Everything you (probably) shouldn’t do when dating.

Naming this post was almost as frustrating as the thought of writing it. But these kind of posts always go down really well on my blog and I do secretly enjoy writing them. They give me the opportunity to moan about all of the things that have been grating on me for a while now. I have the Summer Walker album playing, I’m comfy in bed, I have a cup of tea – which means that we have the perfect combination to start discussing my favourite (I’m being sarcastic) topic ever!

I think it’s been made fairly obvious in the past that I don’t really date but I somehow still manage to find myself involved with guys. Funny how that works isn’t it? On multiple occasions I’ve received texts from guys and had to stop to wonder how I even got myself into the position where they felt they needed to or could message me these things. Confounding, truly. I won’t tell you how many dates I have actually been on in my life as the figure is shocking in comparison to my age. But just know that it’s minimal.

In any case, I find myself somewhat equipped to share with you all of the things that you really shouldn’t do when dating. Probably because I’m ill-equipped to advise on the opposite.

First of all, you want to start with actually accepting some date invitations. That’s always a good way to kick things off. If somebody asks you out and you think they’re alright (at the least), say yes. You really don’t have much to lose. (I mean apart from wasted time, clothes, hair, make-up, effort etc…). Plus, you get a nice evening out! (Not like you would rather have spent this in bed with Pizza Hut cookie dough and The Sims. Ha no, never!)

I want to take this opportunity to remind you that accepting a date is not signing yourself off to marriage. Something I have to remind myself often. Accepting a first date can make you feel quite anxious if you’re a very independent person. You’re used to doing everything for you and it’s probably going to be somewhat difficult to start dividing your time. Maybe you don’t want to give them the wrong impression, hurt their feelings if it doesn’t go well or end up in a situation that you feel you can’t get out of. You probably don’t want it to be too intense either, right? I always want a first date to be very chilled out, see where it goes kind of vibe. If you feel too much pressure early on then you’re more likely to hit a premature boiling point…

Anyway let’s say the first date does go well. It’s exactly what you wanted and you’re open to seeing them again. My second tip is to be vocal about this. Girls especially, don’t wait for the guy to text you. If you ever wait for a guy for anything, I can tell you now that you’ll be waiting for the next few years. You don’t have to send a long paragraph, you don’t have to make it into a big thing either. Just let them know that you would want to see them again and… see what happens.

The whole seeing what happens thing is key for me. It’s my whole vibe. But, I have to advise from experience, that you shouldn’t cut this stage short too soon. Perhaps your patience is limited. I can understand this completely – mine barely exists. But, in order to see what happens, you actually have to see what happens. This can, unfortunately, take time.

But I would caution against you giving it too much time. If something is regressing or remaining at the same level, then you know what to do. There is absolutely no point in dragging something out for the sake of it. You might be bored or you might be lonely. Yes yes we’ve all been there. But you really don’t want to toy with anybody’s emotions. It’s also important to be comfortable on your own. You don’t necessarily have to be happy on your own. But you should note that nobody is ever going to give you as much attention as you can give yourself.

Now whenever you’re dating someone, there will always be those handful of boxes left un-ticked. For a control freak like me, some of those boxes have been checked before I’ve even gone on the date – which is why I’m there. They’ve been pre-assessed you see. But this is not a mentality I would recommend. Instead of looking for things that you like about someone, you’ll already be sub-consciously flaw finding. Flaw finding is a dangerous cycle of thinking to adopt, as it always leads back to the same point – disappointment.

What do I suggest instead? Well, forget the boxes. I almost (not quite, don’t get excited) feel that the person you’ll end up with, is not going to fit perfectly into your grid of yes and no behaviours. They’ll just be on a different scale altogether and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you want to swap your normal scale for this one instead. Does that make sense? To me it does.

My final piece of advice and I swear by this one, is to never let a dating failure upset you. Annoyed? Yes. Frustrated? Absolutely. Upset? No. We don’t have time for that. Do what you need to do to pick yourself back up as quickly as possible (I mean it) and keep going. As I love to say, we move.

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