[Edited] My previous post was based on the assumption that certain things about a person don’t change. Hobbies, career aspirations, and other surface-level traits, though, can and do. This post is about that. (When I refer to “you,” I’m really speaking to myself.)
You have to date based on the person, not his habits, interests, or life direction, all of which may change. Something draws you to a person and you keep seeing them because you want to spend time with them. You want to get to know them better- that is the basic criteria for agreeing to go on a date, or, if you’re in the initial stages of online dating, for responding to match communication. Likewise, that is one way to know if a date was successful: not that it went well, necessarily, but that you know if you want to keep seeing the person. It’s kind of like how a resume functions to get you an interview while at the interview both potential employer and employee are trying to figure out if they’re a good match for the other. The online profile is the resume, and if the first interview goes well, there might be a second round. The only reason you might stop dating someone based on otherwise-not-disagreeable habits, interests, or career (which are external factors) is if their habits, interests, or career precludes you from hanging out with them to get to know them better. Remember, these things can, and do, change. It’s their job to let you know if you’re not right for them, but you don’t get to decide that. Rather, your job is to figure out if a person is right for you.