Of all the endeavors you can pursue, dating can be one of the most enjoyable. It’s entertaining, it provides companionship, and it can lead to lasting love and partnership. But as you decide whether you’re ready to date, make sure you are doing it for the right reason: You have a full life that you’d like to share with another person.

With that in mind, here are a few bad reasons to date someone…

1. Your friends want you paired off. Just because your friends are married or coupled up doesn’t mean you have to find “your other half.” If they are pressuring you to date, be firm. You need to date people because you want to, not because everyone else in your life thinks it’s the right thing to do.

2. You can’t stand to be alone. If you approach dating with the desperation of a person who is uncomfortable spending any time alone, you might not choose a suitable partner. Learn to enjoy your own company and that of your friends and family before embarking on new romantic relationships.
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3. Well, he/she did ask me out… It’s wonderfully flattering to be asked out on a date, but you don’t owe anyone a thing. Remember, you’ll have a more satisfying romantic life if you choose whom and when to date. Don’t just say yes to the next person who comes along because it’s less work that way.

4. You’re “that age.” Who knows what “that age” even is these days, but sometimes we feel pressured to date because others (and the youth-obsessed media) are telling us that time is slipping away for finding a mate. Pshaw! You can fall in love at any time in your life, and the experience will be that much richer if you’re emotionally ready. Whether you’re 25 or 75, there is no “right age” for dating or commitment. Listen to your heart and date when you feel ready.

5. You want someone to fix your life. You’ve heard it a million times before, but that’s because it’s true: you are in charge of your own happiness and your life’s circumstances. Please don’t date someone in order to find motivation to quit smoking, pay the bills on time, get out of the house, etc. Take care of yourself now in order to be a good partner later.

6. You want to further your career. Try not to mix business with pleasure by using dating as a way to make professional contacts. People might get hurt and your reputation could be compromised. Be honest with yourself about your goals. If you’re much more concerned with work than with being a good partner, perhaps you should put your love life on hold for a few months.

Laura Schaefer is the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time.



Article courtesy of Match.com.