Modern dating is complicated. It can be everything and nothing all at the same time. It’s a revolving door of people with expectations. You’re running on empty if you don’t keep up. Here are some harsh truths about modern dating that will help you deal with reality and prepare you for the unexpected.

People lie.

Face it. No matter how “honest” someone appears there is more reward through lying when you first meet. If you don’t accept everything you hear as the truth, you will give yourself some time. Down the line, you may see the truth for yourself, which is far better than words.

You lie.

Big lies. White lies. You do it. Beware, however, the bigger your lie, the more likely you are to date someone hiding an even bigger lie. To avoid this, date less, and establish intimacy with a few chosen people you want to get to know. That level of comfort will make you more open and honest.

Texting means you’re low on the priority list.

Texting has possibly changed modern dating for the worse. It builds fantasies, false hope, and misunderstandings that complicate communication. It’s meaningful to hear your lover’s voice on the other line. The ebbs, flows and hesitations tell you much more about his mood, personality and what’s really on his mind.

People got issues.

No one is going to come cookie cutter clean. Everyone has a bad or dark side whether they admit it or not. Just hope you meet the person who knows what her dark side is because she will most likely have compassion when you show yours. Every one you date is a teacher. If you think this way, no relationship is wasted.

There are a lot of options.

From online dating to speed dating, it’s easy to feel like modern dating is a full-time job. Don’t do everything. Find what best suits your personality. An extrovert may love the nightlife and meeting people out on the town. An introvert may prefer online dating or a structured, timed format like speed dating.

You will pay dearly for someone else’s childhood trauma.

If there is unresolved childhood trauma, be prepared for dating to be quite tumultuous. If you experience an adult-child who is acting as if they are stuck on six, instead of 36, because he has not progressed emotionally from what happened, take a step back. Establish boundaries early. It is your job to protect yourself.

You will be disappointed.

Again, and again. You disappoint yourself often, how do you expect someone else not to disappoint you? Learn to live with frustration. If you dump everyone who disappoints you, you’ll never find anyone.

You will have to change.

You will find someone you’re dating who is going to dig up all your bad qualities. Consider this a good thing. It will help you grow, shift and accept parts of your personality you discarded. If you meet someone who suddenly has you interested in running sprints on Friday nights instead of binging on alcohol that is a huge improvement for your quality of life.

You are not the only one they are dating.

There is less pressure to perform when you keep this in mind. Be comfortable with the fact the person you are dating may be interested in others. It’s all fair game until you become exclusive.

Your “issues” will magnify and scare people away (eventually).

People will dump you when you stop being nice. Eventually, they will see parts of you that are not what they want. Accept this. Stop taking on the choices other people make. This rarely has anything to do with you. We are all on our own journeys and must find the people who will get us there.

Stop being “perfect.”

Being a doormat or a yes man is not going to make dating easier. In fact, it puts you on a pedestal. Sitting on someone’s pedestal is pretty lonely. You can’t be yourself, or share your deepest needs. Express your needs whether he or she likes it or not.

Unconditional love is earned, not automatic.

No one is going to love or accept you unconditionally out of the gate. If he says he does, you haven’t given him a reason yet. You eventually will. Unconditional love is earned through time and problem-solving. You need to feel confident in someone’s loyalty to you, and that is rare. However, you can always trick yourself into it, by ignoring everything he or she does.

You will never fully know someone.

There is always a side to someone he or she keeps from the world. There are parents who have raised honorable children, and still don’t know why little Johnny is stuck in Mexico on a drug charge. Dating is not the place to “get to know someone.” Get to know yourself first, and trust yourself to make the right decisions. Leave other people to account for themselves.

If you aren’t a top priority, your invitation to spend time together will be a “maybe.”

You will know if you are a priority by where you fall on the list. If you want to be #1 don’t take “maybe” for an answer. Let the other person make the effort to set up the dates. That is a good indication of his interest in you.

The person who cares less has all the power.

This is difficult when you are head over heels for someone. After a few months of dating, you care a lot. You want the other person to know. Forget it. It makes you appear less valuable.

People want people other people want.

It’s human nature; the whole law of scarcity thing. Don’t make yourself too available or an over-sharer. Let the other person set the pace until you both find balance. It’s only natural for her to feel you slipping away, and want back in.

Give up on relationships. Improve yourself first to attract better dating prospects. Once you feel whole and complete with your good and bad parts, people will stick to you like butter on toast. Men and women are attracted to partners who are most comfortable with who they are. That’s why “bad boys” and “bad girls” seem to have all the fun.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/3275748024/ via flickr.com

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