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  • Brianna Paruolo

Dating with Intention instead of Expectation

Updated: May 22

Let me set the scene. You match with someone on one of the million dating apps (hello Raya, Hinge, Bumble, Tinder- you get my point). You engage in exciting conversation, appear to have a few things in common, and agree to meet for drinks or coffee. You tell your friends that there might be potential, and this connection might even have you become an advocate for the unpopular opinion on why these apps DO indeed work. The day has finally come for the first meeting, and you have set the expectation for it to go just as you planned it in your head. Reality hits as the first 10 minutes pass, and you are thoroughly disappointed. The same connection you had virtually ceases to exist, there are few things you agree on, and the anti-app voice begins to creep into your head, chanting, “I told you so.”

Our outcomes typically look like the example above when we lead with expectations. Exhausted, frustrated, and disheartened that the pedestal we demanded someone or something to appear on was unattainable from the start. Expectations emphasize the situation's results, which is often the straight path to disappointment. So how can one begin to shift this mindset?

Say hello to Intention, expectations no frills cousin who soon will become your mind's best friend. When we live with intention, we surrender the idea of control over the outcome. Intention focuses on the choices you make while detaching from the outcome. The truth is we cannot control another person or external circumstances, but we have a say in our own words and intentions.

Here are some Expectation vs. Intention swaps:

This first date will free me from ever using apps again → I'm open to meeting new people and experiencing new things.

They must be as funny, witty, and charming as they appear over text → I’m curious how the conversation might flow.

If there’s no instant connection, I’m not interested → I will not put pressure on myself or others to feel a certain way.

Instead of being laser-focused on everything that must go right, I encourage you to be open to possible outcomes that might result from a first date, job interview, vacation plans, and so on. It’s time to break up with the fear of failure and embrace staying grounded, present, and enjoy the journey of it all.

Legal Notice: The content presented in this blog post/Instagram post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide mental health treatment. It is crucial to consult with a qualified mental health professional for personalized advice or treatment regarding your specific circumstances. Reading or engaging with this content does not establish a client-counselor relationship, and the author is not liable for any actions taken based on the information provided. It is recommended to seek up-to-date information and consult professionals for the latest advancements in mental health research and practice. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact your local emergency services or helpline immediately.

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