While we tend to think of dating as a means to ends, we should be looking at it as a destination. The entire reason that I write about improving your dating life (and by extension your relationships, interpersonal skills, etc.) is because Dating is equally as valid and should not be excluded from your relationships. Whether you’ve been dating for a month, or you’ve been married for 10 years, you should still be “Dating” your partner. (Or partners, no judgment)
With that said, Dating can be tough for some people. It takes a pretty big heart and open mind to date in a way that maintains your happiness. To survive Dating, you need a Dating Survival Toolkit. Here’s Yours:
1. Be Selfish, Be Selfless
Sometimes you need to focus on your own happiness. Conversely, sometimes when you’re dating, you need to make sacrifices for your partner’s happiness. I love to play videogames and it makes me incredibly happy, but sometimes I need to sacrifice that when my girlfriend wants to spend quality time together. Learning how to balance selfishness/selflessness
2. Do No Harm
This one can be hard to do because dating requires at least some rejection and sometimes you’re the one doing the rejection. Outside of that, try not to purposefully harm to anyone you date. If you don’t like someone, don’t lead them on. Reject gracefully using The 3 C’s.
3. Be Indifferent To The World’s Indifference
If you’re going through life thinking the world owes you a significant other, you might want to rethink your dating approach. I’m not knocking the idea that there is a person made for you by some higher power, just keep in mind that if that is the case, you wont know who that person is until you meet them. Don’t try to force your idea of a soulmate onto a person. You wont know if the person you’ve met is the one you’ll spend the rest of your life with until, you know, you die and you’re still together. Until then, don’t think that the universe is gifting you with your partner. In fact, you should learn to be okay with that fact. The universe isn’t gifting you a partner? Fine, go find someone amazing.
4. Embrace Confusion
Any interaction between two people can lead to a certain amount of confusion. On your end, there really is only so much you can do to avoid confusion. It’s inevitable. To survive the modern dating world, you have to embrace some of the confusion. Are we serious or are we not? Is this person “really” into me? Embrace confusion because in the end, you can only impact one half of it. Simply put, learn to Go with the Flow.
5. Each Experience Is Unique
People tend to conflate all of their dating experiences into a very linear narrative. “I’m bad at dating because all my dates end poorly”, “I always date the wrong people”, we’ve all heard those sort of things but when it comes down to it, that line of thinking is incredibly harmful to your dating life. I’m a big believer in self-fulfilling prophecies and the power of thought. If you believe, deep down in your heart that things are going to go wrong, they will. If you approach each rejection or dating failure with the understanding that each event is part of your life but it is an individual event, you’ll realize you have a lot more control over your dating life and your own happiness.
6. Don’t Let Your Presumptions Hold You Back
If you go through life thinking “I’m not good enough to date that type of person” you will NEVER date that type of person. Keep an open mind.
7. Know What You Want, Realize You Can’t Always Get It
Dating is a search and part of searching is knowing what you’re looking for. The problem that some people have is that what they’re looking for doesn’t exist. We’ve all met the person who is looking for the model/doctor who is also really good with kids and animals, etc. and owns a house, car, and yacht. You need to realize that while you may want this ideal version of a partner, you willnot always be able to get it. I’m not saying you need to change everything you’re looking for, just know that it wont always be available.
8. Learn To Be Content
Don’t tie your happiness to your success (or lack of success) when it comes to dating. Remember that single or taken, dating or married, you’re probably a great person. Don’t let someone dictate your happiness. As a friend has said a bunch of times to me: Don’t Let Anyone Live Rent Free In Your Head
…and as always, Good Luck Out There