I don’t claim to be the foremost expert on dating. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to be an expert on dating. I didn’t date much, and when I finally started dating, I was rather passive about it. But I did get married, so I feel slightly qualified to say a few things. I’ve come up with 8 dating tips to help you navigate the very confusing world of dating.
1. Go on dates just for fun
This can really take the pressure off dating, for both guys and girls. Knowing the other person isn’t going to try and have a deep conversation about the future of the relationship makes it easier to be yourself. Have fun. Build a friendship.
2. Sometimes guys need encouragement
Girls like to be subtle, dropping hints and expecting guys to pick up on them. Sadly, a lot of the time the guys are clueless (sorry, guys). So send that post-date text—sometimes it’s the only way to let him know you’re interested. But if you’re not interested, by all means do not text him!
3. Dating doesn’t have to be expensive
In our Pinterest-filled and coupon-crazy world, coming up with cost-effective date ideas is easier than ever. This doesn’t mean you have to be a cheapskate; just be cost-conscious. Usually the cheap dates are the most fun, anyway, like stargazing, or going to a free concert.
4. Stop taking things so seriously
Dating is a lot easier when you just relax instead of over-thinking and over-analyzing everything. Just relax. Have fun. (But don’t become a sociopath).
5. Ending a relationship is like taking off a band-aid
Don’t make breaking up long and drawn out. It’s best done quickly, and sooner rather than later, before either person is too invested. If the relationship isn’t going to work out, the other person deserves to know.
6. Dating is not like buying a new car
All new cars come with owners’ manuals, but the girl or guy doesn’t come with one. You have to take the time to get to know the person for who they are, and then act accordingly. What works with one guy won’t work with the next; remember, he’s an individual.
7. Walk and talk
You can’t very well get to know people sitting in a movie theater. Walking together gives you time alone, away from roommates and family, and time to really talk. Plus, it’s good exercise.
8. When you find the right person, it will be easy
I don’t mean that dating your future spouse is a cakewalk; rather, that when you find the right person it will be natural. You can be yourself, and it’s easy to be with them.
Number 8 is the most important thing I realized about dating. When I started dating my future spouse, it was very natural. I could be myself. I didn’t have to feign interest in quantum physics or rock climbing to get him to like me. We didn’t have those awkward silences in our conversations; instead, we talked for hours, and when we were quiet, it wasn’t awkward. I was supremely comfortable when we were together. For me, it wasn’t really “falling” into love in the traditional sense. It was more like the relationship sneaked up on me when I wasn’t looking, and then one day I realized I had slowly fallen in love.
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