“You have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince!”
How many times has that phrase been cheerfully offered after a bad date (or three)? Dating can be so stressful that it sometimes feels like you’re taking a year off of your life every time you put yourself out there. There may be many times when you’re tempted to quit. Times when you want to just call the whole thing off, where you resign yourself to the fact that maybe you’ll just end up alone.
You may commiserate with your single friends by swapping dating horror stories. While these can be comical when told to an audience afterward, living through them is boring, at best. At worst – it’s frightening and sometimes downright torturous.
We come up with positive clichés to pass around in the hopes of making the exhausting struggle seem commonplace. Sometimes this works, and other times it just feels more depressing.
But the truth is, there is a way to make dating more enjoyable and to gain from the experience, rather than feeling like you’re losing your dignity and your mind. With the right tips and the right things to keep in mind, you can actually learn a lot about yourself, and maybe even find that special someone.
Here are some tips for navigating modern dating.
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The Best Dating Tips To Change Your Life
1. Choose wisely
You might think it sounds unromantic to weigh the pros and cons of falling for someone. It’s definitely not what the fifteen-year-old girl falling for her motorcycle-wielding, leather-jacket-wearing neighbor does. But how often does that scenario pan out well? With some age comes some wisdom. You learn not to roll the dice on someone who isn’t worth your time.
If you’re starting to fall for someone, take a good look at your motives. Are you getting swept up in how dazzlingly blue his eyes are? Don’t let first impressions make you overlook the whole package. If he has a history of quickly breaking up with every girl he dates, you are not going to be the one girl who changes that.
If you have mutual friends, ask around about him. Spend a significant amount of time in the “getting to know you” portion of the relationship before you dive in head-first. People will always reveal themselves. Believe them when they do.
The people who have the best relationships don’t know some secret tips and tricks, they choose wisely. That is what determines if you will succeed, or end up heartbroken time and time again. Choose a guy who wants you and wants the same kind of relationship you want. That is the surest way to spare yourself endless pain and to actually get the relationship you want.
MORE: 5 Signs He’s Not The One
2. Don’t date potential
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou
As women, we can be a little guilty of dating “projects.” For some reason we think we are the exception to the rule, and that if we “love” a man hard enough, that will be enough to change him. It’s not your responsibility to work on someone, and it’s not your place.
If a man tells you he’s not really a long-term relationship kind of guy, this is not a challenge. When he tells you something about himself, believe him. Don’t spend your valuable time and emotional energy trying to change a person so that they fit in your life.
Find someone who seems like he wants the same things as you. You don’t need to be carbon copies of each other, but you do need to be on the same page and that you like who he is right now and would be totally fine if things never changed. It’s a disservice to yourself to waste time on someone who isn’t right for you.
Don’t try to change him, don’t tell yourself things would be perfect as soon as XYZ changes. You’re dating a person, not the potential of who he could be. Remember that.
3. Check your baggage at the gate
When it comes to gaining a proper perspective on your last relationship, nothing works as magically as time. You really can’t see everything clearly until you’ve got some distance from it. For this reason, it’s smart to give yourself ample time to process your last relationship before moving on to the next one.
If fate has it that you meet the next guy before you’ve been able to do this, protect him from your previous baggage. Don’t bring any of your old issues into the new relationship. Sometimes we are pretty wounded by our past relationships. It’s totally okay to take as long of a breather from dating as you need until you feel you’ve fully healed.
As an example – maybe your last boyfriend was disrespectful of your time. Whether this was a huge factor in your break-up or not, you’re going to be sensitive about it. Just remember that your new guy is innocent of your last boyfriend’s sins. If he shows up five minutes late to a movie, don’t jump down his throat. Give him the benefit of the doubt.
4. Utilize friends of friends
In today’s world, it can be really hard to meet people. We’re technically more connected than ever before, but how often are you regularly, physically in a place where you connect with strangers? Going to a bar can be hit-or-miss. Dating apps work out amazingly for some, yet end up being a nightmare for others.
An often overlooked way to meet new people is by talking to the ones you already know – your friends. Ask your friends in relationships if their husbands or boyfriends have any cool, single friends. Not only is this an easy method of introduction, it also makes it much less likely you’ll accidentally wind up on a date with a total creep.
Yes, there’s a chance your well-meaning friends will excitedly play cupid and get it wrong. But it’s much more likely that your friend will have your best interests at heart and offer a great suggestion.
5. Enjoy being single
People in relationships sometimes fantasize about the single life. Try to remember that this is your chance to enjoy that freedom. Soak up the present moment. You alone get to dictate your schedule. The alone time that you have plenty of now will eventually be a precious commodity.
While it’s common to think that another person can “complete” you, the reality is that you are the one responsible for your happiness. This is just as true when you are in a relationship as it is when you are solo. By taking care of and embracing yourself now, you are setting yourself up for a healthy and satisfying future relationship.
6. Don’t try to be someone you’re not
When you start dating someone – especially someone you really like – it’s super tempting to present a certain version of yourself. While there’s nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward, make sure you’re not showcasing a false representation. It might be easy to fake who you are on the first couple of dates, but after that, it’s just exhausting.
Besides being tiresome, this sets you up for future pain.Eventually, your true self will emerge because you can’t hide who you are forever, unless you’re a truly masterful con artist. If you’re honest with him from day one, you’ll avoid this conflict. In addition to this, you’ll get the thrill of knowing someone appreciates you for exactly who you are.
7. Be your best self
Take care of yourself. Your mental, physical, and emotional well-being are up to you. Any time you spend on being the best version of yourself you can be is a beautiful investment in your future.
