Is this how you’re feeling about dating: It’s become an unwelcome chore that seems to have no end in sight? If so, it may be time to take a break.
Of, if you’ve discovered that being alone for good isn’t so bad, maybe it’s time to stop dating all together.
But if you truly want to find your soulmate and avoid growing old alone, it may be time to rethink your dating strategy and the misguided notions that may be hindering your success.
7 Lessons I Learned About Dating
Here are some of the important lessons I learned over the 2 years I was seriously dating. I hope they help you avoid some of the mistakes I made, and move into a happy, healthy relationship sooner:
1. Dating is very much like job search.
For instance, going on dates is like going on job interviews. Each of you involved is assessing the other for good fit.
Using dating apps is like using social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) to meet and network with people to uncover jobs.
Down the line, almost every aspect of dating corresponds to navigating a job search.
You’ll up your dating game by modeling it on job search best practices.
Read more in The Mature Singles’ Quick Guide to Smart Dating
2. Set your dating game plan and stick to it.
Before you set out on dates, determine what your boundaries will be. For instance, let’s say you’ve decided that you won’t have sex until you’ve been dating someone for 2 months. Don’t let yourself get swept up in the moment and jump into bed with them on the first date. Don’t let your date sweet-talk or coerce you into moving faster than you want.
Women should set the pace on how quickly things do or don’t advance in terms of intimacy.
3. The “one and only” notion is a myth.
There could be many people out there who will be just right for you, and vice versa. They can be perfect for you, for different reasons.
If you believe there is only one person in the world who can be the love of your life, you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed when you’re dating. And if you were widowed and lost the love of your life, you’ll convince yourself that you’re forever doomed to be single, or that if you do find someone, you’ll be settling.
Read more in How Will I Know If I’ve Found True Love?
4. Be realistic.
If you’re having a hard time finding Mr. or Ms. Right, you may be setting your sights unrealistically high.
Have you been dating for years and still striking out? Maybe what you’re seeking is a perfect partner and perfect relationship. But of course, neither of those exists. We all have our faults and shortcomings. To find and hold onto a solid, abiding relationship, be realistic. It’s doubtful you’ll get everything you want in another person.
That is not to say that you should settle. Spend some time determining your absolute deal breakers vs. things you’d rather not see in your partner, but you could live with and still be happy.
Read more in How To Find Your Ideal Partner
5. The more you date, the better you get at it.
If you’re paying attention, you can actually learn how to date smarter with each additional date you go on. It makes sense because every experience is a learning process.
Over time, I got better at figuring out on the first date (or sometimes by the second date) that the guy wasn’t right for me. That allowed me to end things before they got sticky or too serious. (Of course, sometimes the guy ended it.) And it freed both of us up to continue our search for the right partner.
Read more in How to Turn First Dates into Second and Third Dates
6. Anything goes, as long as you both sincerely agree to it.
However you both want the relationship to work is fine. Only looking for companionship and no physicality? No problem, if he or she is good with it too.
Want an “open” relationship where each of you can hook up with others? Also fine, as long as you both are 100% on board with it. I don’t believe open relationships can work, but it may work for you.
These are the kinds of things you should think about ahead of time so you won’t be swayed to go against your better judgement in the moment.
Read more in 7 Steps To Know Yourself To Date Smarter
7. Online dating is one of the best ways to date a wide variety of potential partners.
I’ve said this often here on our blog. It just makes sense that, if you truly want to find a life partner, or even multiple people to date casually, go where you’ll find lots of them.
Dating apps have lots of people looking for people like you. An added bonus: Perusing all the dating profiles provides tons of information about the dating pool. All of this will help you understand who and what’s out there.
Read more in 10 Do’s and Don’ts If You’re New to Online Dating