Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Great Dating Partner?

By eHarmony Staff

am i a catch

You’re looking for someone special. You’ve probably got your must-have/can’t-stand list that describes exactly what you’re looking for. Now’s a great time to take a look at yourself as well.

Do you have what it takes to be a great dating partner? How “dateable” you are depends, in part, on your goals for dating. If, like most people, you’re hoping to find someone with whom you can really connect, a good place to start is by looking at your own emotional health and availability.

Table for three? An obvious example of someone who’s not emotionally available would be a person who’s still in love with an ex or not over an old boyfriend/girlfriend. You are not dateable — at the moment — if your feelings are still entangled with an old flame or former partner. It’s essential to break up with the past before you’re ready for a future with someone new.

Desperately seeking…anyone. Maybe you’re not still in love with a former partner, but do you have the opposite problem? Are you so desperate to connect that you’ll settle for pretty much anyone? Perhaps you’re afraid of being alone. Or maybe you feel unattractive and unimportant unless you’re in a relationship. Whatever the reason, feeling desperate to connect is as much a hindrance to true intimacy as still being in love with someone else. It hinders intimacy because any relationship you enter into won’t be driven by the wonderful discoveries you’re making about each other. The relationship, instead, becomes simply the means to an end — the end being relief of the desperation that drives you. When “anyone will do,” true intimacy is unlikely.

Still angry after all these years. Bitterness is consuming and takes a lot of energy. In other words, if you’re harboring anger toward someone you used to love, you’re not fully available to engage with someone new. If that’s you, get counseling, find friends who will help you process, and fill your journal with thoughts and feelings. Do what it takes to let go of a grudge and forgive. Anger and bitterness anchor you to unpleasantness in your past. That’s no way to begin a new chapter in your life.

Gross generalizations are, well, gross. Do you think all men are cheaters? Do you believe all women are just gold diggers? Gross generalizations of the opposite sex not only speak volumes about the relationship wounds you’ve endured, but they also keep you from seeing the uniqueness that will make up the next person you date. And when you’re incapable of seeing a dating partner for who he or she really is, true intimacy is impossible.

Address the obstacle of addiction. If you’re struggling with any kind of addiction — drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling — you may have some hard decisions to make before putting yourself “out there” as someone ready for a happy relationship. Addictions not only get in the way of emotional intimacy, they also complicate our lives in matters of health, finances, and even legal problems. Take action today to deal squarely with your addiction and achieve true freedom. Then you can start looking for true love.

The online profile test. If you have an online dating profile, here’s an interesting way to gage your dateability: Have a close friend read your profile and give you feedback. Are you so focused on past hurts that you spend your profile listing all the character flaws you don’t want in a date? Do your insecurities lead you to misrepresent yourself in your profile because you think no one would want to date the “real you”? Sometimes, the way we describe ourselves in the paragraphs of a dating profile says a lot about how ready we are for that next relationship.

Sometimes the answer is as simple as recognizing that you need to shift your mindset or attitude in an area – then making that change. Other times, of course, becoming a dateable partner requires purposeful effort to grow and improve. Either way, it’s worth taking a look at yourself and making the choices today that will make you an even greater partner tomorrow.

Have you looked at what you have to offer as a partner?

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