1. The more you make yourself available, the better your chance to find the right one. Not really and actually maybe the opposite is true. People value something that isn't so readily available. Gold and diamonds are valued because they are scarce. So don't go out with every person your mother's hairdresser suggests. Do some homework to make sure this fellow or young lady is in the ball park. (And puleeze don't tell us what you are doing every moment of your day on Facebook. Most of us don't care and it just makes you look silly and/or insecure.) Date for quality, not quantity. Don't view yourself as a piece of merchandise where you have to get your name out there as much as possible to be bought.
2.The longer you date, the better you will get to know him/her. There comes a point where the economics idea of "law of diminishing returns" kicks in. It always pains me when I hear that a couple has been dating for two, three or more years. I recall the time that a couple told me they had been dating for a very lengthy time. I asked them, "What more information do the two of you need to have before you can make a decision?" They broke up soon after. (He ended up finding someone and is happily married; not sure what happened to her.)
Assuming you are not in a long-distance relationship, you can gather enough information about another in 3 - 6 months to know if you can make a happy life with this person or not. It does not mean you have to get married right away, but if you date properly - actively and not passively - you can get to know a person quite well pretty quickly. What I mean by actively dating is that your dates are not about fun or hanging in Starbucks but doing those things where you can see the person in real life situations so you can properly assess their personality and see what makes them tick.
The belief that living together to get a proper sense of another is falls into this myth. Your goal is not to examine every idiosyncrasy of another. Actually it will just give you plenty of reason not to marry another. As Rebbetzin Heller of Jerusalem remarks, given that every human being has faults and it is endemic to the human condition, deciding whom you are going to marry is just as much about deciding which faults you are willing to live with for the rest of your life.
So don't think you need years upon years to be a 1000% certain that this is the right one. Rather do those things necessary to allow you to see the true nature and personality of another person.
3. All Jewish men or women are ... (fill in the blank). Try not to succumb to this sour-grapes distraction in your moments of frustration. Too often I hear singles kvetch that all Jewish guys or girls are only interested in ... (looks, position, status, the car he drives etc.). You are not marrying an entire race, but just one person. So forget generalities and stereotypes and keep you focus on finding the right one for you.
4. The smartest, prettiest, most successful types get married first. Nope, just look around and you will see this is not so. I know of plenty of people who, for the life of me, I cannot understand why they are still single. They seem to have so much going for them - smart, successful, good looking, great personality. And then there are those folks who might be termed in popular culture as "losers", yet they have been happily married forever. For every pot there is a lid. So don't compare yourself with anyone; it's not a contest.
5. There is only one beshert (predestined one) for me. There is an idea in Judaism that states, "40 days before you are born, a heavenly voice proclaims, 'So and so will marry so and so.'" And indeed there may be a perfect person out there for you. But since there is no beshert app or beshert-o-meter, you may never know it. It always concerns me when I hear of couples telling me of the coincidences that make them lead to believe they are each other's beshert. Any coincidences are better to be viewed in retrospect once you are happily married and should not be used in the decision-making process before-hand.
Stay tuned for Part Two. If you're already in a happy relationship, please pass this on to someone who is still looking.