In my free time, I’ve become a dating tip connoisseur. In fact, it’s almost a hobby at this point. I’ve been soaking up everything I can from Youtube videos, dating coaches and podcasts to learn everything I can to successfully date in the social media/technological age that we’re in. I think it’s a fascinating world and there’s so much content to learn from. In conversation with Sam the other day, she suggested I pull together a shortlist of tips that I’ve found effective so far in my life. Although there are specific do’s and dont’s from what I’ve listed, it’s not so much about the exact wording or protocol about doing things. Instead, it’s more about your mental state and approach to conducting yourself to date in a positive, healthy and self-respectful way.
So here goes, in no particular order, what I’ve found works best for me:
- Don’t contact him after the first date. Unless you forgot something or he said to text you when you got home safely, let him make the move. Having him text first when he’s ready will show an indication of his interest level. Too often I’ve gone on dates and focused on gauging MY attraction to them when I realize that’s only half the battle.
- Let him take the initiative to make plans. I want a guy that takes initiative and isn’t afraid to setup the plan. If he puts the ball back in your court, just say you’re up for anything and to surprise you. Having him put the effort in is also an indication of his interest level.
- Keep the texts short and sweet. It doesn’t need to come across rude, keep it flirty but get to the point. The purpose of texting should be make plans, not to get to know each other via message. As long as you’ve found out the basics about him and there’s somewhat of a common interest, everything about him can be learned on the actual date.
- If you’re unsure about the guy, make it a coffee date. It’s short, quicker and not as expensive as dinner or drinks. And if you both find out you like each other, it’s easy to transition into a drinks date after.
- Take the time to evaluate your hard yes’s and maybe’s. You don’t need a must have list of 20 physical qualities and characteristics – it’s not realistic, but focus more on the values and morals that you’d want in a person. At the same time keep an open mind on the date, he may surprise you and you may discover certain things you didn’t realize you’d be attracted to.
- Do not ever feel like you owe a guy anything after a date, no matter how much he’s spent on you. You are in control of your own body.
- If you can and are able, date multiple people casually at the same time. Trust me, I haven’t figure out how to successfully do it yet myself but I am told it is the healthiest approach to dating. By not focusing all your energy (and therefore desperation) on one guy, you can feel more at ease knowing that you have options and can take your time when evaluating for a good partner before you get into anything serious.
- If he cancels or comes across flakey, give him the benefit of the doubt and allow him to reschedule. If he doesn’t, move on. You’re not a top priority in his mind and you shouldn’t waste your time on someone who sees you as an afterthought.
- Self-reflect on your dating goals. What are you looking for? Are your actions and behavior aligning with your goals? Alter as necessary. There have been times where I say I’m looking for a relationship, but in truth, my body seems to yearn for something more casual. Coming to that realization was eye-opening for me and allowed me to tailor my dating style based on what I was looking for at the time.
- Above all, respect yourself and those around you. You deserve to have someone treat you well, and you should treat them in kind. If it’s not the right fit, don’t force it just because you’re lonely, it may damage you more in the long run.
That was just a few of the things I’ve learned over the years. It might not be to everyone’s taste but I think there is a fundamental vein of truth that runs throughout them. Let me know your thoughts or if you have any tips to share with our readers as well.