“You Can Do Better”

Until recently, I’ve always been private about my dating life and potential relationships. From past experiences, and as I get older, friends and family sometimes felt it necessary to approve, disapprove or share an opinion of a relationship based on very surface level things. I’ve not only been on the receiving end but have also been guilty of the same snap judgement of a friend’s potential beau.

This was the case recently when I invited a date to a night out with some friends. It was a lovely evening where we all ended up having one too many tequilas on the dance floor.

A few days after, I received a message from a close and trusted friend saying, ‘you can do better’. This took me by surprise, firstly because I hadn’t asked for his opinion and secondly because he was basing his thoughts on what must have been 2 short conversations in a dimly lit club in a space of an hour or so.

I’m not afraid to admit that in dating particularly, I struggled to identify my own genuine feelings. I often question: do I really like this person or is it because other people think they could be the right fit for me. This event had me thinking, is there such thing as dating up or down and why are we so quick to pass judgement on other people’s relationships.

The problem

When someone makes a snap judgement on why you can do better, they’re essentially saying – you need to date someone of higher ranking, more good looking, richer, smarter etc. To raise your nose to someone's choice of a date and say you can "do better" isn't really saying "this person is a bad egg," it's to say that you'll be happier when you find someone who on the surface seems better.

Dating up or down

The whole idea of dating down or up is awful, but we all play the rating game in our heads, I guess we make these quick assumptions because they help us make sense of the world.

The problem is, why do we focus on perceived social status when dating and why are we not focused on more important things like compatibility.

Are we programmed to make these assumptions?

Partly yes.

Whether you categorise people based solely on their looks or factor in personality and intelligence, dating experts say we’re socially hardwired to classify. Research claims that people are more likely to form and succeed in a committed relationship with someone who is equally socially desirable.

Regardless, you should date someone based solely on your opinion

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If he's nice to you and gives you butterflies, who cares what he looks like, his social status, or how much he earns?