Okay, who am I kidding dating is hard! I just wrote that title because that’s what people typically respond to. To include the words “Dating” and “Easy” in a sentence is an oxymoron if there ever was one. We all know dating can be brutal. Read the scenario below and see if you can’t relate on some level.
There once was a single girl named Adelyn who dreaded the dating scene. But she hated being lonely even more. She would endure bad relationships so as not to have to traverse the deadly minefield better known as online dating. But sooner or later she’d find herself back on the market again, each time baring a new wound of emotional baggage.
Sound familiar? I’ve been there and with every new first date I found myself mentally and emotionally crossing my arms, shields up, defying anyone to try and penetrate my defenses and hurt me any further. And of course with this approach to finding companionship I’d usually in up on a lot of first dates.
I eventually figured out that you can’t meet quality people or have a good time this way. Let’s not forget, dating is supposed to be fun. But you have to be open and vulnerable. Yes it might hurt, but it doesn’t have to leave a lasting scare if you take some precautionary measures.
In this post I’d like to share 7 immediate things you can do to make dating easier and shake off the slings and arrows of dating warfare.
1. Look at dating as taking a calculated risk.
Understand that dating is risky business and can be dangerous. Not that you should be fearful but you should be prepared to deal with whatever comes. I don’t care what they say, love is not free. You give a little and you take a little. And you should be willing to give (invest) more than you take. If things do work out you knew the risk going in. A slap in the face is not so bad when you’re braced for it.
2. Know thyself.
Remember in The Matrix when the Oracle asked Neo if he know what the sign above her kitchen doorway meant? Neo needed to know and believe for himself that he was the One before he could use his powers. Ask yourself, do you truly know who you are and what you want? And for goodness sake, if you can’t find the guts to be brutally honest with anyone else, at least be honest with yourself. Are you looking for a fling or something lasting, and why? If you don’t know where you want to go, any road or dark ally will get you there.
3. Listen to your inner voice.
Some people call it women’s intuition but men have an inner voice too. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself how many times a thought like this crossed your mind: “Something told me not to…” I think we all have spoken those words. If you can both hear and heed the whispers, you could avoid a lot of unnecessary crap. So pay closer attention to that still small voice…chances are it’s smarter than you.
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4. Doing doe diligence on the person(s) of interest.
Jesus Christ once said, You will now a tree by its fruit. This basically means a person’s true nature can not be hidden for too long. Just wait for the fruit to grow. There are always clues pointing to what’s real. I’m not talking about dumpster-diving for credit scores. Just asking a pointed question like, “what are your intentions with me?” can give you some telling indications of who you’re dealing with.
5. Have an accountability partner.
In 12 step programs they encourage participants to find a trusted person that will be available to give them tough love when things get difficult. If this can work for an alcoholic it can work for someone addicted to bad dates. Notice how I said a trusted person? That friend who talked you into hooking up with your last train-wreck is probably not a good choice.
6. Stick to a plan.
We plan our vacations. We plan our trips to the grocery store and even write out a plan (shopping list) of things to buy. Why not have a set of plans in place for dating? Have your accountability partner screen all dating profiles before you engage a conversation. No drinking on a first date. No sex until monogamy has clearly been agreed upon. WHAT! I’m just saying! OK fine, you make your own list up.
7. Think like a chess master.
They call baseball the thinking man’s game but I say it’s chess. A good player can look at the available move options, make a calculated guess as to what the opponent will do and have several counter moves in mind before making the first. A chess master can do this in his or her mind 15 moves and beyond. Of course it’s not good to always be in your head, over-analyzing everything. But it would be kind of handy to look 15 moves into the future to see the affects of a questionable decision. Can you spot another potential back-stabber coming around the corner now?
Now that you have just read the 7 things you can do immediately to make dating easier, you must be careful. These suggestions are not fool-proof, but I believe they can point you in the right direction. After all, I not only survived being single and dating on and off the internet, I’ve now been happily married for the past 9 years. Good luck to you!