Dating expert and Author of Notes On Love, Lauren Windle explains the first date error we all make that spells disaster for our relationship…
LIKE many of us this summer, I sunk my teeth into Love Island, enjoying the relationship ups and downs of the influencers-to-be.
But every time someone new entered the villa, the crew congregated around the fire pit to ask them the same thing: "What's your type?"
On the surface, this is a natural question, but in reality – it poses some pretty big problems.
It's not just the bikini-clad Islanders who jump to establish what someone's looking for, we all do.
On a first date, we've all been guilty of asking: "What do you want in a relationship?", "What do you usually look for?" or "What's your type (on or off paper)?"
The danger is, if you like the person, you will then start to mould yourself to what you know they want.
What you're actually asking is: "How well do I fit your criteria?"
And if it's not that close, many people start to adapt to become more desirable to their partner.
This could be in obvious ways, like dying their hair or trying to change their body shape, although physical adaptations are more rare.
What's more likely is that a person will adapt their character traits, their personality, their hobbies, their likes and dislikes.
"I just want to be with someone who is really spontaneous," can have people pretending not to enjoy pre-planned activities when really that's their go-to.
"I like someone who can watch the football with me," could have someone sitting through hours of sport when they'd rather be watching Corrie.
"I like a person who wears heels," can have you tottering around in blister-inducing shoes when you'd rather rock a pair of Converse.
You can only pretend to be someone else for so long, before it all comes crashing down – so don't bother in the first place.
Don't even ask what the other person wants, just show up as you are and if they like you, you'll know.
You'll also find that "what someone likes" changes pretty quickly when they realise they like you and you have none of their standard traits.
No one can control who they are attracted to or what draws them to a person, even if they pretend they have a check list.
To be truly appreciated and loved, you have to be fully yourself. That's the foundation on which a strong and lasting relationship will grow.
Your confidence in knowing who you are and not needing to ask what they want, will be far more enticing than slotting into their list.
Trust me – you don't need to know.
Notes on Love: Being Single and Dating in a Marriage Obsessed Church by Lauren Windle is out now.
Want more dating tips? This dating expert revealed the personality trait that makes you the most "desirable" and the two that will struggle with love.
Plus this dating expert revealed the ideal way to ask a woman out and every bloke should watch it.
And Brits revealed how to have the perfect first date – including buying three drinks and complementing your partner twice.
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