You can spend a lot of time and energy looking for a good partner. But if you don’t master some basic dating skills, you’ll go around in circles, making the same mistakes over and over and going nowhere fast. This isn’t just an exercise in frustration when this happens. It can also wreck with your emotions, damage your self-esteem, and lead to heartbreak.
Many women will tell themselves their dating problems begin and end with the way they look. After all, that’s what those cultural messages say – the ones you’ve been bombarded with since you were a teen. The media and peer influences blast us from a young age with lies that tell women they better look good, and that men had better be financially successful to get what they want in life and love. These toxic cultural messages also tell us that women and men better be confident, because if you don’t love yourself, nobody will love you. But none of that is true.
Finding true, healthy love doesn’t require good looks, success, or confidence. All you need are some basic dating and relationship skills. Don’t let our culture fool you into thinking you can’t find love. Work on these skills. They will help you in all your relationships.
When you’re around a member of the opposite sex, you might be nervous. That’s OK. Nervousness might tell you that you’re interested in him and attracted to him, and that’s a good thing. Don’t start telling yourself you shouldn’t be nervous and that you need to correct your lack of confidence. That will only make you more upset! So, try smiling instead. You will feel more comfortable if you’re concentrating on the connection rather than getting stuck in your own head. Plus, he’ll feel more comfortable and more likely to feel a connection if you’re smiling and are displaying body language that indicates you’re interested.
2. Be a good date.
Remember this old saying – you never get a second chance to make a first impression? Well, it applies to the dating process too. When you’re annoyed that your date doesn’t look the way you’d hoped or isn’t doing exactly what you want, you might be giving off an initial vibe of being difficult or unhappy. It’s OK to be selective about who you commit to, but it’s always important to be a good date when you first meet someone.
3. Recognize a good partner.
It’s easy to be attracted to someone, but it’s not so easy to find a suitable partner. Many single people are attracted to the traits that our culture tells us are desirable traits to have- things like good looks, money, confidence, and career success. But none of those things will ensure the success of your relationship. Unless you can look past those trappings, you might not even realize when you have a keeper on your hands.
4. Don’t keep repeating old mistakes.
Even if you aren’t quite ready for The One, it doesn’t serve you to continue in old patterns where your needs aren’t met in a relationship. Whether you’re dating men who can’t commit, don’t treat you well, or are narcissists or cheaters, recognizing and addressing the problem will help you grow and make relationships more satisfying for you. You don’t want to waste valuable time on people who make terrible partners. Take some time to educate yourself on these red flags, and be ruthless about not committing to someone toxic for you.
5. Be authentic.
When you are being yourself, it becomes easier to let your intuition guide you on your dating journey. Accepting yourself makes you less likely to be swayed by the cultural pressures that cause so many people to doubt our attractiveness or self-worth. When we’re not authentic, we can run into problems with our dating partner too. We may commit to someone who does not have the same values we do.
6. Be persistent.
Dating can be a very discouraging and challenging process. None of us can escape bad dates, dry spells, and rejection. If you’ve had your fair share of cheaters or narcissistic partners, it doesn’t mean there is something inherently wrong with you. Disappointment is the name of the game when it comes to finding romance.
You’re much more likely to succeed if you can stay optimistic and keep plugging away. If you give up, you’re just choosing to remain single and not giving yourself a chance to meet someone wonderful. There’s nothing wrong with being single, and there are a lot of people who genuinely prefer it to being coupled. But this all comes back to being authentic and genuine to yourself. If being single is not what the authentic, real you wants for her life, then you have to keep trying to succeed at dating and find the right one for you.
7. Take action.
If you are having problems with 1-6 above, don’t put off addressing your issues. Don’t forget, if you want to meet someone you aren’t going to make it happen watching TV alone at home. Take some classes, develop a hobby or sport, or sign up for online dating. Educate yourself on red flags, and also how to recognize green flags. It may take you some time to find a good one, but it’s worth the trouble in the end.
What actions are you going to take to improve your dating life in 2019? What would you like to change? Leave us a comment below.