Why Your Assumptions Are Keeping You Single

Posted by in communication skills in dating, dating after divorce, first date success | 2 comments

assumptions You’ve probably heard the old adage, “assumptions make an ass of you and me”. And while you may think you understand how bad it is to make assumptions about people, you’re probably still doing it occasionally on a subconscious level. It’s hard not to. Our primal brains judge others because they want to keep us safe. If we sense danger, we keep our distance. And that can be a very good thing.

But it can also be dismal, especially in dating. Your assumptions might very well be the reason you’re still single.

You see the world through your lens, and you interpret your date’s actions and words in a way that makes sense to you.

But unless you get curious about what it all means to HIM or HER, you are likely to misinterpret and misunderstand your date’s very essence. And guess what? You’re probably missing out on some amazing potential matches due to your assumptions. And if they make assumptions about you, they’re missing out on getting to know a pretty awesome person, right? I’ll bet you dislike being misunderstood and prematurely judged as much as I do.

I’m a dating coach for women over 40. I am also dating after my divorce, and I’m very self-aware when it comes to things like assumptions in dating.

But a few days ago, I got caught in the “assumption trap”.

I’m eating humble pie as I share what happened.

I went on a very challenging hike with a group from meetup.com. I didn’t know a single person in the group, but I wanted to meet new people and get my heart pumping outdoors. The weather was absolutely gorgeous.

The hike was led by “George” – a good looking guy in his late forties, tanned, a real jock. He organizes many outdoor events throughout the year, and judging by his appearance and manner, I had made an assumption that he must not be very deep. Smart maybe, but not brilliant. A little aloof. Life of the party type, an extrovert. I assumed he was single, but wasn’t sure that a guy like him was “marriage material”.

I had a wonderful time on the hike, and when I returned home, I received a thank-you email from the group. It included the profiles of all the attendees, so I checked out a few profiles of the lovely people I’d met that day. When I checked out George’s Facebook profile, I was shocked.

He was nothing like I had assumed.

He seemed to be thoughtful and kind. His writing indicated depth and emotional intelligence. In fact, he shared a heart-wrenching post about his son.

“20 years ago today, I welcomed into this world my first child. Any parent will understand the love that a father has for his children. This was long before I knew what parental alienation was and the price I would pay for divorcing the woman I once loved. What comes to mind is the lyrics from Against the Wind – “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” Happy 20th birthday “A”. I love you and always will.”

Wow, right? These are not the words of a shallow jock. They are the words of a sensitive loving father. At least that’s how I see it. Of course, I might be making an assumption 🙂

I admit it, even a self-aware woman like me can sometimes make assumptions. I learned my lesson and will think about George the next time I go on a first date.

So please be open when meeting your date for the first time. Be curious. Ask questions. And by all means, don’t judge. Don’t assume. You wouldn’t want to make an ass of you and me now, would you?



  1. I love the theme of your post. 🙂 There’s so much to benefit from by being curious and not assuming. When we don’t assume and when we interact with others from a place of non-judgement, it allows for a deeper and more open communication, and it opens the door for spontaneity and new experiences.

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Emelina. Yes, curiosity is so wonderful. It takes the judgment out of every encounter and replaces it with a beginner’s mind, open to hearing what’s alive for the other person, not what YOU think/assume. Like you said, it opens you up for deeper, more open (and authentic) communication.

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