I can’t speak for everyone else, but at one point in my life I really did take dating tips from those oh-so-cheesy romantic comedies, teen dating dramas, and cosmopolitan magazine articles. At this point in my life, I would NEVER EVER look to those sources to form any kind of opinion on how a relationship is going, or how to procure myself a date. However, there’s a reason that relationship blogs, vlogs, and columns are so gosh darn popular. Dating advice never gets old because dating is HARD!
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Why do we read and listen to all of these dating experts? I suppose it is an attempt to find that secret serum, that easy fix, so one can stop being left out on the dating sidelines and leave that single train for good.
Personal Note: You go ahead and enjoy that single train! If done right, with a positive mindset, being single can be a lot of fun. I don’t mean fun like hooking up all the time; in being single there is a sense of freedom, of self exploration and discovery. You can move anywhere, do anything you want, find yourself, or lose yourself. Your personal life is a lot more flexible when you are single than when you are dating, or live with another person and have to take their needs and wants into consideration.
Now, I am in no way an expert. This is entirely my own view on how to win at the dating game. You can take it with a grain of salt, or you can choose not to read on. I just hope to be able to give some insight on things I have learned and noticed.
Firstly, BE confident, or ACT confident!
What?? “That’s not advice”, I can hear you thinking, “everyone says that!” Easier said than done, am I right? True. I myself struggled with this for years. However, confidence is key. It is crucial.
I found when I would go out for a night on the town with my friends to peruse the pool of single men, going into it with the mentality that I was already in relationship helped give the impression of confidence. (This does not mean you won’t have moments you feel sad and are tired of being alone but I really found this attitude helped).
I realized one time, after a past breakups, that the reason people seemed to find me more attractive when I was in a relationship was because I was confident and unattainable. That’s the magic, fake it until you make it.
Secondly, love you!
You come first. That means your feelings, your needs, and your desires. Do not try to change yourself to suit what you think another person wants. You are beautiful, loveable, and desirable just as you are!
Thirdly, have realistic expectations
We all have flaws, quirks, and things about us that are not perfect, so don’t put those expectations on anyone else. Also, try to view the relationship as it is, and not some overblown movie adaptation of your life. Too many times, I have seen people disappointed that their relationships weren’t as romantic or perfect as they had envisioned them being. Relationships, be it friendship or something more, take work. There will be ups and downs, tough conversations, and times one partner may feel that they are giving more than the other. It’s important not to focus on these times, and remember that they don’t last forever. Through a mix of healthy communication, humour, and trust, you can both get through anything.
Sometimes the best relationships can begin as friendships. They don’t always have to be something grander.
Lastly, be kind
Okay. You’re now dating and have been for quite some time. Once you’ve passed that infamous honeymoon period, you find that things don’t feel as exciting as they first did. Do not worry.
When one first begins a new relationship, they are hit with a powerful cocktail of hormones (dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin). People under the spell of these hormones spend most of their time thinking about the other person, eat less, and even sleep less. These chemicals contribute to making us feel OBSESSED with our partner. After a few months, the hormones taper off and go back to their normal levels, which is why you are left feeling like the ‘magic‘ has gone, or like it just isn’t the same as it used to be.
When this happens, remember to focus on the small moments, or easily forgettable kind gestures you do for one another. When your partner takes out the garbage, remember to thank them – it may seem insignificant, but that small act is helpful. Saying “thank you” is important, because it will mean something to them as well. Always remember to take a moment to do something kind for your partner, or show appreciation for a kindness they gave to you. The little tiny things are what make up our everyday life, and can sometimes build up into bigger badder issues. So take that moment, stop and appreciate the beauty of the small things.
Warning, it’s about to get incredibly sappy!
Finding a long term partner is difficult. It takes a combination of many factors for a relationship to begin, let alone make it for years and years and years. The best advice I have always followed was “I want to be in a relationship where I bring out the best aspects of my partner and they in turn bring out the best parts in me.”
We only have this one life to live, so we might as well enjoy who we are spending it with. So go out there, make some connections, some new friendships, and maybe you’ll stumble across that special someone who makes you feel like your world is finally complete.