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One of the most scariest things in life, in my opinion, is dating. Starting over with someone new feels exhausting. Having to teach someone who you are, the things you like, the things you don’t like, and letting them into your heart is intense. I hate the awkwardness in the beginning and the waiting. Oh God, the waiting. Waiting to call them, waiting for them to call you. Not really knowing where you stand with this person. Or if they are dating someone else. I fucking hate it all.
But unfortunately for me. It’s a necessity. I don’t like sleeping alone. I like coming home to someone and telling them about my day. Warm hugs will literally make my heart melt.
After my last relationship that ended with heartbreak and disappointments, I promised myself that I would never put myself in that situation again. I wouldn’t sacrifice who I am and the things I want out of life. So I made a guide to help me with dating, so I don’t make the same mistakes twice.
Rethink About What You Want Out of a Relationship
Think about what it is you want out of your next partner. Think about your past relationships. Were you fulfilled? Did you get everything you needed out of your partner like affection, empathy, passion? After every relationship, I take away something new. I’m sure if I took parts of all my exes and Frankensteined, a man he would be perfect. And there were things that I thought I wanted from my partner, but I realized I hated it. So rethink. What do you want? Make a list of things you want and don’t want in a relationship and use that as your guide.
Don’t Hold the Last Person Against Them
Stop comparing the new person you’re dating to your ex. They are not the same. Just because your ex broke your heart doesn’t mean this one will do the same.
Be Vulnerable, Honest, and Open
This one is important. Be honest. Be open. Be vulnerable. Whether they realize it or not, everyone is looking for love or a connection. Lying about yourself or who you are doesn’t help anyone. If you want something in life, you have to put in the work. It’s okay to let your guard down a little. Let them see who you really are. What’s the worst that could happen? They don’t want to date you anymore? Good. They don’t deserve you. Someone will appreciate you all of your good, messy, crazy, bad, misunderstood parts.
Put Down the Phone, be Present
Social media is fucking up our relationships. How do you make a connection with someone when you can’t get off of your phone. One of the things that drove me crazy about my ex is when we were talking, he would always be on his phone. He wasn’t on FB he was just playing a game on his phone. It drove me crazy because it made me feel like I wasn’t important enough for him to stop playing. Be present. You could miss out if you don’t stop and pay attention.
Focus on the Important Things
As a society, we are superficial. We are obsessed with looks. But we have to remember that looks fade. Then what? What do you have?
It’s okay to have a preference but that shouldn’t be the only thing you look for in a partner. Find out what they like to do in their free time, if they want kids or don’t want kids, how they feel about marriage. Think about your future. What do you want? I want someone with ambition, who fights for what he wants. Someone with personality. Someone who wants to spend time with me but also respects when I need space. I want someone who loves kids. And someone who likes Harry Potter, Star Wars and every most other nerdy thing I love.
Think beyond the right now.
Don’t Rush It
Just because you went on one date doesn’t mean that person owes your anything. If you’re interested, let them know once. If they want you, you’ll know. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the butterflies in your stomach when they text you. Enjoy the dates and the courtship. After being in a long term relationship, I craved the attention and the nervousness of dating. Let it be. There’s no need to stress yourself out. Everything always works out in the end.
Trust Your Gut. ALWAYS.
The one and only thing I regret in my relationship with my ex is not listening to my gut from the beginning. I ignored my doubts and feelings. In the end, I was right. If you get a bad feeling about a person, run. Run like hell. They aren’t for you. Your body knows things before your mind has time to catch up. It will never steer you wrong, you just have to be willing to listen.
Just Because You Went Out Does Not Mean You Owe Them a Kiss or Sex
Let’s say you went on a date, they paid for dinner, took you out for some fun, and made you laugh. You offer to help pay then decline the offer. Overall, it was a fantastic date. At the end, they lean in for a kiss or ask to be invited up. Stop.
Just because someone took you out doesn’t mean you owe them a damn thing. You don’t owe them a kiss, sex, or a cuddle. Nada. If you want them, go for it. But you are not obligated.
But but what if they don’t want to date me anymore or they don’t like me? Good. You don’t need that type of pressure in your life. Any good human being asks for consent, and if someone says no, they don’t pressure you. Someone who truly likes you won’t bully you into something you don’t want to do.
You have the power. You have to power to say yes. You have the power to say no. Don’t let anyone else tell you anything different.
It’s Okay if They Don’t Call or Ask for a Second Date
If they don’t call you or ask you for a second date, it’s okay. That person wasn’t for you. Same thing with past relationships. If it doesn’t work out, that means there was a reason for it. You deserve better. You just have to be patient.
Be Okay With Being Single. Fucking Enjoy It
Being single can be fun if you let it. It gives you the opportunity to find yourself. It’s the best time to meet people and enjoy your freedom. Don’t spend so much time focusing on finding your next relationship. You never know it could come to you when you least expect it.
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