Dating can be difficult. When you go on what feels like an endless string of dates, and you still haven't found anyone who is even remotely close to becoming "the one," you may feel like giving up on the dating scene entirely.
But fear not - the right person for you is out there, waiting to be found. What follows are some tips to keep your spirits up and help you find that long-lasting, fulfilling relationship that will help to make your life complete.
Tip #1: Don't Do Your Search For Mr./Mrs. Right, Your Entire Life.
Yes, it's important to keep your eye on the ball when it comes to looking for the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. However, you shouldn't make the process of finding that person the center of your life.
If you focus too much on finding a mate, you will neglect other areas of your life that need attention too, such as your family, friends, career, and even your health. Keeping your life balanced ensures that you remain happy and healthy, as well as more interesting, which is certainly useful when you finally do meet that special person.
Tip #2: Don't Worry So Much About That First Impression.
Keep in mind that first impressions are not always a good indicator of a person's personality. This is especially true in the age of online dating. It takes time to get to know someone, and you have to be able to see how they react in situations where they may not be as eager to please.
For instance, how does this person react to being hungry or tired? Do they crack under pressure when things don't go their way, or do they just roll with the punches? On the same token, it is important,to be honest with this person and to allow them to see the person you are. Pretending to be someone you're not for the sake of impressing the other person or to try on a different personality does no one any good in the end.
We're always so quick to hide our flaws, but it is our flaws that make us who we are. And you just never know whether the person you're trying to impress may think that your flaw is cute or endearing. Plus, when you are open and honest, you are encouraging the other person to do the same, which provides the building blocks to a more honest relationship going forward.
Tip #3: Put Away Your Phone
This should go without saying, but when you're on a date with someone new, you should be devoting all of your time and attention to the date. You can learn a lot about another person from their body language, facial expressions, and other visual cues that you can't see when you're focused elsewhere, like on your cell phone.
Plus, imagine how the other person feels when he or she is trying to forge a genuine connection with you, and you are mentally somewhere else. You may have a legitimate reason for checking your cell phone intermittently, like you're on call for work, or you have young children that you may need to check up on, but it still appears incredibly rude - especially if your date has opted to turn his or her phone off for the night to focus on you.
If you absolutely must be tuned in to your phone during your date, turn on notifications, and make sure they are loud enough to hear over the din of the restaurant, or wherever you are meeting. This way you can rest assured that you don't miss anything, should something come up, and that you are giving your date your undivided attention.
Tip #4: Do Your Best To Build A Sincere Connection With Your Date.
You know it yourself: you can tell if someone is genuinely interested in what you have to say. You can't fake that stuff. If you're just pretending to listen to the other person or to care about what he or she has to say, they'll know.
If you don't feel genuinely interested in what your date has to say, then it's time to move on. Don't waste their time, and don't waste yours. And when you are interested, make an effort to show that you are. One such way is by showing that you remember the little things, like the way they take their coffee, or a seemingly unimportant story from their past that intrigued you.
This is also a great way to fight those first-date jitters. By focusing on what your date is saying and the gestures he or she is making, you will give less attention to your internal thought process. This means that you are giving yourself less time to freak out, which allows your true persona to shine through with less effort on your part.
Tip #5: Don't Forget To Have Fun
Some people enjoy events and services that connect them faster to a potential mate, like speed dating or online dating services. However, for others, these situations can feel more like a job interview than a good time out with someone new.
Love is not something that can be forced. The best relationships are often the ones that you kind of fall into, the ones you never see coming. This is why it is a better idea to venture out of your comfort zone and widen your social circle, rather than spending all of your time visiting dating sites or hanging out in singles bars.
Consider joining clubs and meet ups centered around one of your interests. Maybe join a new book club or film circle, or sign up for a cooking class. You could join a group of nature lovers on their monthly hikes, or become a volunteer for one of your favorite charities. Make the focus on having fun, maybe even learning something new, and you will inevitably meet new people who like the same things you do.
Even if you don't meet the person of your dreams, you will still be doing wonders to enrich the quality of your life by actively engaging with other people who share your interests, people whom you might never have met if you didn't put yourself out there and simply try. And even if you don't forge a romantic connection by doing this, you may instead discover new friendships that can be just as valuable.
Tip #6: Be Okay With Rejection.
In the dating world, it is crucial to accept rejection as just another part of the process, both as the rejecter and the rejectee. If you are the rejectee, don't take it personally. There may be something about you that the other person was looking for that you simply can't control. Maybe he or she wants to be with someone who is taller or shorter than you. Or maybe he or she can't overcome their issues well enough to be with someone quite yet. This bears no reflection on you.
If the person is overly blunt about their reasons for rejecting you, like they prefer girls with larger breasts, or men with smaller bellies, DO NOT, under any circumstances, even consider changing anything about yourself. You are perfect just the way you are, and someone will love you for it. If someone doesn't love you for who you are, then it isn't a good fit.
Don't dwell on rejection, no matter whether you are on the giving or receiving end, but don't suppress your feelings either. Feel the sting, learn from it, and then move on. If you find you are more often on the receiving end than the giving end, take some time to reflect on how you have been presenting yourself to see if there is anything you may need to improve.
What is important is that you approach rejection healthily and use it to improve yourself. Once you've improved to the point where you feel there is nothing else you can fix about yourself, and that you are proud of what you have to offer, then bask in that self-confidence, knowing that it can't possibly be due to any mistakes on your part that you haven't met the right one yet. You just haven't met the right one yet.
Tip #7: Keep An Eye Out For Red Flags
Do you find yourself ending up with loser after loser, and you can't figure out why? You may be missing some of the signs that should otherwise indicate to you that the person you are dating is not a keeper.
For instance, do you find that you only have a good time with that person when you've had a drink first? Are you more interested in having sex with that person than learning anything meaningful about them? Is the other person more interested in his or her phone or the television than in working on a relationship with you? These are red flags that indicate that your partner is not long-term material.
Tip #8: Learn To Be Okay With Change.
Change is inevitable. Fighting it is futile. All relationships change as time goes on, which means that many of them will end even when everything seemed like it was picture-perfect in the beginning. What you both want from the relationship when you first start dating may be vastly different from what both you want even months from now, let alone years.
Some relationships are meant to last a season, while others last a lifetime. It is important not to force something that was never meant to be, as sad as it is to see it end. Going with the flow will allow you both to be happier and kinder people. You can both appreciate that what you had was good for what it was, but that the relationship has run its course, and now it is time to move on.
Are you interested in receiving more invaluable dating advice? Contact one of our licensed counselors who are standing by 24/7 and who are ready to help and listen.