I’m at the age now where most of my friends are either married or in serious committed relationships. It’s very boring but I still have a handful of friends that are single and dating right now. I think this is one of the most difficult time periods to date in; not only do you have to deal with dating apps, you also have to deal with people not being straightforward and ghosting you instead of expressing why they don’t want to be with you, and unrealistic expectations, just to name a few.
We’ll start with dating apps. I know many people find love on dating apps. I think they can be an amazing tool if you know what you want and are not willing to settle or be swayed by a pretty face. The only problem with dating apps is that there are unlimited options for you. If you don’t like what one person does/says there’s someone else waiting to match with you. That makes it really hard to find a quality partner because you’re not taking the time to get to know the good and the bad. I know in my dating past, sometimes I was disappointed or annoyed however, how/when/if they redeemed themselves, ended up being the deciding factor as to whether I could see myself pursuing a relationship with them. I think it’s important to accept people’s imperfections, within reason. Not everyone will know what to say and do. I think that can actually be endearing. When someone knows what to say, usually they’re just saying what they know you want to hear.
Also, sometimes people are so afraid to ask for what they want, they end up settling for what the other person is willing to give. If you tell someone what you’re looking for and that scares them away, that wasn’t the person for you. I think we are so used to falling in love with what someone is on paper, that we really don’t want to let them disappoint us; so we make excuses for them or try to rationalize with a friend. The bottom line is if someone isn’t matching your effort, it’s because they don’t want to.
Back in May, I made a must have list for my friend as to what she should look for in a significant other. I had seen her left hurt so may times and I just wanted to give her a reminder of her worth and how she should expect to be treated.
These are the things I told her to look for:
- Someone who will match your effort and be willing to pursue you. ( Ex: If you plan the date, they’re willing to drive and get you, no questions asked.)
- Someone who shares your interests. You don’t want to date yourself but as long as, they can appreciate what you’re interested in.
- Someone who likes to watch you command a room. They are happy to let you shine.
- Someone who is completely themselves, no matter the crowd.
- Someone who wants to give you all of their free time and that goes back to matching your effort. You have to sit back and do less. Let him rise to the occasion.
- Someone who pays. This may be a controversial subject but especially when you first start dating him, he should always pay. It may seem trivial or shallow but I promise you it’s not. It isn’t that you as a woman can’t pay for yourself, of course you can! It’s that man worth dating, usually won’t let you.
- Someone who shares your sense of humor (pretty obvious).
- Their thoughts spark or challenge your own.
- Someone who surprises you.
- Someone who is responsible and punctual. If he makes you wait, he’s not the one.
- Someone who shows up when you didn’t expect them to.
- Someone who accepts your family and even if they’re not their cup of tea, doesn’t make you feel like you have to apologize for them.
- Someone who is humble and doesn’t brag about anything.
- Someone who stops to notice a cute animal or child.
- Someone who never makes you question if you are the only person on their mind.
- Someone who keeps their phone out of their hand while on dates with you.
- Someone who has friends for a long period of time.
- Don’t talk negatively about yourself. Project confidence.
I’m not a relationship guru or expert by any means. I just really feel for my friends trying to date right now because I know it isn’t easy. I’ve only picked up a few things that have helped guide me along the way, to not waste my time on assholes. A lot of it has to do with realizing your own self worth and being a good judge of character, which is hard when people are really good at hiding who they truly are. You will get hurt and fooled from time to time and that’s okay. The key is to be kind to yourself and realize dating should be fun and exciting, not terrible and nerve-racking. It’s especially hard right now but if love is a priority for you, be patient and take your time to find what you want and do what makes you feel happy.