Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, or 60s and up love is always possible, it’s all a matter of what you’re up to in life. We all like to be alone to rest and recharge, and although it’s important to value yourself and “not just have sex,” sharing your life or body with another doesn’t make you any less of a human being, so what’s stopping you? Since the lifting of mask mandates it’s now safe to give hugs, hang out with friends, and participate on dating apps, but first, let’s discuss the dos and donts of dating and prepare ourselves for this next adventure in life. To all those already matched, coupled, and married, thank you for the continued inspiration to find love ourselves.
What Type of Dater Are You?
- The Caretaker (showers your significant other with gifts, always does the driving, does most of the scheduling, plans the dates).
- The Hookup (there on command, mostly texts, doesn’t require much talking, accepts plans here and there but not too demanding).
- The Monogamist (always sees the finish line, determined to make things work, constantly plans for the future, gets territorial or jealous over attentions, is possessive).
- The Tease (dates who’s available but keeps one foot out the door, thinks highly of themselves, doesn’t like needy, is always busy, a social butterfly, focused on career).
There’s no right or wrong way to date, we all have different preferences and needs. So based on where you are in life your needs and expectations may differ. Nothings forever unless you’re willing to make it work and put the effort in and let’s face it some just want the love without having to pay for the investment in years, so we can forgive them for that. Some must take flight and be on their own, so let them be, the right people will come along willing to spend down time with you in life.
There’s always room for improvement, so where your relationships have failed in the past, hopefully in the future, you will be more resistant to ruining a good thing you have going with someone, over some need or preference personally to have more control over the direction and time spent with a person. Being available is about being able to give yourself willingly to another person, without blaming them for your circumstances emotionally, or physically, you’ll have to want to share the good and bad parts about you, without being ashamed of who you are or what you look like, so be fearless. The right person will be understanding, compassionate, and supportive, and for whatever is bothering you, not affected in a personal way about what you have yet to figure out in life, doesn’t matter the age difference, we all want stability, so some are more patient than others. The point is to find someone who is willing to grow with you and learn how to be in a committed relationship to, willing to work things out, not just about themselves. The main lesson is to be positive and to keep going in life, the more you have going on for yourself in life, the more attractive of a companion you become. It’s what you bring to the table, are you able to make a person feel good about themselves, and what have you overcome in your own life personally that makes you a good fit as companion to another, no matter where their head is at emotionally relationship wise. Some just want to have fun, and some just want to be loved, I’m sure we can all find our happy medium and be there for one another in a healthy way, without stressing one another out over the future, commitment, expectations, and ultimatums.
Dating is a process. While we don’t like to admit to all the stages of dating “sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage,” silly about our expectations in life, depending on your age, just accept where you are with a person. Either stay to work things out based on what your options are, or if you are so willing to take the risk, and in your final years of fertility, decide to have a baby, well that’s another big choice to make in life. We don’t all get there in life, so don’t feel bad about yourself! Love who you are, if you can start with figuring out how to love yourself more, then that’s a good start to lightening up in life, when it comes to loving another. Think more about what you have to provide in a relationship, rather than rely on what you get in life to make you happy. Happiness starts from within, it’s not an emotion that’s exchanged, transferred, and taken from you, if you are not willing to allow yourself to be broken down in that way by anyone so that you can share that emotion with people who don’t judge you, and love you for who you are. That’s being cute, when there is non-judgment, that’s being loved, when you don’t bother others, and that’s faith, when things start to work out for you and others, means that you enable good things to happen in the life of another, and it’s by being a good person disciplined, that you have a positive influence in the life of another, not one to make others quiet, or too self-reflective or jealous over what you do have in life, or because of who you are make others feel inferior to you or competitive with you. Love requires balance. Work on yourself first, before breaking down what others need to change about themselves.
Dating Reminders and Affirmations:
- The right person will see your worth.
- Remember to be yourself, you’re a good catch too.
- Never sacrifice your core values and beliefs for anyone.
- You are beautiful and desirable.
- I am confident, capable and wonderful to talk to.
- I deserve to be treated well, and others will recognize this.
- I am open-minded and realistic.
- I am willing to communicate my needs.
