Let Go of These Common Dating Misconceptions to Have More Fun

Published on February 14, 2022

Beautiful lesbian couple using a mobile in the street

Let’s face it: dating in 2022 can be rough. Not only do we have a pandemic to contend with, but the online world has made things even more challenging. There may be dating misconceptions keeping you from having fun and finding love. Find out what they are and how to let them go.

Dating Apps Have Changed How We Connect

Happy young couple having date and eating ice cream

Although apps like Tinder, Hinge and Bumble have made it easier than ever to meet new people, they have also fundamentally altered the way we connect with one other and given commitment-phobes a pass to disappear without notice. Whether you’re looking for a relationship or just a fun night out with someone new, there are a few common beliefs you may want to let go of to make your experience more enjoyable.

Dating coach and former professional matchmaker, Lee-Anne Galloway, helped to clear up some of the most common dating misconceptions that could be holding you back:

Dating Misconception #1: It’s Hard to Meet People IRL

Romantic couple dating in pub at night

Although online dating has become one of the main avenues for connecting with other people on a romantic basis today, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to meet people in real life, too. It’s all about changing your mindset and being open to meeting potential love interests everywhere.

Galloway theorizes that we meet people in places that fall into four different categories or “levels.”

Level 1: Coffee Shops or Grocery Stores

She recommends staying open to meeting someone in everyday places like coffee shops or grocery stores, which she would classify as level one places.

“I tell people, don’t discount level one places like Starbucks or the grocery store because those might be some of those places where you’re going to see someone who’s of interest,” she says. “There’s no harm in saying, ‘Hello, how are you doing?’ ‘What did u order today?’ It’s definitely a place to meet people.”

Level 2 and 3: Singles Events and Physical Activities

Singles events like mixers or speed dating evenings can be classified as level two places, while physical activities like paddle boarding, a running group or outdoor yoga would fall into level three.

Finally, Galloway noted that level four situations — places or events that bring people together based on their values or a cause that’s important to them, such as a church group, a volunteer afternoon, or a Black Lives Matter march, can be some of the best places to meet a romantic partner because you can be sure you’re aligned on politics, religion or whatever matters most to you.

Level 4: Events That Bring People Together Based on Their Values 

Galloway previously predicted for toast that a top dating trend for 2022 is political and social ideologies playing an even stronger role in the dating game. More than ever, people will be seeking out situations that enable them to meet other like-minded singles who share similar values and beliefs about life.

“Level four is community stuff like Black Lives Matter, or maybe you’re passionate about the liberal party, anywhere you’re going to connect on that level,” she says. “More than likely, level four places are where you’ll meet the best people for you.”

Dating Misconception #2: Texting First Will Make You Look Eager

Two happy women friends playing and sharing social media in a smart phone.

If you’ve ever seen the dating advice of “if he wanted to, he would” floating around TikTok, you’ll know that for some people, the idea of waiting for the guy to call you first didn’t die with the 1950s. However, it’s 2022, and Galloway says waiting for the guy to text first has become passé.

“As far as who texts first, it doesn’t exist anymore — that’s not a thing,” she says. “You can message anybody at any time, whenever you want to. Now, being reasonable with that, how much you’re texting and how much you’re leaving for date conversations. But generally, there are no rules, especially because gender is becoming fluid, many people are shifting and being more open to other genders, and those rules set around gender don’t really apply anymore.”

She encourages her clients to reach out to their love interest if they feel pulled to, but to always stay respectful, maintain strong boundaries and avoid oversharing too early.

Dating Misconception #3: Ghosting Should Be Taken Personally

Halloween cute white ghost with black eyes wave his hand on orange background.

Although the term “ghosting” has blown up online in recent years, Galloway suggests that people may be using it a little too freely. She notes that if you’ve been chatting casually with someone online and they stop responding, that’s not true ghosting — someone you haven’t met in person doesn’t owe you anything, she says, and you can’t assume to know what’s going on in their life.

What Is True Ghosting in Texting?

However, if you’ve gone on a few dates with someone, you felt a connection, and then the person disappears completely without a trace, that can be classified as ghosting, according to Galloway.

“True ghosting is unacceptable. What has made that a thing is cellphones because we don’t have to call and go to somebody’s door and explain, so that accountability is gone,” she says. “I always suggest that if you’ve been dating somebody but you’re not really feeling it, call or text them, offer some kind of explanation, share something nice that you’ve learned about them, but you never want to blame it on the other person to be sensitive to their mental health.”

How Do You Respond to Ghosting?

So, what do you do when you’ve been ghosted? Galloway recommends trying to be as objective as possible (which isn’t always easy), and to be sure that you have other things going on in your life besides dating so it won’t be such a crushing blow if you do get ghosted. Adopt the mindset of trying to determine if the person is right for you, not the other way around.

“The more we focus inwards, the more we can easily spiral,” she says. “Perspective helps. You’re there to be curious about them and find out about them. Is it disappointing? Yes, 100%. But dating is one piece of the pie in our life, and as long as we continue to work on all pieces of the pie, it won’t take over.”

Dating Misconception #4: If It’s Not Love at First Sight, Then They’re Not the One

Young attractive cheerful couple on date in coffee shop

Another one of the common dating misconceptions is that there needs to be an instant spark or else the relationship isn’t worth pursuing further. However, Galloway suggests that a spark isn’t always the best indicator of long-term relationship success, and you may need to give the person a few more chances for chemistry to grow.

“Chemistry can grow and it’s not usually instant — if it is instant, it will likely fade overtime,” she says. “My philosophy is that as long as there are no major red flags, you had an okay to even better time on the first date, then go out again. If you’re on the fence, 100% go out again. You should be able to assess in five dates, including the first date, whether you want to date someone.”

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.