Sometimes, swiping right is as pleasurable as a root canal, and dating myths only make the process seem more daunting.
Even the most hopeful romantics can lose faith and experience dating burnout when the little voice in their ear feels extra chatty. Fortunately, Jaime Bronstein (opens in new tab), relationship expert and author of the forthcoming MAN*ifesting: A Step-by-Step Guide to Attracting the Love That Is Meant for You (opens in new tab), is here to flip the script.
“My main goal is to help change the lens of perception to believe that it can actually happen and everyone is destined for love,” she tells My Imperfect Life.
With her wisdom in matters of the heart—and a positive mindset—let’s shatter those assumptions about dating and bring some joy back into the process.
Jaime Bronstein, LCSW is a relationship therapist, coach, and host of “Love Talk Live” on LA Talk Radio. Her book, MAN*ifesting: A Step-by-Step Guide to Attracting the Love That Is Meant for You, is now available for pre-order (opens in new tab).
The cringiest dating myths, debunked
Let’s take those pesky lores about matters of the heart and make the dating process work for you. Pre-conceived notions be damned!
1. Online dating is like a job
The online dating scene has become quite…involved.
How should we rate Hinge vs. Bumble? Is he ghosting me? How often should we send DMs?!
It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed with finding the right site and nailing a system that works for you, but instead of viewing online dating as a chore, look at it as something pleasurable.
“There’s a happy medium [when working for a relationship],” Bronstein says. “If you have this desperation energy and you’re too focused on the same thing, then usually, it’s fear-based.”
And don’t approach your grid of eligible bachelors or bachelorettes as the be-all, end-all. Know that even your person is out there, but you might not necessarily come in contact with them on an app—or immediately.
“If you have that mindset that there is someone that is meant for you, it takes the weight off of your shoulders of feeling so chaotic,” Bronstein says. “I teach people how to hone in on their intuition and just trust yourself.”
2. You have to wait to text after a first date
People love a good game…just not when it comes to their love lives. (Save the fun for board game night at your best friend’s place.)
In the aftermath of a first date, stress settles in. You had a great time but you dance around the issue of reaching out to make plans. You can’t look too desperate, but you can’t let this person slip away, either. The agony!
Here’s the trick—don’t leave your first date without talking about the next one.
“I recommend talking about the second date on the first date,” Bronstein says. “It’s nice for both parties because there’s so much anxiety that goes into after the date, but you don’t necessarily have to plan it.”
It’s not a bad idea. Rather than agonize over the time limit, do it immediately if you’re feeling the vibe. “I loved grabbing coffee with you. Next time I’d love to show you my favorite spot.”
Should you not have the opportunity to talk about your date sequel, Bronstein does give the green light for you to reach out rather soon if you’re interested.
“You don’t necessarily have to ask them out again, but within a day or two, I think it’s a good amount of time [to reach out]. And you don’t have to worry that they’re playing a game,” she says.
3. There’s a right time to have sex
Sex on the first date? The third? A month later?
People worry about timing an intimate encounter properly when the truth is, every couple is different. What works for you and your S.O. might not be a fit for another couple.
“It should just happen naturally—it should be a mutual, natural progression,” Bronstein says.
Trust your gut and follow a timeline that works for you.
4. There’s a timeline for everything
Speaking of timelines—in regards to sex or any relationship milestone—there is no rule. If there’s no “I love you” by a particular month or if you hadn’t had a chance to spend a weekend away together, it doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong or that your relationship is not progressing the way it should. All situations are different, and you shouldn’t compare your union to anyone else’s.
Again, it all goes back to trusting that love will find you rather than fearing it won’t.
“If you put this pressure, it’s going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy of what the fear is—’If it doesn’t happen by this time, it’s not going to happen,'” Bronstein says. ‘I’m a fan of being present and taking it one step at a time.”