Believe it or not, for some women, dating is actually quite fun—they see it as a chance to meet someone new while simultaneously getting the opportunity to check out a new bar, restaurant, or spot in town. The date might end wonderfully, or maybe it won’t. Either way they’ll have a good story to tell.
For other women, dating is actually not fun at all—they see it as a necessary evil on the way to starting a relationship, but they don’t want to do it and they definitely don’t enjoy it. If you find yourself in this second category, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
It’s no secret that dating is tough. But it doesn’t have to be so hard that it feels more like a chore than an experience. To help you out, here are some of the best pieces of dating advice for women dating today. Check them out and apply them to your dating life, and you just may start enjoying yourself more.
Remember, they’re nervous too.
Dating is a scary thing, especially if you’ve been hurt before. When you go on a date with someone you don’t know very well, it’s a gamble for both of you. So, if he or she stutters a bit, or tells a bad joke, try to ease up a little bit. Nobody’s perfect, and they’re likely already mortified that their pun didn’t quite land.
You’re in no obligation to see them again.
Simply put, many women are nervous about disappointing others. That means they might say yes to a second date even if they really aren’t feeling it—especially if the other person felt a connection. Just remember, you’re under no obligation whatsoever to meet with a date again. It’s not mean to say no thanks—nobody out there can form meaningful connections with everyone, and if you’re really not feeling it, you don’t owe anyone a second chance.
Tell a trusted friend where you’re meeting up.
It might sound overly cautious, but hey—you never know. It’s always good to have someone who’s aware of your whereabouts, especially if alcohol is involved. It’s just a smart thing to do no matter what the circumstance.
Buy something new to wear that you absolutely love.
It doesn’t have to be something expensive, just something you’ve never worn before but feel fabulous in. New clothes can really up your confidence and make you feel as if this outing is extra special. If you’re going on a bunch of dates with different people, don’t go too crazy with it—but definitely give your wardrobe a tiny update, especially if you’re fresh on the dating scene after a past relationship didn’t work out.
Think about what makes you interesting.
You should never lie on a date—something like that may end up haunting you if the relationship progresses. But since dates are all about talking and getting to know one another, think ahead about reasons why you’re unique. Everyone likes traveling and watching Netflix, so maybe leave those out. Here’s a good exercise to practice. Pretend you’re a celebrity who’s about to be interviewed by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. What are you there to talk about? Every celebrity has a fun anecdote or story that makes the audience laugh, and it’s never spur of the moment. Think about what you’d tell an audience, and use that as your go-to story on your date.
Don’t fall in love on the first date.
So, things went well on your first date. Great! But maybe they went a little too well. Before your pop on those rose colored glasses, remember that nobody’s perfect, and usually people are on their best behavior on a first date. This person’s flaws will become apparent eventually, and they’ll be things you do and don’t like about them. Take some time to really get to know them, flaws and all.
Do a quick Google search before saying yes.
Unless they have an incredibly common name (like “Mike Smith”) there’s a good chance you can get some information about the person you’re seeing online before committing to a date. Though it’s common for people to “internet stalk” someone they’re interested in, try not to go too far down the rabbit hole. You just want to find out if the details they gave you match what you found. If you get information about past girlfriends, or manage to find their MySpace page from 2005, those details should probably be left alone.
If all goes well, don’t rush and tell your parents.
You might know this one already. Sometimes, parents like to meddle. They want to hear their daughter has met someone nice, since, “It’s about time someone saw your potential!” They’re not wrong, but their enthusiasm about a good first date might leak into your family’s group text. Remember, this person is dating you—not your family. If you keep information on the down low for now, you’ll save yourself a ton of emotional energy in case it doesn’t work out. If you need to gossip, trust your best friend.
Don’t put on a show.
This is a date, not an episode of The Bachelor. Don’t try to laugh louder than normal, or impress your date by being a more animated version of yourself. Just be real. If you’re trying to make up for being anxious about the date, just tell them how you feel. Even being open with it will make you feel instantly better. If they respond poorly (which, they likely won’t) then you know in the first five minutes that it’s not a love connection. It’s great to be confident, but if that confidence is forced, the whole date will seem a bit like a farce.
Be honest with your feelings.
If you’ve been single for awhile, you might give someone a bunch of shots because you’re simply tired of going on dates and being disappointed. Women have it tough—there are a lot of timelines that society has set up, so many of us feel like we need to be married by a certain age. It’s hard to be lonely, but it’s even harder to be in a relationship with someone who you don’t really care about. Be honest with how you feel about someone, since it’s much easier to cut the brakes now, rather than in a few years. Really, you should be in no rush.