5 Biggest Dating Mistakes That Kill Your Chance to Have a Lasting Relationship

Relationship master Hellen Chen shares why dating can be a complete waste of time and money.

Relationship master Hellen Chen shares why dating can be a complete waste of time and money.

America, Asia, Europe and the Middle Eastern countries have seen rising trends of divorce.

Over the past decade, the United Arab Emirates has recorded the highest divorce rate in the region relative to its population and marriage rates. In Hong Kong, the number of single parents has risen 30% in the last 10 years. In the US, for every 2 new marriages, there is 1 divorce recorded.

Why is the divorce rate so high despite living at a time which has no shortage of information or resources for relationships?

My name is Hellen Chen.

In addition to having written 25 books on the subject of relationships and life success, I am an avid matchmaker by passion and I have helped over 100 singles who could never seem to “find the right person” to step onto the red carpet to say “I do.”

For many years, I have helped many couples to get married and stay married.

For many years, I have helped many couples to get married and stay married.

At the same time, I have worked with many married couples that are on the verge of breaking up and helped save their marriages. In addition, I have also helped individuals to leave marriages that are no longer healthy.

But let’s talk about how modern dating practices are ruining relationships from the very beginning.

5 Biggest Dating Mistakes that Waste Your Time and Money — Literally for NOTHING

1. “The next man/woman will be better…” mentality.

Singles who break up with their partners often have this idea: the next one will be better.

Is it really true?

So is the solution to find the “right” person by constantly dating and changing partners whenever the “chemistry is off” or arguments become too heated?

Every man or woman wants to find the perfect half. But marriage is not about “perfection.” It is about how to go through imperfections when it happens in a relationship and to persist through until it works!

When someone is always contemplating, “the next one is better,” will this affect his real marriage?

Will he have the same idea popping up in his mind when arguments with his wife become too rough? Yes.

2. “If I have more dates, I will have more experience.”
love couple

Dating and changing partners frequently will only make you skeptical about love.

The dating time has increased tremendously since the 1960’s and yet divorce rates are going up the roof in modern times.

In generations before us, we have less complexity in having to date someone for a long time to “check him or her out” or cohabit with someone before going into marriage.

Our grandparents took the traditional route of simply falling in love and then get married and raise children regardless of whether they have financial accomplishments or not.

Now, we are overwhelmed with requirements:

  1. We need to put our career first before considering marriage. (At my love seminar, I talked about why this is a complete lie.)
  2. We need to be at a certain “older age” where we supposed to be “wiser” with relationships. (What most people end up is having more relationship scars.)
  3. No money, no love? Singles are checking out another partner’s financial strength no different than checking out the value of a piece of real estate.

There are even some websites which propose dating someone who have high credit scores. (What is the more important criteria than having money? I discuss in details here.)

Yet, no matter how we go about it in modern ways, there are still only 2 ways dating relationships can go:

  1. It either ends in marriage
  2. It ends in breakups.

Sadly, I see most dating relationships — 85% or more — end in breakups.

It does not matter how many years it takes in between, whether you have been dating each other for 10 years or just met last month. The 2 ways still have to happen eventually: marriage or breakup.

In fact, the more a person dates with different partners, the more cautious and untrusting he or she gets with the next one. “Is this new person going to break my heart as the last one?” will be the question that one carries forwards — unfairly or not — to the new partner.

A person who gets his or her heart broken one too many times would have also developed a skill: looking at the faults of another with a magnifying glass.

I don’t blame them. Few people can be as trusting as they like in relationships after accumulating a few battle scars.

But when such distrust carries forward into a real marriage, then the price to pay is often too high.

3. “My career should come first.”
You don't have to sacrifice love for career. You can have the best of both worlds.

You don’t have to sacrifice love for career. You can have the best of both worlds.

Many young people tell me how they cannot think about marriage when they have not made enough in their career.

Yet, they are forgetting another precious entity: time.

Let’s say, an average person dates for a few years and then break up. One changes a boyfriend or girlfriend every few years; very soon 10 to 15 years go by.

If you are someone who wants children, how many children could you have within a 10-15 years period?

Do you want to start having children only when you are in your late 30s to early 40s? And thus you have no choice but to work hard until retirement years to support their education?

What about your biological clock?

Despite available medical technology to help the advanced-age mothers, giving birth at age 36 is simply not the same as age 25. How about the health of the baby?

If you are in your 30’s, how is your energy level compared to 10 years ago?

What kind of parent will you be when your children demand participation from you in their lives? An energetic parent or a tired one?

The lessons of parenthood which you did not start learning at age 25, has to be learned from scratch at age 35. But you have less energy and stamina to learn them.

