When it comes to finding a partner in life or for the moment, it's not the easiest process nor is it the most discernible. Dating, as with a lot of learning experiences, is a matter of trial and error and reflects the standards of the times. But even as the perceptions of the present dating game shifts, the core values of it remain in tact: enjoy yourself, enjoy the other person, and care about each other. Ellen, from The Tingly Mind, gives us tips about how to date in today's age:
Last year, I didn’t have much success in the love department. I went on lots of dates without even knowing what I really wanted from all the dating. Consequently, I ended up either being disappointed, feeling totally meh or having my heart broken by all the wrong people. I realized that I was doing something not quite right there. So, I decided to sit back and figure it out. Gradually, through trial and error, I have learned to be smart in my dating game and have better experiences.
If you’re curious, here’s 10 ways to date smart:
1. Adopt An Abundance Mindset
Being desperate is the quickest way to send your date off to Nopeville and trust me, people smell desperation really fast. This is why having an abundance mindset is so important. It means that you believe, as if it is a fact, that there is always something, someone for you out there so there is no rush in anything.
Evidently, you won’t settle for the next person you meet, you won’t lower yourself for anything and of course you won’t ever have to be needy because why would you? This mindset will not just help you in the dating world but also in all aspects of life as you come to believe in yourself and your worthiness, leading to a positive outlook and personal well-being.
2. Prioritize yourself
Dating is supposed to be fun and it’s about you trying to find out whether the person you date is the right person for you, not a job interview where you have to prove yourself to them. Compromising is one thing but changing yourself to fit with other people and subsequently believing you are not good enough is another. The latter means you’re neglecting yourself and thus, it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate the whole situation. What’s best to do is focus on yourself and listen to your needs and wants, then find a person whose needs and wants match with yours. It’d benefit both of you in the long run.
3. Focus On Entertainment Value
I used to go out and get worried about where things were going but it’s a silly way to approach dating, or any kind of relationship in general. When you set relationship as the only goal, you miss the whole point of the dating process. Meeting people and going on dates is about having fun, about the person you’re with, not about the label. The label will come on its own terms at its own time.
Also, focusing on entertainment value helps you reduce anxiety and stress anticipating the dates. Go out and have a fantastic time with whoever it is, that should be your goal.
4. Be Practical
No one has its all, including you and the person you end up with. You won’t be able to find someone with a handsomely chiselled face, 6'3" model-like body while also being smart, kind, generous, funny, stylish, good on bed and totally committed. That’s not going to happen. Be realistic about your check list and you’ll be surprised at what you find, for example, from the people you never thought would be your ideal type.
My suggestion is that throw that ideal out of the window, find one thing to be your must-have and be ready to compromise the rest. Also, be picky about your set of core values and more flexible about other things like hobbies and interests as these things can change and be picked up from each other. It’d be a much better strategy.
5. Know What You Want And Be The Type Of Person You Want To Meet
They often say you attract the people who are similar to you. Thus, when you don’t know what you want, you will attract exactly those confused, lost people like you and there is only one ending for that: you are both fucked over.
If you want something better, then be better. You can’t possibly find someone with a good personality and a good job and expect them to commit to you while you are unemployed, lazy and bitchy as hell. It might happen for some strange reason but the odds are, no, it won’t. So, improve yourself and prepare to have something good to bring to the table, you will have a much better prospect in your love life.
6. Go For People Who Are Interested
Going for emotionally unavailable assholes, men or women, is either for people who are similarly unavailable or dumb teenagers who think assholes are cool.
A smart adult is the one who knows what they want, prioritizes their happiness and values their time. They also know that attention and interest are given, not to chase after, so they definitely choose to spend time with the people who are interested and cut all the drama and bullshit.
7. Be Clear About Your Expectations
You’ll never be disappointed or risk leading each other on if you are clear about your expectations from the beginning. This includes what you expect of each other and what you look for in this encounter.
When you openly communicate with each other about your needs and wants, you don’t just set your boundaries and make it clear you won’t settle for less but also show respect for yourself and the other person.
8. Be Straightforward About Your Level Of Interest
Mind game is a waste of time and again, only for dumb teenagers who think game is cool. Game is not cool. It might make you seem mysterious temporarily but at the end of the day, it’s mostly manipulation and especially does not work if you want a long-term deal. It might even backfire when the other person assumes you’re not interested and move on. Also, being straightforward means saying no when you need to, saving both of you time and energy.
9. Not Take Things Too Personally
It’s easy to blame yourself when things go sour. But you should remember that there is only so much you can do and it’s definitely not always about you. For instance, when someone breaks off with you, there are millions of different reasons why they suddenly change their mind, or maybe it happens just like that.
You know who you are and you know your own worth. No way on earth could a person you’ve only just met have the power to press all your buttons and make you doubt yourself to the point of believing you’re not enough. Keep calm and think before you react. It’s all cool.
10. Know When To Move On
It’s definitely an art to know when to pack things up and leave on good terms as it would save so much drama and heartbreaks. Like, when someone loses interest and pulls away, instead of giving them space and preparing for a goodbye yourself, you cling even more and end up being the desperate one who cannot get over it – that’s a shame.
Learn to take the hints, read the signs and know when the relationship has run its course (if you don’t already communicate openly with each other about this.) Especially, don’t be afraid to move on. There are so many fish in the sea – there will be one for you if you really want. If you don’t want, it’s cool to be single too.
After all, have fun with whatever you do. That’s the most important bit.
Ellen Nguyen is about many things and definitely one thing: she loves to write. She talks honestly, openly and positively about young people, lifestyles, cultures and well-being. You can visit her at http://thetinglymind.com where she shares with readers about her experiences, opinions and attempts at fiction.