Are they worth my time? Two questions to ask yourself to avoid dead-end-dating

Identifying early signs of incompatibility and start dating smarter

Adulting in your 30s
2 min readAug 29, 2023

They say hindsight is 20:20.

After a relationship ends, you inevitably look back and see all the ways it was not working and could never have worked.

It was so obvious.

But why didn’t you see it then? Worse, why did you keep spending days, weeks, years with them?

The reality is, love, or what we feel is love can blind us to obvious facts. We would rather hold on to the once in a while warm fuzzy feelings than to face the discomfort of ending things and getting back into the dating pool.

I have been very guilty of this — going into dating without much critera in mind and trusting my gut to feel what’s right.

I’m all for trusting your gut, but here are two questions to sanity check if you’re abandoning rationality for the dopamine high.

What do I like about them besides attention, validation, and affection they give me?

We all want to be loved, appreciated, adored, cared for. Sometimes all it takes are diligent good morning and good night texts to send us over the moon.

Awww, they care about me! They’re thinking of me!

Which is well and good, but what else? What qualities attract you to this person? Are their values aligned with yours? What are the the nagging red flags that you’re pushing aside?

Are there already things I’d like to change about them so they meet my needs?

First, you need to date with intention and very literally write down your needs. A written list will make it easily to cross check later without being biased by the butterflies in your stomach.

Next, dig deep — are you falling for them as they are? Or an ideal version of them that you’ve started to imagine in your head?

Are there small habits you noticed or passing comment you picked up that threw you off?

The first month into dating my ex, I asked them while on a roadmap about the reasons they and their ex got divorced. They mentioned the ex having too many “friends” and not understanding why the ex socializes so much rather than build deep friendships.

In my mind I thought, what’s wrong with that? As an expat, friends come and go, each making a different mark along our life path at the right moment. It’s not up to my partner to tell me whether they are my friends or not.

But I brushed the thought aside and focused on enjoying our first getaway.

Sure enough, two years into the relationship, he started questioning my friendships.

How I can not say that I should have seen it coming?



Adulting in your 30s

Musings and self reflections of a 30 something who feels like an adult but a kid at the same time