Before you go on your next date, be sure to prepare. Get tested and make sure to discuss with your partner what their status is, and which method of contraception is preferred, make them apart of your decisions. Have open communication with them, that’s the best way to avoid being hurt or used. Be safe, for the first date it’s always best to meet in a public place and not just go to their house, that puts an incredible amount of pressure on you, not knowing who this person is and for meeting them for the first time. It can be stressful going from not knowing someone, strangers, to having sex with them on the first date. Save yourself the heartbreak of feeling bad about yourself afterwards and wait to seal the deal. Make sure it’s a good match and not just a booty call, one time thing. A good first date requires preparation, so don’t rush the process, be patient, and try not to put things off, stay in touch if you’re interested, how to keep things open in the beginning. Only dress 20-30% sexy and leave room for the imagination, and dress to impress. Reflect on your past relationships, but don’t let that hinder your outlook on whether or not you’ll like to move forward in the dating process. If you have not been intimate for awhile, it takes a minute to get back into the feeling of sharing yourself physically with another human being so don’t rush into it, someone who is attracted to you, would be willing to wait until you’re fully comfortable to do so. Seek comfort rather than perfection, nobody is perfect, know yourself, your standards, what you like, and go for it!
List of Don’ts in Dating:
- Don’t talk about your ex.
- Don’t be desperate.
- Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
- Don’t be overly confident – don’t just talk about yourself ask questions.
- Don’t ask for the 5 year plan, live for the moment.
When thinking of what not to do, keep this in mind, how would you feel just meeting you, assuming that they know nothing about you, interpret you talking about yourself as though they should know you. You might be a big deal, but the world is a big place, so focus less on trying to make yourself sound important based on who you know or where you work and figure out how to be liked loved and admired on a different set of terms. Make sure that they are into you for the right reasons. It’s important to be proud of one another, rooting for each other in life, and you should want the best for one another. Don’t be afraid to share your weaknesses or limitations, is better than surprising them afterward. Anything about yourself you think they should know, be up front, it never hurts to be honest.
List of Do’s in Dating:
- Do follow up with texts and reach out to people, it’s not all about texting you, especially in the beginning, be willing to help with scheduling and plans, it’s not just their job.
- Do hire a photographer or ask for a friend to take a full-length photo of you for your dating profile, don’t just use selfie photos, it’s okay to share a little about yourself without having to name names and show faces, be presentable, dress to impress, this is your first impression.
- Do get to know a person by messaging on apps and texts before jumping the gun and heading over to their place to “hang out,” or “hook up,” on the first date. A fast pace relationship is a sure way to wind up feeling burned, inadequate, or insecure later on in life, so pace yourself. Your body your choice, you determine what is best for you and what you can handle, unless you’re a professional call girl, some relations call for a different set of expectations, know what breed you are, before subjecting yourself to such casual encounters, there’s a time and a place.
- Do put your best foot forward and allow yourself to be vulnerable, but in a safe way. Not everyone will be your type, and you might fall in love with someone who is unlike anyone you have ever dated before, so be open to change, go for personality not looks, good conversation not just sex, and trust that the passion part of a relationship that we all want will be there when the time is right, and when you both feel invested in making one another feel good. It just takes time and a lot of trust, to be free with yourself with someone you admire, and wants to love you too, you can’t expect people to just dive right in. There’s an adjustment period, so by the time that tension goes away where you are side stepping everything you say, and can just be yourself, when you can make the other laugh or giggle, these are all good signs of a positive connection, a bond, and when there is a bond, you feel together with a person, that’s important too when it comes to insecurity, and not worrying about the next time you’ll see them.
- Do put yourself out there and keep an open mind. There are always risks when it comes to dating, and setting yourself up for success love wise, and sometimes you won’t feel the match on your end. Don’t be surprised by hurt feelings and rejections along the way, some have more experience than others when sizing up candidates for what they want in their life as a companion, and you might not always be able to provide that. If you can’t be your sweet self with them, and you continue to feel uptight or resisted to bonding with a person, that’s a tell tale sign that the person is not right for you, not in the short term, and not in the long term. The problem with dating online are the “feelings,” hurt feelings, sensitivity, and insults, its like being in a “meat market” what a bar or club used to be, a place to match up and have fun and exchange numbers, the good old days. Meaning you don’t know where another person’s head is at, why they are short, distant, or combative, so just take it with a grain of salt and you can always complain, if you don’t deserve to be disrespected having not been on any dates with a person, that’s just how they get, if it seems like you’re not interested or drawn to them, or feel more connected talkative with other matches, not everything is sparks lovey dovey close. Just be nice, be honest, and go your separate ways, you can do your best, and still fail with people, and that’s okay, you can’t please them all, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.