It seems that more and more about our society is literally engineering the demise of dating for the sake of actually getting to know another person, and turning the whole idea into a game of how fast you can get them into bed…and then move on.
Sure, many of us go through phases where we are not looking for a commitment, but the problem arises when groups of people all grow out of this mindset simultaneously and then essentially have no idea what on earth to do next, or how to do this whole “dating” thing.
So, here is a short list of some things that would make life easier for everyone, if we all just pledged to follow them.
Actually. Go. On. Dates.
I know, this is a revolutionary idea – but instead of sending a “Hey, wanna come over?” text in the beginning stages, try actually putting in some effort to get to know someone and plan a real date around what they like and enjoy.
A little effort goes a long way. Since it is traditionally the man who does the inviting and planning, guys – it’s your job to get the ball rolling on this one. And women, it’s your job to not accept anything less.
Stop wasting your time with people you know aren’t what you want.
I have had a lot of people tell me that they’ve gone on a date with someone even though there really was no interest there. Why? Because they felt bad saying no, or their friend set them up and they felt guilty, or for whatever reason.
Does the reason matter? The more time you spend with the wrong people, the less time you are available to spend with the right one. All it’s going to do is add another negative experience to your repertoire and damage your faith in the opposite sex (or same sex, whatever you’re into).
Chivalry and romance.
I know, shocker – I mentioned chivalry and romance (for new readers, that’s essentially the underlying theme of this entire website). But the reason why I stand behind it so firmly is that the expression of manners (chivalry) and love (reflected in romance) are small actions that make a big difference.
By acting more chivalrous and being more romantic, we are actively showing someone we care for them and are willing to put in effort for them. When this goes both ways, a relationship has a much better chance of being successful.
Don’t make it an interview.
Too many people think that getting to know someone means riddling them with questions about their favorite color, food, or type of movie. If your date feels like an interrogation, you’re doing it wrong.
Another benefit of planning out a date is that it gives you fun things to do together which will allow the conversation to flow better and more naturally – the way it should.
Open to new things. Open to new experiences. Open to new types of people. And most of all – open to all of these things coming out of the clear blue sky.
Most times we will find that someone will happen to appear in your life when you least expect it. But if you are closed off to the possibility, are unapproachable, or don’t consider someone because “they are not your type,” you may be missing out.
Being flexible in the type of person you meet does not mean lowering your standards, think of it as lateral movement along the same plane of “quality,” so to speak.
Stop letting your past into your future.
The happiness you deserve in your present can only exist if you don’t allow it to be clouded by your past. There is a reason that your rear view is so much smaller than your windshield – it’s okay to glance back every now and then to see what’s behind you, but if it took up too much of your vision, you would crash.
Each of us have a unique past that has affected us in different ways, but we can’t move forward until we have learned what we need to from it, and then moved beyond it.
Don’t lead people on.
There are two sides to every story, and not all of them end with us being the “victim.” Sometimes, we have to take into consideration that we have the power to influence another person’s way of thinking as well. If we lead someone on for too long when we are not really interested, then we run the risk of damaging their feelings and releasing them back out into the dating world like a wounded animal.
Now you’ve started the cycle of distrust and suspicion towards the rest of us – thanks a lot!
Really learn about people.
Dating is a great chance to discover someone new. To really learn things about an intriguing person who you would never otherwise have the chance to experience. To spend too much time talking about yourself and “selling” to them, is to spend too little time really exploring who is across the table from you.
If you really want to build a strong connection with someone, you’ve got to know who you’re connecting to.
If our generations want any hope of developing deep, meaningful relationships – then we have to step outside of our “hookup culture” comfort zone, and explore the endless beauty of the person we are interested in.
The good ones are out there, but finding one starts with becoming one yourself.
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