If you don’t want children or have already children or are advanced in age, the above TIME FACTOR still applies.

So you made it to the top of your industry and you are now successful. WHO are your sharing your success with?

When you are ready to kick off and leave this world, what really matters to you? Your money and career? Or the love you wish you had with someone?

Look, the knowledge of how to have a lasting HAPPY marriage cannot be obtained automatically just because you get older or have married before.

Whether you start a marriage at age 25 or age 50, you have to learn those lessons on how to make it last.

If you have failed before, then you have not fully gotten the hang of it and those lessons will still apply to you at the next new relationship.

And no, marrying the “RIGHT PERSON” does not short-cut the time YOU need to learn these lessons, not to mention most people end up learning the WRONG lessons. ( You can only short-cut the time by learning the lessons the RIGHT Way.)

4. Taking care of someone’s future spouse

When you are just dating with no plan in your mind for marriage, you will most likely end up “taking care of someone’s future spouse.”

Here is how it goes: when people are in love, they are more than willing to go the extra mile for another person.

For singles, many have spent tremendous time and money to keep up the romantic actions in dating. Both sides enjoy the romance and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Guys shower the ladies with gifts and dinners. They pick up their girlfriends from work or accompany them to go shopping.

Some ladies like to go to a guy’s place to help clean or cook for them. Or they love making it out with their men. After all, that feeling of “in love” is so wonderful!

Yet, when there is no marriage goal, this dating ends — sooner or later — in a breakup.

Whatever you have done for this partner, he or she ends up marrying someone else.

Simply put, whether you like it or not, dating with no marriage goal in mind is simply taking care of the future spouse of someone else.

There is no right and wrong to this.

If you like going in and out of relationships, and don’t mind the transient nature of dating, you are simply following modern-day dating practices. (I teach singles how to be much SMARTER in their dating.)

5. I need to date a lot to be SURE if he or she is the right match for me! 

I get asked frequently by men and women this question, “How do I know if I should marry this person or not?”

There are very exact ways to know! This is what I teach for over 10 years.

The WRONG thing to do is to go in and out of relationships and date a lot of men or women. Or to date for many years simply to “wait and see.”

In addition to becoming more and more confused on WHO is the right one for you, spending more time with a person does not help you to really know another person. (I will teach you a faster way to find out if he or she is your match.)

Time only serves to rack up petty quarrels until you are definitely very sure the person whom you thought you had loved, is NOT the one.

And people change over time. So when you think you FULLY KNOW a person now, guess what, he or she changes!

Even YOU have changed your likes and dislikes over a period of time!

Maybe this question of “is he or she the perfect match for me?” is not as important as this question:

“Do I know how to keep this love going for the rest of my life?”

Lasting Love

Most people want to get that perfect match right away. But given a choice, which option do you like:

  1. You dated for a long time to finally make sure this person is the right one. You feel you have found the ONE after so many relationship disappointments. Both of you get married.

    But 3 years later, you feel the relationship has become very stressful and tiresome. Petty fights and quarrels have never stopped. You have lost the passion. This person is no longer that attractive. You feel he/she has changed after marriage.

    Mostly, you don’t know what to do to keep up the romance anymore.

    You start to have doubts about this relationship and you cannot stand it one more day! You want OUT!


  2. You met someone who has similar marriage goals. Though you have not known each other for years, both of you like each other and are serious about settling down.  You make the decision to marry.

    You go through fights and quarrels just like any new couple. But both of you believe in the love you have and in the future you wish to build. Thus the goals that you have had when you get married never disappeared from your sight.

    As time grows, the romance becomes deeper and deeper.

    You never get tired of this relationship. Your spouse helps you to become a better person just as you are helping him/her to grow too.

    You hold his/her hand until the very end of life’s journey. You did not know in the beginning, but at the end, you know this is your “perfect” match.

To help men and women attain this second scenario, I lecture for over 10 some years, in 3 continents, to teach men and women how to have the lasting and satisfying relationship they are looking for.

After all, knowing HOW TO LOVE is much more important than having to have that perfect person in front of you to love you, which for most singles, that “perfect” person never comes about.

YOU are not PERFECT yourself.

There is no perfection in relationships.

But there can be deep satisfaction.

“To love and be loved is an ability that can be LEARNED…”

learning how to love - by Hellen Chen

Having the ability to love, regardless of WHO is in front of you, is the most precious ability there is.

If it is the journey that counts, not the destination, then this will be the most worthwhile journey to embark on:

To LEARN how you can fall in love with your one and only for the rest of your life!


About_Hellen_ChenBon Voyage

Hellen Chen
Bestselling Author
Relationship Master

Hellen Chen’s work is featured in over 200 media publications and in 20 countries. 



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