Why men aren’t like frogs, and dating isn’t a numbers game

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By Jenni Trent Hughes. Relationship Expert at eHarmony.co.uk

There are so many myths out there about love and dating that when I talk to both singles and couples, I’m always amazed by the power these old sayings wield over us. A phrase that’s been passed on by a parent or trusted friend is often taken as gospel. And the one such myth I hear trotted out the most is that you have to kiss a rather depressing amount of frogs before you find a prince.

We’re certainly lucky to live in a world full of options. From takeaway coffee to sandwiches or TV channels, we’re so spoilt for choice it’s easy to think quantity is a good thing when it comes to dating too. That there’s a cornucopia of men out there, and if we dine out with enough of them we’ll hit upon that perfect needle in the haystack.

But as Plato very wisely said: “a good decision is based on knowledge, not on numbers”. If we know a bit about what we’re looking for then we won’t waste lots of time and energy on those so-called frogs. Here are my thoughts on dating myths I think are at best a bit silly and at worse damaging to our self-esteem and chance of finding real love:

“You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince”. The majority of women I meet with that attitude tend to wander the streets aimlessly kissing a heck of a lot of undesirables.  In many instances their frogs turn into lizards but almost never a prince. A prince is born a prince; he is not born a frog. So make sure you kiss princes with potential, not frogs, and if a frog should come along disguised as a prince, then learn from the experience ready for the next time.

“Dating is just a numbers game…”

Numbers games rely on chance. Would that then mean that finding love should be compared to roulette or poker? I think we can agree that all of those are tremendously risky activities over which you have and little control over the outcome. The idea that the more people you date the more chance you have in succeeding is misleading; laying a few pounds on which horse wins a race won’t make too much difference in your life if it goes wrong. However an overly cavalier attitude towards dating will provide less than stellar results. It’s about quality not quantity; dates with people that you have instant chemistry with, not endless dates with people because you ‘might as well’.  While it shouldn’t be approached with the precision of a military campaign it deserves more respect and attention than thinking of it as a game or a gamble.


“There are plenty more fish in the sea.”

We’ve most likely all heard this one before, delivered as good news from well-meaning friends when we’re emerging from a break-up or trying to get over someone. Though meant as a positive, it does seem to suggest that there are so many people out there that it’s easy to move swiftly on to the next ‘fish’. In fact, break ups or disappointments take time to get over, so don’t let yourself be rushed. Reflect on what’s best for you, and what you can learn from your relationship. Then, when the time comes to return to the dating scene, you’ll be able to use this knowledge to your advantage.

“Men are like parking spaces, all the good ones are taken and the others already have ‘Mother & Child’ painted on them” Absolute nonsense. This sort of self-defeatist attitude means that you are crying over the end of the movie before you’ve even bought your ticket. There are just as many wonderful available men out there as there are women. You just need to know where to look and probably even more importantly how to look.

“I can’t go on any more bad dates. I would rather be home alone than out with some guy who sells socks on the internet” Never give up. Your next date might turn out be your last ‘date’ because he might be The One. Don’t stop dating, just start dating differently. Don’t go out on any old date just because you’ve been asked. Accept or initiate dates only when you genuinely believe there is an opportunity for an enjoyable time. If you think there is little or no chance that you will have a good date then don’t go in the first place, what’s the point? Find the middle ground where you’re giving a person a chance just be sure they’re worth it in the first place.

We should never stop sharing beliefs and thoughts with our friends as we help them along that road, but let’s just make sure these are helpful and positive pearls of wisdom that will keep us enthused and optimistic on that journey.

For more information, please go to www.eharmony.co.uk

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