7 Assumptions We Make in Dating

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I'm always assuming that something's a "given." Strangely, I assume people know what's going on in my head without even saying anything — I guess I believe in magic.

In school, I assumed that I didn't have to memorize this awful Sine/Cosine/Tangent trig chart. Unfortunately, the whole semester was based on that chart. Result? D-.

My mom and authority figures have told me my whole life, in the aftermath of various disasters I've created: Never assume!

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We make many assumptions in dating. It's a tough balancing act because it's safe to assume things from time to time. For example, if you don't assume some guy is only interested in for sex, you might set yourself up to be hurt.

Here are a few dating assumptions:

You assume I'm hitting on you to get in your pants. I don't blame women for this assumption. It's the safest way to go, and nine times out of ten you may be right.

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But nice guys get the shaft because of the bad behavior of jerks in your past. You might have your guard up too high or interpret a nice guy's words the wrong way. Also, if you act too suspicious of his intentions, a nice guy might get bad vibes from you.

I assume that you're assuming I'm trying to get in your pants when I hit on you. Because of this, I walk on egg shells, and I'm not assertive. But this approach often makes it look like I'm not interested. Maybe I'm assuming what she's thinking too much, but I hit on girls to get a chance to hang out with them — not for sex.

You assume I am hitting on you when I so much as talk to you. The other day my friend and I were conducting interviews in a café for a research project. We got three guy interviews right off the bat. However, we faced a quandary every time we had to approach a woman: They'll think we're hitting on them.

I can't blame women for this either; many guys aren't motivated to randomly speak to a woman unless they are hitting on them.

I initiate small talk with strangers just to talk. But it sure looks like I'm hitting on a cute girl when I randomly start talking to her. Honestly, that's usually the furthest thing from my mind...but I admit the better the conversation goes, the more I think about hitting on her.

I never assume you're flirting with me. I might be clueless about women's signals, or I have confidence issues. Often, a girl or guy friend will say: "She was totally flirting with you!" My reply is: "Really? I didn't even notice." Maybe I should learn to be more perceptive.

I assume you're not into me while I'm hitting on you. Most of the time, even if a girl is laughing and seems happy, I'm thinking: "This is going so badly, I bet she wants to get away."

We assume people are a certain "type." Humans crave organization, so we sometimes place people into categories. We'll say: "Oh I know this type. I know exactly what they will do and how they will behave," based on things they say, or how they act. But it's important get below the surface because that's where people differentiate themselves from others.

We make assumptions based on fashion. Fashion can be condescending, like ultra preppie looks. Additionally, when guys see women with huge designer bags, perfect hair and nails, they assume she'll be a lot of work to date. Conversely, jeans and sneakers make a girl seem down to earth. A girl sometimes seems "easy," if she's scantily dressed. I assume anyone who is dressed interestingly or pushing the limits is cooler than me. It's not right, but we are visual creatures and fashion can dictate our perception.

Hopefully, we take the time to actually talk to someone before assuming. This is the only way I'll find my tom-princess: the down to earth personality with the high maintenance appearance (though my guy friends say she doesn't exist).

Assuming is safe, but dangerous. We must avoid type-casting. It goes beyond conversation, because we even type cast people based on what they say.

Annoyingly, in the dating world, we are afforded a quick snapshot of someone-- say, at a bar or party forcing snap judgement. Additional layers like Facebook profiles may help, but the old fashioned way of spending time with someone is the best way to confirm or dispel assumptions.

Are you guilty of assuming in dating? If so, what kinds of assumptions do you make? Do you agree with mine above? What affect does assuming have on dating?

Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens

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