The Pros and Cons of Thinking of Dating as an Evaluation Process

Should you be taking a more scientific approach to dating? While finding love is a matter of the heart, some people are moving toward a strategy of evaluation in order to find a compatible mate. Should you be thinking of dating as an evaluation process instead of relying on emotions to make decisions? Here’s a guide to the pros and cons of the “evaluation” approach to dating.

The Pros of Treating Dating as an Evaluation Process

There are some advantages to relying on facts instead of emotions when dating. The truth is that attraction can blind us to red flags and potential issues. Here’s a look at the case for thinking of dating as an evaluation process.

Purposeful Dating

There’s power in being intentional about your dating process. This is especially true if you are on a timeline for finding love. When you view dating as an evaluation process, you’re using what you want from a partner and relationship to assess how each potential partner aligns with your desires and long-term goals. In many ways, this is the kindest approach to dating because you’re not wasting anyone’s time.

Avoiding the “Honeymoon Phase” Pitfall

The fog of romance can make us do some questionable things. During the honeymoon phase of a new relationship, our perceptions are ruled by intense feelings and infatuation. While the honeymoon phase feels amazing, it is mostly driven by feel-good hormones instead of reality. Attraction is certainly important when finding a compatible partner. However, the evaluation system of dating helps us to see beyond our feelings.

Setting Boundaries

Boundaries come more naturally when we view dating as an evaluation process. We feel empowered to communicate our needs, desires, and dislikes because we aren’t caught up in a feeling of “settling.” The great part about this is that romantic interests who refuse to honor boundaries are weeded out immediately.

True Compatibility

One of the biggest benefits of the evaluation mindset is that it allows us to prioritize long-term compatibility over short-term chemistry and fireworks. It keeps us mindful of the fact that we are dating for the purpose of finding long-term compatibility over experiencing “butterflies” in the moment. When we use an evaluation mindset, we are able to look at shared values, religious beliefs, life goals, communication style, expectations for children, and family dynamics as important factors instead of assuming that love will make things “work out” magically.

Emotional Safety

Finally, treating dating as an evaluation process prevents us from giving our hearts away too easily. Most people know the emotional damage that can be done when we leap in fully without properly vetting a partner. Once we become intentional about committing, we are more likely to find emotional safety.

The Cons of Treating Dating as an Evaluation Process

Being methodical about your approach to dating can help to protect your heart. However, there is a fear that the evaluation approach can take the romance out of finding a partner. Here’s a look at the downsides of evaluating new partners.

Relationships Feel Transactional

There is a risk of making new relationships feel transactional when you solely focus on what a partner brings to the table. You may find yourself tallying up a person’s “worth” instead of viewing them holistically. It can be easy to walk away from someone who could be the love of your life simply because you don’t like how they look on paper.

Testing and Overthinking

Every conversation and interaction can start to feel like a test when you’re viewing dating as an evaluation process. This can cause you to lose openness and flexibility. What’s more, it’s impossible to be present when you are busy evaluating every move a potential partner makes.