1. Listen to your friends and/or watch their reactions to your SO.
When your friends are giving you signs and signals, maybe instead of being combative, you should listen to them. Your friends know you better than your SO does, at least in the early stages of dating. If they see something off-kilter, it’s unlikely that they’re being self-serving. Unless your friends are shitbags. In which case, ignore this and keep doing you.
2. Act your age.
At different stages of our dating lives, we act differently and we look for different things. Continuing to look for the same qualities in a partner at 30 than at 21, you might not be successful. Where are you at now? What do you want? Really think about that and try to find someone who wants the same things, or else try and at least date someone who acts their age too.
3. Give your time and energy to people who deserve it.
This was one of the most important pieces of advice I received during my stint as a teacher and it rings true in dating as well. Don’t do all the heavy lifting. Think moving to a new apartment: imagine it’s only you doing everything. Now think of a moving/pizza/beer party where your friends are giving you a hand. Which is preferable? Yeah. Big time. Happiness and joy and love too, are better and easier and more comfortable, when they’re shared.
4. Don’t take those who are kind to you for granted, even if it wasn’t meant to be.
I went on an online date with a guy who I had 0 romantic chemistry with. Like, I was practically begging the universe for him not to make a move because if he had, I would have felt completely confused and awkward and it would have been terrible. But still, we went bar-hopping, talked music, he gave me some really great festival-going life hacks and he paid for everything, including 2 am Chinese food at the end of the night. We hugged it out and never saw each other again,but I was sure to thank him then, via text, and to thank the universe for the good night anyway.
We all date into a corner; sometimes it just doesn’t work out. But what I’ve learned recently is, a good date is a good date, even if it doesn’t turn into anything. Think back onto every person you’ve dated and remember the good, not the bad. For every awful date we’ve ever had, there are good ones. Take them for what they are.
5. Don’t go on a mission when you date online.
What I mean by this, is every single person you date shouldn’t be auditioning to be your husband/wife. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to them. In my experiences, the best way to approach casual dating is with a spirit of fun, adventure and importantly, low expectations. On that note…
6. You shouldn’t feel like you’re trying really hard.
Let’s say you make it past the ‘what are we?’/’Is he going to keep hanging out with/texting me’ phase and you end up in some kind of relationship. Do you feel at peace with everything and does every single day bring you closer and closer together? Are you making this face every day when you wake up in the morning with them in your head immediately?
If you have to try really really hard to feel these aforementioned things, you’re not in love. And you owe it to yourself to move forward. Because if you’re not in love, what’s the point, really?
7. Don’t be a dumb girl anymore.
We all do it; we hold onto hope that the dude who dumped us or stopped calling to come back suddenly and realize they made a mistake; we give someone ample amount of time and possible excuses as to why they’re being MIA; we argue with friends who point out all the 1001 ways our partner is treating us like shit. Then we come to terms with reality and promise we’ll never do that again. But then we do it again.
Nuh-uh. It’s time to stop that shit.
We are powerful people who are beautiful and smart and passionate and amazing and WE DESERVE THE BEST! You hear me? THE BEST! And we don’t have time to be dumb girls anymore who make excuses for assholes, give them all the chances in the world, continue to text them because we just can’t take not hearing from them anymore. It sucks. Guys who keep you on the hook like that suck. And by texting them, you’re letting them have power they don’t deserve. Cutting them off is basically making you the Lorena Bobbitt of the situation and I don’t endorse mutilation, but I endorse metaphorical feminist-analogy “mutilation”. Which is what all y’all should be doing if you’re being treated like this.