When it comes to dating tips for singles, one size does not fit all. A person in their teens or 20’s will date much differently than a person in their 30’s or 40’s. Let’s be honest, there are certain things about dating that we disregarded or did not focus on as much when teens or in our 20’s.
I have counseled and given advice to several singles, men and women, who are “dating with a purpose” and looking for committed long-term relationships. Here are my top 10 dating tips for singles who are over “casual dating,” and looking for something more serious.
1. Know your non-negotiables.
These would be those instant deal breakers you have, a smoker, a non-monogamist, different religion, etc. Your non-negotiables instantly tell you to move on so you’re not wasting your time. I advise you to try not to include physical attributes in your deal breakers. Focus on character traits, personality type, and value systems.
2. Don’t limit yourself.
In your 20’s you probably frowned when thinking about dating someone with a child, or one that has been previously married. Now that you are older, there’s a higher probability the person have been married or have children. Stay open to those who are divorced and/or have children. An open mind could produce endless possibilities.
3. Forget about any texting and calling rules.
Rules like “wait 3 days to call back” are absolutely ridiculous. When you treat dating and love like a game, one or both of you, will end up the loser. If you choose to call or text them within the next 24 hours, be a serious adult and do so. If you want to be respected and start a healthy relationship, upfront honesty is key.
4. Pay attention to the red flags.
You know that feeling you get when you know something isn’t quite right? If your date can’t answer simple questions about where they work or just acts super shady in general…RED FLAGS! Listen to what your gut is telling you; and that goes for behaviors too. If they are testing your nerves on the first date, it is likely an indicator that the relationship may not work for you.
5. Know who you are as a person.
This is a complex one, but necessary to surviving in a rapid dating world. Building strength and self-confidence is key. The reality is that dating can be hard and feelings can be hurt. But if you know who you are and how you want to be treated, you will not allow anyone to continually hurt or discourage you.
6. Be emotionally available.
Your past relationships did not turn out the way you wanted them to, or you feel like every date in the past month was a lemon. It is still up to you to open your heart, and keep it open. This can be scary because you don’t want to be hurt again. However, in order to grow and connect, you must be available and vulnerable.
7. Know your sexual boundaries.
Real talk, some women confuse sex and sexual desires with a guy’s interest in them. He wants sex, she also wants sex, but thinks him wanting sex means there is something more. Explore your sexual boundaries and know where they are and why they are there. More importantly, do not allow yourself to be pressured into doing something you don’t want to do just because you want to gain their interest.
8. Don’t hide your enthusiasm or interest.
One of the dating tips I have heard and read over and over, is to not let the person know you like them, or to play hard to get. FOOLISHNESS! Yes a little mystery may be sexy in the beginning, but the game gets old real fast. At a certain point, you just have to let them know that you are interested.
9. Be the date that you want to have.
It’s not only your date’s responsibility to make the date a success, it’s your responsibility too. Engage in dialogue. Put the cell phone away. Be attentive. Ask questions. Don’t bring up your ex. Take an interest in the details of their life by listening, paraphrasing, and engaging.
10. Ditch the dating wish list.
Remember my previous tips that you should have your non-negotiables and boundaries? However, dating with a strict itemized “wish” list, he/she must make this much, be this
tall, drive this car, be this funny, will only hold you back from those who could be great for you in real life and limit you to those who only look good on paper…
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Sandra Williams, LPC, NCC