Dating can be incredibly tough today, especially when everyone seems to have so many options available to them since the explosion of online dating and dating apps. How do you know you’re doing it right? How do you know you’re putting your best self out there?
So, the big question is, what do you really need to know when it comes to dating?
To help you out, here are the eight most important dating tips for women dating today:
1. Stop looking for love in nightclubs and bars.
People usually go to nightclubs and bars for one of two reasons—to hang with friends and/or to find a hook-up. That doesn’t mean no long term relationship has ever begun in one of these places, but it does mean it doesn’t happen often. Bars are great public spaces where people come meet, talk, and do all sorts of things. But it’s not always great place to find love.
And if you’re truly focused on finding someone, you’re unlikely to find people with shared values and interests somewhere as generic as a club or bar. If music is your thing, you’re better off going somewhere that truly interests you, like a jazz night, a concert, or even a record store. Likewise, if you love reading bookstores, readings, and events that match your interests will have more people who like the same things. Bars are a bit of a catch-all.
2. Don’t play too many games.
Most people dabble in games when they’re dating, and I understand that you have to a little, because there’s so many people out there and you’re trying to find who you have a real connection with. Maybe you genuinely don’t know how you feel about someone at first, or you ended up dating two really great people at the same time and want to give them both a chance. It’s ok to not reveal all your cards right away.
That being said, don’t waste time on any of those ridiculous rules, like not texting back too soon, or trying to make someone jealous. If you’re looking for someone who’s mature, smart, and kind; chances are he’s not going to be into playing games if he genuinely likes you and wants to pursue something with you.
On the other hand, if he doesn’t text you back for days, choose to step out of that game and find someone who gives enough of a damn to text you back in a timely manner.
Choosing not to play games is how you become a dating pro.
3. Try online dating.
If you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, it might look a little intimidating to you from the outside but it’s not as hard as it looks. Not everyone has to online date, but more and more people are meeting online now and it works for a lot of people. Unless you absolutely hate it, or not it’s not for you and never will be, you should try it out and see if it’s a good way for you to meet people.
The great thing about the boom in online dating is that it has made it’s easy to find single people who are interested in dating and starting some sort of relationship. And you can also meet a new pool of singles who are outside of your immediate social circles.
It’s also good practice. If you’re nervous about dating, online dating is a great way to get some practice and get used to the normal awkward interactions, flirtations, getting-to-know-you conversations, and even rejections that happen when you’re trying to meet someone.
4. Date outside of your type.
Too many of us women have a list of specific qualities or traits we’re looking for in a partner. Sometimes, these lists can be so long and detailed, that we end up severely limiting our potential pool of options, and missing out on amazing people who don’t quite fit our idea of perfect. Certain qualities are really important, like kindness, while others, like height, are not.
Get clear on what you want—yes. But also be flexible when it comes to dating, and avoid being overly judgmental or skeptical. If you create demands that are too unrealistic, nobody is going to measure up. Remember—we are all flawed, even you.
5. But don’t compromise your core values.
When it comes to your core beliefs and values, it’s important not to settle. Ask them what their core beliefs are. Do they fit with your own? Set clear boundaries from the start, and expect these to be respected. If they’re not, or you notice fundamental differences between the two of you that could never work together, then voice this politely and move on. Don’t waste time hoping someone will change, when they’ve already demonstrated they aren’t likely to.
6. Redefine your expectations of where you think you “should be” vs where you actually are.
It doesn’t matter how old you are when you’re dating—whether you’re in your teens or in your seventies. As women, we have a lot of pressure to find our soulmates, but we’re also pickier than ever and choosing to focus on our careers more, meaning we’re taking longer to settle down.
And that’s okay. Don’t regret prioritizing your career or traveling the world and seeking adventure, over finding a partner and raising a family.
Remember, you are not alone. And finding a partner is not your mission here on earth. You don’t need to follow anyone’s timeline of when you need to have things checked off; and stressing about it will only make you feel worse. The world is full of single people just like you. Relax. Enjoy this time.
7. Always be honest.
You might be dating just to have fun right now, and that’s totally fine. Equally, you might be dating to find a committed relationship, and that’s okay too.
What’s important is that you’re honest about this, and upfront at the start when chatting with and meeting new people. And choose to date people who have the same desires as you, so that you’re not setting yourself up for failure.
8. Be yourself—unapologetically.
Changing who you are in an attempt to impress your date will only end up backfiring in the long run. If you show up as your authentic self, then you won’t have to worry whether your date really likes you, or your alter ego.
And when you’re confident and comfortable with yourself, this will be a no-brainer. There’ll be no question of showing up as anyone but yourself—and if someone doesn’t like you, that’s their problem, not yours.