Don’t you wish that dating was a lot easier than it is? That we all had this one person who was just right for us and when we found them- they would be ours forever? That they would miraculously appear at school, work or church and bear a sign with your name on it, and you’d fall madly in love with each other. No heartbreaks, betrayals, or the agonizing nightmare of having to find someone (else)?
Whether you’re back on the scene after a break-up or divorce or going at it as an amateur, you need to have your sense of humor and perspective when it comes to dating. Don’t let your fear hold you back and keep in mind that things can be scary and exciting simultaneously. Better to move on than be attached to something that’s safe and predictable, even though it’s bad for you.
1. Be willing to be patient: Dating is like traveling. Not every part is going to be exciting and exhilarating. In fact, some parts may be boring or even downright revolting or infuriating. Keeping your expectations real will help you from being disappointed. So don’t set unrealistic deadlines of a month or two months. If you just got out of a stormy relationship, give yourself the time to cool down and find your zen before you update your dating profile.
2. Spread the word: Let friends and family know you’re looking and pursue the leads of people you trust. Social media and dating apps are great but often restrict you to the type of person “you generally go for”. Branch out. If you tend to only date a particular type of guy or girl, take a chance and do something different. Not the best analogy, but it’s kind of like always eating Italian food and discovering that sushi can taste great too. Also, look for communities where people your age or interest hang out. That may be a great way to find someone who shares the same hobbies as you.
3. Keep the dates short in duration: Plan on having quick rendezvous with the other person. Meeting for drinks or dinner or hanging out at your local coffee shop. An hour or an hour and a half is plenty time to scope out the other person and know whether you’d like to get to know them further. Some good ideas include going to the beach, for a picnic, wine tasting, taking a cooking class or pottery or painting class together, going on a hike or enjoying the outdoors.
4. Date preps are important: Dating is kind of like going on an interview. You never know if you may meet the person of your dreams, so present your most presentable self. Figure out what works for you–a shave, or manicure for men, a blow dry or nails for the ladies. Don’t go overboard. If things go well, and you’re into each other, there will be chances to impress on the second or third date as well.
5. Feeling a big crush coming on? Now’s not the time to be exclusive. Continue your journey and keep an open mind. It’s important not to jump the gun too quickly. See where things go. If the feelings are mutual and you’re really into each other, then you can decide to go off-market. Also, take your cues from the other person– are they dating other people still? This can help you by not pinning too many hopes and dreams on one person and get heartbroken because the other person does not reciprocate the intensity of your feelings.
6. Have a life outside dating: In other words, don’t make dating a part-time profession. If you think of it more as a process than a destination, you’re less likely to rush through it. Stick to 2-3 dates a week and spread out your schedule to incorporate doing other fun things with friends or family. This allows to you to pay enough attention to each person you go out with and not think of them as merchandise. It also helps you keep your perspective– while finding your mate is important, there are other things in life that are also worthwhile.
7. Don’t rush into sex: You’re not going to like hearing this but it’s really important to not jump into bed with the first guy/gal you like. Because sex can complicate the way we feel about people and often confuse or trick us into believing something or wanting something that’s not good or right for us. So please do yourself a favor and wait for a little. If after 4-5 dates, the fire and passion are killing you, then go ahead and test your sexual compatibility (because that’s important too). No surprise, this rule is the hardest to follow but will serve you well in the long term.
Moral of the story– try to go easy on yourself, be patient with others and flexible about what you like (or think you like), be open to life taking its course, get help from others if you need to and be old fashioned when it comes to being involved sexually.
Got questions or thoughts? Write to me and I’ll be sure to respond. And Hey…Good Luck!
Copyright 2018 Vijayeta Sinh