If you're currently dating, it may feel like the whole scene is one giant guessing game. Should you call? Should you text? On which date should you have your first kiss? It can get a bit overwhelming, and leave you wondering if there are any secret or surprising dating tips to make it all easier.
Because it's true — dating life can be a scary, confusing, and overwhelming world. (And OK, maybe sometimes a little bit fun.) But mostly it feels like it has an intense amount of rules, as well as a lot of pressure. The cool thing about dating, though, is that the rules are mostly all in our heads. At the end of the day, dating isn't that serious. So if the rules are driving you crazy, don't follow them. And if you feel overwhelmed, by all means switch things up so that the fun aspect can become more the norm.
But sometimes, a few tips and tricks can come in handy, especially if you're truly trying to find yourself a good match, and potential future partner. If that sounds like you, then here are a few surprising dating tips that you probably haven't heard. Feel free to replace these with all the old rules floating around in your head, and good luck out there.
1. Remember That You Don't Have To Meet At A Bar
Many people's go-to dating spot is a bar, and there's nothing wrong with that. But if it's not your scene, or you're having zero luck, don't be afraid to try something new. "You never know where you're going to meet the next person you date, so if you're only looking in one spot...then you're missing out on tons of possible partners, " said Arielle Pardes on Women's Health. "Love can crop up anywhere, so get out there and keep your eyes open."
2. Keep Your Deal Breakers In Mind
I know, it seems sort of pessimistic to go into a date looking for problems. But unless you're just being casual and having fun, it's better to not waste your time on someone who isn't a good match. As Melanie Pinola said on Lifehacker.com, "We all have things we definitely don’t want in a partner." Keep those in mind, and don't be afraid to peace out at the first sign of a red flag.
3. Let Your Friends Choose Your Date
Whenever your BFFs claim to know someone who's "so perfect" for you, it can immediately feel like a bad idea. And yet, who knows you better than your friends? They may very well do a great job recommending someone to date, so go ahead and let them play matchmaker. Besides, it's sometimes better to meet new partners through your friends, since there will already be a familiarity and comfort there, according to Christie Hartman, Ph.D., in an interview with Pardes. It may be totally worth a try.
4. Don't Go In Thinking About Marriage
If you're a serious dater, then you might have marriage on the mind. But don't let that bog you down on your first date. "A first date is not an audition for marriage. It's just a tryout for a second date," said Jen Anderson on YourTango.com. "No one ever fell in love while analyzing every detail of their momentous first meeting." So try to be cool, and don't get too ahead of yourself.
5. Trust Your First Impressions
First impressions sort of get a bad rap, since we're taught not to judge people too quickly, or too harshly. And yet that's sort of what dating is all about. You want to judge the other person (politely and privately in your own mind, obviously), to see if they'll be a good fit for you. Just be sure to trust your instincts. "It takes only 12 minutes for you to decide if you're interested in the other person (and for them to decide if they dig you)," Pardes said. If it doesn't feel right, then be OK with moving on.
6. List What You're Looking For
It may sound a bit stodgy, like you're writing out a grocery list, but it's important to know what you're looking for in another person. Writing out a list of necessary qualities can definitely help. "Knowing what you want is a powerful thing, as is making sure your list gets narrowed down to about ten key qualities," noted Jeannie Assimos on eHarmony.com. In other words, don't go overboard with 200 must-have personality traits, as that exact person probably doesn't exist. Keep it pared down to a simple core beliefs and traits, and start looking for that.
7. Don't Get Upset If They Stop Calling
It can really suck if you thought everything was going well, only for the person to totally ghost you. If that happens, keep in mind that dating is about finding a good match, and that's a two way street. So try not to lose sleep if your date stops texting. "Instead of worrying and stressing over why — just assume it wasn't meant to be and move on," Assimos said. "Save yourself all of that grief and get ready for your next adventure.
8. Try Not To Play Games
Once you've gone on a few dates, you'll likely get an onslaught of advice from friends about what to do next. I'm sure you'll hear the classics, such as "wait three days to text back" or "don't show too much interest." But try not to get too wrapped up in these games. As Pardes said, "... it's definitely OK to respond to that text in a timely manner, or tell [them] how much fun you're having. Being kind is definitely a turn on, so forget what you’ve been told about playing it ice-cold."
9. Don't Forget About Yourself
If you're going on a million dates, it can be easy to let other areas of your life start to slide. Don't let this happen. "Maintaining your sense of self, friendships and passions keeps you balanced and also makes you a more desirable partner," Assimos said.
10. Try Dating Someone Who Isn't "Your Type"
We all have a type, whether it be artsy, sporty, sensitive, or musical. But only setting your sights on one type of person can be kind of limiting. "The old 'judging a book by its cover' ... is hindering your ability to see the hundreds of good [people] all around you," said Nicole DiRocco on HuffingtonPost.com. So widen your search to include people from different backgrounds. And remember, the cool thing about true compatibility is you'll end up finding them wildly attractive anyway.
11. You Don't Have To Date After A Hookup
A lot of relationships start after an initial fling, and that's perfectly fine. Keep in mind, however, that hooking up doesn't mean you have to continue dating, especially if it doesn't feel right. As Rhonda Milrad said on HuffingtonPost.com, "... physical intimacy doesn’t mean you are necessarily close and connected. Following a single fling, take time to get to know the other person and see what direction it takes, if any."
Dating is supposed to be fun, so by all means enjoy yourself. But keep some of these tips in the back of your mind, so you can have success finding your next relationship.
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