When you’re single, you have more time to devote to working on yourself. You can put in place habits that will carry into your eventual relationship. For example, if you find the best time for self-reflection and calm is during a nightly bath with lavender oil – that’s a way for you to carve out self-care time when you’re in a relationship as well.
8. You can’t win them all
Not every guy you’re interested in is going to want you in return. This is in no way a personal attack. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. It just means you weren’t right for that particular person.
If you’ve ever had the experience of turning a guy down, you know this is true. Just because you don’t want to romantically pursue someone, doesn’t mean you think any less of them as a person.
If there’s anyone walking around who hasn’t experienced rejection, that person is not living a full life. Expanding your comfort zone and putting yourself out there is a huge part of a fulfilling existence. Playing it safe means you don’t get hurt, but it also means you can’t evolve as a human.
9. Don’t try to make men chase you
Playing hard to get is a manipulative game. If you do catch the interest of a guy by doing this, there’s a pretty good chance the rest of the relationship will be filled with other kinds of mind games. Don’t set yourself up for that stress. Be straightforward about how you feel.
Coming on too strong is a turn-off, but you absolutely can subtly make your feelings known. Hold his eye contact for an extra few seconds. Smile at him. Laugh at his jokes. If you’re in the same room as him, make an effort to be nearby.
It takes courage for a guy to make a move. If you find ways to let him know the door is open, he will be able to more confidently pursue you.
10. Learn how to connect
Small talk isn’t just boring, it’s tiring. Speaking genuinely and from the heart is much easier. Even though it can be a little scary to do this at first, it’s the only way to build a deeper bond with someone. Once you show some vulnerability, it’s ten times easier for the other person to do the same.
Everyone craves real connection. We want to share our thoughts, hopes, and fears. Someone has to be the first one to start that thread of conversation, and there’s no reason it can’t be you. Sometimes guys feel the need to put up a front more than women do. Once you open up, he will feel safer doing the same.
Until you know someone is trustworthy, you don’t need to spill your deepest secrets. Get the ball rolling with something small, but personal. Casual, flirty banter is fun, but no one wants to exist in that part of the relationship forever.
11. Be confident
The complaint that “nice guys finish last” and that women always fall for “bad boys” is really about something a little deeper than that. It’s about confidence. Just like you are attracted to someone who is unabashedly himself, men find self-assurance sexy.
Instead of going into a date feeling like you have to impress the guy, take a breath and remember all your great qualities. Go in there with the expectation that he is going to try and impress you.
If you have a hard time feeling bold, fake it. For the most part, it will look exactly the same as actual fearlessness. Think about putting on the character of a confident version of yourself. Be that woman.
12. Don’t be a man hater
Having rage against an entire gender is just a sign that you have been hurt in the past. Just like you wouldn’t want to be painted with the same brush as every woman you know, a man doesn’t want to be lumped in the same category as every other guy.
If you find yourself resenting someone just because he’s male, take a step back from dating. He’s innocent until proven guilty, and if you’re unable to get on board with that, you probably still have some processing to do from your previous relationship. Besides, until you can go into it with a blank slate, it’s not going to be pleasant for you either.
13. Don’t linger in non-relationships
In today’s “hook-up culture,” there are a lot of relationships that live in a grey area. Sometimes a girl doesn’t want to be perceived as being clingy, so she avoids having the conversation that would clarify things. This is very convenient for a guy who only wants to hook up without strings, but it’s going to leave you feeling used.
If you’re interested in a real relationship, make that clear from the beginning. When a guy says he just doesn’t like “labels,” believe him! It’s not an opening offer up for negotiation.
If he tells you he doesn’t want a relationship early on, count yourself lucky that you learned it as soon as you did and get out of there. It’s a little trickier if he’s hesitant to talk about it, but don’t waste time here. Either he’s open to legitimate dating or he’s not.
14. See it as a learning experience
A relationship isn’t a failure because it ends. There are people that come into your life for all kinds of reasons. You might help each other through a certain period of your lives. No matter what, you are always going to evolve as a person throughout all of these experiences. Even just a bad first date can teach you something.
If you aren’t out there going through ups and downs, you’re stagnant. The only way to learn more about yourself and what you want in a partner is to get out there and experiment. Whether it was a volatile relationship or just one that fizzled out over time, it changed you. It helped you inch a little closer to the person you will be when you do find the right person.
15. Manage your mood
This may seem like the simplest advice on the list, but if you can master it, everything else will fall into place. Be comfortable with who you are and where you are at in life, solo or not. Happy and positive people are very appealing to others. Nobody wants to be around someone gloomy and negative.
Work on yourself and on having your own peace of mind, regardless of what (or who) else is in your life. You are a complete package all on your own, and ironically it’s when you recognize this that others become enchanted by you.
I hope these dating tips will help you find and keep the love you’ve always wanted. But I also want to make you aware of two crucial moments that will determine if your relationship lasts or if you end up heartbroken. At some point, a guy will ask himself: Is this the woman I want to commit myself to? The answer will determine everything. Do you know how a man decides a woman is “girlfriend material” as opposed to “fling material”? Do you know what inspires a man to want to commit? If not, you need to read this article next: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman
Here is another issue almost every woman will face: He starts to withdraw and seems to be losing interest. He doesn’t text back, he is less attentive, and something is just off. He seems like he’s pulling away and you might lose him completely— do you know what to do about it? If not, read this right now If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
Dating Tips That Will Change Your Life:
- Choose wisely
- Don’t date potential
- Check your baggage at the gate
- Utilize friends of friends
- Enjoy being single
- Don’t try to be someone you’re not
- Be your best self
- You can’t win them all
- Don’t try to make men chase you
- Learn how to connect
- Be confident
- Don’t be a man hater
- Don’t linger in non-relationships
- See it as a learning experience
- Manage your mood