Many of us harbor different approaches to dating and romantic relationships, largely based on our preconceived notions of how we think things should unfold. Sometimes, adhering too closely to these dating styles can be limiting, but according to a dating expert, understanding the various tendencies allows us to better understand ourselves and potential partners—and perhaps communicate more effectively as a result.
During the most recent episode of The Well+Good Podcast, behavioral scientist turned dating coach Logan Ury, author of How To Not Die Alone and director of relationships at Hinge, outlined the three dating tendencies she developed: the maximizer, the hesitator, and the romanticizer.
Listen to the full episode here:
- Logan Ury, director of relationship science at Hinge and author of How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love
"The core idea is that many of the people I work with suffer from unrealistic expectations," she said during the podcast. "And then I categorize them based on that unrealistic expectation." The idea is that the framework of tendencies (or dating styles) can help folks better understand themselves and certain dating perspectives they hold that may not serve them, as a means to improve their dating life.
Read on to learn about Ury’s three dating tendencies, how each can be restricting, and how she recommend folks overcome those limitations. (And to find your dating tendency, take Ury’s dating tendency quiz.)
3 dating styles people commonly fall into, according to Hinge’s director of relationships
1. The maximizer
These folks “have unrealistic expectations of their partner,” Ury says. This might look like someone wishing that their partner were more ambitious or that they shared more interests. “They have this idea that if you just keep researching and keep dating different people, eventually you'll find the perfect person,” she adds.
Maximizers believe that if they haven’t met the “right person” yet, it's just a matter of not having dated enough people. This dating style is unideal, she says, because searching for perfection (which likely doesn't exist) can keep someone from building a healthy relationship.
Furthermore, even if you did consider someone to be perfect when you met, since people evolve over time, that sense of perfection likely won't be constant. That's why Ury encourages maximizers to remember that great relationships are built, not found: “It's more about…understanding that everyone comes with strengths and weaknesses and putting in the effort to build the relationship you want, not just waiting for that great relationship to be discovered."
2. The hesitator
The hesitator has “unrealistic expectations of themselves,” as opposed to others, says Ury. A hesitator might wait until the “right time” to start dating, whether that means first securing an impressive job or looking a certain way before putting yourself out there. “There's always a reason why they can't date yet,” says Ury.
The issue with this dating style, Ury says, is that hesitators are often waiting to be the best version of themselves before they meet potential suitors, but growth only comes through action (not waiting for change).
“Dating is a skill. You only get better at dating by actually going on dates.” —Logan Ury, dating coach
“Dating is a skill. You only get better at dating by actually going on dates,” says Ury. “So it's not like one day you're 100 percent ready to date and you go out there and someone falls in love with you. You're actively getting better over time by dating.”
Her top advice for hesitators? “You have to go out there and see how different dynamics impact you," she says. "Stop waiting and start dating.” Hesitators can keep themselves accountable to their dating goals by setting a timeline for when they'll download dating apps, get clothes to wear on dates, and, from there, actually go on dates. “There's no value in sitting around making excuses and not dating,” says Ury. “And if you say 'I'm working on myself,' great—do that in tandem with dating.”
3. The romanticizer
The romanticizer is the person who loves love, says Ury—and this often leads to them having unrealistic expectations of what a romantic relationship is and how they should start.
“They're waiting to be…at the farmer's market and reach across for that perfect tomato at the same time as their future partner,” Ury says, adding that romanticizers often expect there to be a singular moment when they know that a person is right for them.
Folks who fit into this dating style tend to shy away from dating apps or putting in work because they believe both of those things to be unromantic. Additionally, folks in the romanticizer camp may have certain ideals for what their romantic, lifelong partner should be and look like—and that can shut the door for others who don’t perfectly fit that mold. "I often have to say to them, ‘I don't believe in the one. I don't believe in a soul mate," says Ury of romanticizers. "There are many people who you could be with and have different lives with.” Once romanticizers internalize this reality, they're more likely to understand that “putting effort in is romantic,” she adds.
With regard to the general importance of dating styles or tendencies—no matter which best describes you—Ury is quick to remind that the way we go into a relationship is ultimately just a small portion of its overall timeline. And remembering that is powerful for dismantling limiting beliefs or practices in dating. “You should be open to this person coming in different packages,” she says. “It's possible that you're very anchored on a specific type of person looking a certain way, and you might be wrong about who will make you happiest long term.”
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