In looking back on the last year or my early twenties, I have gone on more dates than I can count. While that may be the case for some and not for other, either way there is nothing wrong when it comes to how you choose to go about dating. We are each on our own dating journey, so don’t compare your pitstop to someone else’s destination when it comes them being single or married. We all get to our final destination, our forever partner at different times in our lives, some meet their person sooner in life while others may not meet their person until after going through a handful heartbreaks. Your journey is what makes you, never forget that. With that being said, let me take on you a date on the do’s and don’ts of dating, not just from my experience but from friends and family experiences with dating. Hopefully, these “8 Dating Do’s & Don’ts” may help you the person reading this, relate or make you think about dating in a different light. No matter if your single, dating or married, we can always learn and grow as we go through life, and most importantly LOVE!
Let’s get into it…
- Do Be Interested
Some of us are scared to show someone we like them out of fear of rejection. But let me tell you, sending a nice text or doing a sweet gesture goes a long way. If you are someone like me, explicit cues like someone straight up telling me how they feel is far more important than implicit cues, which someone like me will not pick up on. I am saying send that long text, state and show your true feelings to that person, and well if they do not feel the same way, you know you showed how you truly felt versus playing cool. Showing and telling someone how you feel goes a longer way, than just playing it cool and being indifferent to them. Just do not be too hard on yourself, don’t overthink how you act, because someone should date and love you for you, not a version you think they may like.
Life is truly too short, love is too fleeting to not be or act interested in someone you like or may even find attractive (or both). And if you are simply not, then just send a nice text message (do not ghost that just makes you look immature and slightly shady, sorry not sorry, I hope your parents raised you slightly better than that, please have some sliver of respect because KARMA IS REAL.)
2. Don’t Think Too Far Ahead
Many of us are guilty of connecting with someone and thinking out our whole entire future with them. Well, hold your horses honey, just take it moment by moment, date by date before jumping in head first into the deep depths of dating. My advice is do ground yourself in reality to realize that you may not meet your person(or prince) after kissing a handful of frogs. So try to take the rose tinted colored glasses off and see the person for who they truly are, or who your close friends and family see them for. I feel it is important in the early stages of getting to know someone or dating them to seek advice for close family members or friends who may be seeing things you aren’t, since well they are not as invested as you are.
In dating it is important to stay in the now, and just really take it date by date. Over time, you truly get to know and see someone for who there. Always remember time is on your side, and do not start planning out your wedding from the second of meeting someone because most of the time that will end up in you just projecting what you want in a partner onto them. It is important to date in the now, reflect on your dating past, learn from your past dating experiences to seek out what you potentially want in a partner.
3. Do Focus on How You Feel
It is important to focus on how you feel. While your friends and family may like or love someone, it is important for you to feel those feelings as well since you will be spending a whole lot more time with them then they will. I feel it is also important to focus on what your gut is telling you. I can’t tell you how many times, one person in particular where I felt uneasy around, like something in my gut was telling me something off. Although I never pinned down what it was, I know now I am so happy I listened to my gut and walked away from that situation. Your body more than your mind and heart can pick up on things, that sometimes we ourselves cannot understand. Don’t forget to listen to your gut and lean into your feelings, since they will signal and let you know how you feel about someone. Many times, we misinterpret our feelings for liking someone a lot when it is more than that, so just feel your feelings, don’t feel one bit about it, since it will lead you to the right partner and rid you of the potential, toxic partners (I know some of you reading this have been there, you feel me?!).
4. Don’t Be Afraid to say Your Expectations
Seriously do not feel bad or be afraid to say what your expectations are when it comes to a potential partner. It is important to share and state your dating guidelines with you partner fairly early on to see if you two are even on the same page. Because I know from my own dating experiences, as well as friends and family that we end up dating someone for months, only to find out that they are just really not in the market for a serious relationship or finally figure out that they cannot live up to your expectations. My real, raw and honest advice is telling someone you are interested in is what you are looking for a partner.
If you do not, you may end up being frustrated and sad as to why things did not workout or why they are so many miscommunications between the two of you over time. Do not share a whole entire list with them, but do have (an) authentic conversation(s) with them over time in the early stages of dating, so it sets the foundation for a strong, withstanding relationship and eventual partnership down the dating road. Never lower your expectations to fit someone else’s idea of a relationship, do though have realistic expectations and exemplify them through your actions too. Let me just say you are worthy of someone f*cking amazing, and vice versa, never forget that honey, there is someone out there for each and every one of you (even if you have already met them and are committed, engaged or married).
