ourselves out there to meet someone special, but despite all that effort and time and energy we put in, many of us can't quite get to the next stage and when it comes to the one on one follow-on date. Its as though the energy and effort runs out which is a shame. There are some really great guys and girls out there but when they exhibit some of the behaviours you mention above - its no wonder so many of us are left disappointed!  

Something I have noticed is that guys don't know where to take a girl on a first date.  I'm always amazed by men who leave it to you (the girl) to suggest somewhere.  It's not rocket science.  Pick a Starbucks if you're stuck!  The point I'm trying to make is that I am impressed when a man is forward and assertive about setting up a date with me. I'm not asking for fine dining at the most exclusive restaurants and expensive helicopter rides.  I'm talking about old-fashioned wooing here. A nice coffee shop, a lovely restaurant, a walk through a park... Far too often, I find that guys don't know where to go for a first date.  I'm not sure when romance left the building but we're talking about relationships here not business meetings, so come on guys buck up, watch an episode or two of the Millionaire Matchmaker, make an effort and plan our first date!  And if you can't be bothered, then that is fine too - just don't be surprised if we lose interest and move on!
I once went on a first date with a guy who made a lot of assumptions about the kind of person I am.  He spoke a lot about himself and all the things I would 'love' about him without actually talking to me and letting me engage in this one-sided conversation.  After this first painful 30 minute coffee date, he had pretty much mapped out our future together.  I couldn't get out of there fast enough!
In my experience I have found that a lot of women that I have contacted on online dating sites just don't make time quickly to meet for a date. I understand that when you are single you fill your diary with social engagements but seriously, do they really want to meet someone!


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