Meeting people is easy, if you ask me. With the shift of dating moving to being online and the plethora of dating apps that are out there, it’s very simple to create a profile, log on, and start a conversation with anyone. A quick exchange of a few short sentences can have you booked for a date in no time. But, let’s say you’re not looking to just meet people. You want something “real”. In other words, you want a relationship. You want something with substance; you want a person to be along with you on this journey called life. A real relationship…now that’s another story.
What do I mean by a “real relationship?” I mean a relationship where two individuals who are interested in each other come together to learn each other and through learning each other, they decide that they would like more than the occasional outing and/or booty call. Anyway, you get the picture. It’s easy to meet people, but it’s not always easy to meet who you feel is the “right” person for you. I know what you’re thinking, “Rachel, how do I know if this is the right person or not?”
Here are some tips to help you navigate your way past all the bullshit in the dating world and find your “real.”
1.) Don’t base all of your decision on looks.
I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but guess what? It’s true! Some man or woman can have every physical attribute that you’ve ever desired, but be SO wrong for you. I’m not saying to completely disregard physical attraction, but don’t pass up on someone just because they aren’t exactly what you had in mind. You could actually miss someone that you’d be a great match with.
2.) Approach dating with an open mind.
If you are known to be rather picky, this one is for you. It’s not wrong to be picky, not one bit (I consider myself to be picky), BUT, there is a line that needs to be drawn when it comes to pickiness. Yes, your pickiness can be excessive, unnecessary…just EXTRA, to keep it simple. Your laundry list of must-haves, deal breakers, etc. could be the reason why you’re not connecting with anyone. If you’re continuously finding reasons or excuses for every person that comes your way, the truth is, you have walls up and you’re not allowing yourself to meet, let alone date, anyone. You need to approach dating with an open mind, with a fresh perspective. Set aside all the expectations, rules…pretty much everything you thought you knew about dating. You can’t have a new beginning if you’re still living in the past.
3.) Avoid meeting a person in yours (or theirs) living space.
If you’re looking to get past the booty calls, then don’t meet at your place or their place. If the chemistry is there, the comfortability and privacy that a living space offers can (and most likely will) cause things to escalate quickly. There’s nothing wrong with sex, but sex too soon can confuse and make things complicated between people. Also, holding out on sex can actually help you determine if someone is serious about you, meaning, they like you and want you for more than just your goodies. (*queue Ciara’s “Goodies” track*)
4.) Don’t agree to meet with any and everyone, but don’t turn down everyone, too.
Value your time and your energy. In other words, value yourself. The reality of dating is, not everyone is going to be worth your time and energy because not everyone is going to be right for you. Plus, you are one person amongst the gazillion people that live on Earth. With that being said, learn to progress your communication with people that you meet online. For example, let’s say you and a person have been messaging each other on a dating app for a few days, even a week. You enjoy hearing from them and look forward to receiving their messages. If you reach this point, graduate your communication to texting, email, or whatever form of communication that you are comfortable with that is outside of the app. After a few weeks of communication, if you still enjoy talking to this person, go ahead and set up a date with them. Don’t hold out on meeting someone because of all the horror stories that you’ve heard (provided that you’re absolutely sure that the person is real and is not some creeper or crazy criminal). Why is this a good idea? If you agree to meet everyone or give everyone your time and attention, you’re exhausting yourself. Soon, you’re going to feel overwhelmed and frustrated with yourself and your options. Just because someone gives you attention, doesn’t mean that you need to reciprocate. Saying you’re not interested is absolutely fine and is actually preferred because it’s to the point, honest, and it is assured to the person that no games are being played. Just be sure you relay it in a polite manner; nobody likes rejection.
5.) Fearlessly and shamelessly be yourself.
As a woman, there is nothing that annoys me more than a man who excessively goes out of his way to try to impress me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always appreciative and I’m grateful for the effort, but it’s WAY sexier when a person doesn’t make their efforts so…obvious. There is sexiness in subtlety. Blowing up someone’s phone with endless calls and texts full of sweet nothings is NOT attractive. So come as you are; give the other person a chance to get to know you and let them decide if they can accept you for who you are or not. If they can’t, then simply keep it pushin’. Plus, how do you expect to have something real with someone, when you don’t present yourself authentically?
Dating can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there so don’t make things harder for yourself. While it’s good to keep these five points in mind while you’re navigating the dating world, remember to also have fun. Set up dates doing things that you would enjoy doing, try new things, and see new places. It’s your life so fill it with as much positive fun, love, and joy as you can!