Where to go on a first date? That question never ceases to be less complicated, does it? What is even less asked is why love is so complicated? There are many reasons why that may be, and in this article, I will explain a few of them. One thing is for sure, and that is that finding love is not as complicated as it seems. We are just looking for it in all the wrong places, maybe even during the wrong times. That is why I wrote this short list about why finding love is not as complicated as it seems, and what you can do about it. Maybe then you will know where to go on a first date.

1. Stop focusing on what other people want and start focusing on what you want!

Too many people make the mistake of putting all their focus, or rather, eggs in one basket, without even first consulting themselves about what it is that they want. Be real about what it is that you want, and maybe somehow someone will come along and will be a match for those wants. Also, even if a person does come along and is a match, you still need to both be on the same page. Does this person want to be in a relationship, and more importantly, with you? If not, then look somewhere else. A lot of people may date one person at a time, and if nothing is being reciprocated, then you need to move on before you exhaust yourself from trying to get something or someone that will always be just out of reach.

2. Never fall in love with someone’s potential.

I have learned this lesson from my parents, and that is to love someone as they are now and not as they could be later. Potential is all about possibilities of a future self that has not yet or may never occur. You should be falling in love with someone, not ideas or fantasies. If you fall in love with someone’s potential, be prepared for a rude and abrupt awakening. You may just find that the potential you once saw in someone is not the same potential they see for themselves.

3. Not knowing or loving yourself.

In last week’s article, I wrote a guide on self-love. It is true that you cannot make a relationship work if you do not know and love yourself. Otherwise, you may be settling for people who are wrong for you. That is not love, but a transaction that most people would assume is love. Love is taking someone as they are as an extension of yourself. To not know or love yourself will make this a challenge for yourself, so I would advise you to date casually for a while until you know more about yourself.

4. Not establishing boundaries before the beginning of the relationship.

Relationships tend to move fast, and if they move too fast, there will always be a conflict somewhere. These conflicts stem from not having boundaries, which are needs that must be met by yourself and others. When needs are not met, there is resistance. Where the resistance is, that is your boundary. Boundaries make relationships healthy as you become truly authentic to your needs. Boundaries are good to have in place to allow for individuality and space. Too much closeness can kill a relationship. The same is also true for too little closeness. Having boundaries can also help to determine whether or not the relationship will last, especially if the other person respects them.

5. Falling prey to abuse.

Abuse comes in many forms. It can be violent or coaxing, the latter is far more dangerous, especially since it makes the other person seem friendly. Many women will fall prey to this sort of abuse the most, even if there is violence. Why do you think there are so many domestic abuse cases or shelters for battered women? It is a simple fact that women want their needs met and they feel that if they can just get their needs met, then whatever follows is good enough, maybe even love. This is far from the truth.

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