5. Do Be Who You Are
Be unapologetically who you are to the core. And well if someone does not like you for you, then just wish them the best. It is so important to not become a version of yourself to fit that person’s ideal partner. I feel this is something that comes with time and gaining confidence in who you are. I always love to compare our twenties as each of us going into a costume shop and trying out different costumes, only to eventually walk out of there being completely fine in who we are. While you may have some insecurities which is completely normal, you should lean into those and see why you want to change those things about yourself. Is it family, friends or society telling you have to change who you are to be deemed worthy or beautiful, if so, listen yet tune into the pieces and parts who make up the person you are. Never doubt or forget, there is only one of you in this world, so keep being and doing you. Eventually in time, someone down the line will come into your life who loves you fully for all that makes you, you (the good, bad and in between). If someone truly loves you, they will love you not only at your best, but at your lowest. So continue to be who you are even if you feel like you do not fit the mold of those you see as your scroll on social media or in a small(ish) town like Boise, Idaho. Beauty goes beyond just looks, beauty can be found in your soul and shine through your spirit. Love hoo you are because you are truly F*CKING OWLSOME!!
ps I love owls, hoo would’ve known, just if you didn’t know that already, man you, yes the person reading this may think I am hoot, well that’s fine, cause I am me, and well you are you, so in the end that makes two of us (or maybe just one of you)
6. Don’t Judge by The First Date
I feel many of are guilty of judging someone off the first date, well at least I am. I feel it is important to go on a second or third date. Reason being, on the first date, most likely you and that person are fairly nervous if you have never met each other in person before. I really do feel it is important to not make assumptions of someone off just the first date, unless well if there are things that you do not see yourself being able to work pass. So give them and yourself a chance to really go on a couple or few dates, before making a rash decision about whether or not you want to date them. This goes for you people who have been talking forever over text or phone calls in getting to know someone, truly allow the date or dates to evolve into what they are meant to be, not an idealized idea of how the person should act or look in your head. Let your nerves settle down, and take your time in getting to know someone or even dating them, you can find out and connect with someone you may not have thought you would.
7. Do Meet Somewhere Public & Place You Both Like
It is important on a first date or even in the beginning stages of dating that you meet in a public place such as a populated park, restaurant or area where other people can see you. I say this because you never know who truly someone is even after talking for them a while and stalking them on social media (because we all do that, even if do not say so explicitly). It is important to also research someone before you meet up, just to make sure you are not going on a date with someone who could possibly cause harm to you. I say this because many of us nowadays likely meet someone online through a dating app, social media (Instagram or Facebook) or through a mutual friend. Last but not least, when meeting someone for the first time, pick a place you both like and feel comfortable meeting up at. When it comes to dating or just getting to know someone, it is crucial for you to feel secure and comfortable. If not, then please listen to your gut and do not meet up or go on a date with someone if you truly do not feel comfortable. Your body as I like to say sometimes knows better than your mind and heart. Trust your gut and intuition, as I like to say (or as someone told me long, long ago).
8. Don’t Forget to tell Family & Friends who You Are Going With
No matter what, do not forget to tell your family and friends who you are meeting or going on a date with. It is important to let those you are close know your whereabouts in case anything was to happen to you. So text when you arrive at your destination and when you leave to let those you love know you are safe. It may also be important to share your Snapchat location with a friend locally in case something was to happen to. You never know nowadays, so having tags on someone can help in making sure you are safe, and reassuring your loved ones you are too. I do not tell you this to scare you, yet this important to be in communication with your family or friends, even if you are meeting up with a friend or going on a hike alone, just so they know where you are. I always tell my family and sometimes my friends were I am going so they know, and can do something if something happens to me. Just do not forget to communicate and practice safety whenever you are going somewhere by yourself or with a friend, or meeting a new person.
The Destinations & Detours of Dating
I hope these “Dating Do’s & Don’ts” can help you as you continue on your dating journey, or even reflect on what dating was like for you before you met your forever person. I feel each person’s dating journey is different, yet similar. Some of us date more than others, and some of us have never been a long term relationship before. No matter where you are at in your dating journey, just know it is your journey, not anyone else’s. So do not compare your season of singleness to someone’s season of marriage. We all go through different seasons in life at different times, so appreciate the time you have.
Learn all you can about life and love, what you want and do not want in a future partner. Through dating, you will find more about yourself, who you want to be as a partner and what you seek in a relationship for it to be healthy, withstanding and for you feel fulfilled (and loved). Just remembering the longest relationship you’ll ever be in is the one with yourself, so learn to love yourself and the rest will follow (as they tend or like to say). Taking it day by day, date by date, you got this (and you can survive even those worst heartbreak and breakups — p.s. they will make you appreciate eventually your life long partner).