I’ll be turning 26 this week, and there’s plenty to reflect about. As a little present to myself, I thought I’d share some lessons I learned when it comes to a little thing called dating.
Getting dates, or getting close to getting dates– it’s all awesome. But for most of my life I thought the opposite. A few years back, I would never imagine myself taking my misadventures in stride. I was too busy being a wreck and saying really, really emo stuff.
I was just a little on the serious side, but I didn’t know how to stop. I was so absorbed in trying to find what I was doing wrong. I felt like I never knew what signs to look for.
But looking back, I’d tell my old self…
1. Chemistry is Wack
In short, totally overrated. “Falling” for someone feels great, but it’s got to be the most inaccurate way to gauge compatibility. You want someone to sweep you off your feet or floor you? Join a martial arts class!
Drunkenness, loneliness, horniness– you name it– can all set you up for this false sense of “love”. In reality, you’re just infatuated with someone you don’t really know.
Even if you do get to know someone and build rapport, realize there’s different types of chemistry. Getting along and enjoying each other’s company? That’s how you make legit friends.
Hey, you can enjoy, but don’t always trust the butterflies.
2. Don’t Look for Signs
I’m not saying signs don’t exist because they do… I think.
But if you haven’t quite balanced your confidence and insecurity, you’re going to misread a lot of stuff. You’ll either spin every response into nauseating optimism (she totally wants me) or pitiful pessimism (she didn’t pick up? she hates me).
If you fall into the latter category, you waste a bunch of time agonizing over BS you don’t even know is real.
3. Always Ask!
Getting rejected sucks. But wondering what could’ve been is way worse on the psyche. Go hang out with your person of interest and get some closure, sheesh!
What if I… Maybe I should’ve… —I’m sure your friends could do without all the whining.
And just so we’re clear, it’s not only a matter of asking someone out to dinner, ok? I know working up the nerve to be up front can take a lot out of some. But, please, please, please, do yourself a favor and confirm if this person is even “available”.
Otherwise, you might be spending all your dough on a girl who’s taken, even married. Or secretly a man.
All of which might not bother some people I guess, but it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into.
4. Never Beg
Wanting a relationship ain’t a bad thing. Going into each episode enthusiastically is good! But being over-eager… that’s really no different from being desperate.
You can try to highlight your good side, but this isn’t a business. Putting emphasis on strong points, skimming over the bad points. Worrying about the right answers, the right timing.
Relationships take work, but not this kind of work. You shouldn’t have to be making a sales pitch.
Is it worth it to be in a relationship where you had to persuade the person to be with you? Is it worth it to be in a relationship where you had to convince them of what you could do for them?
People are free to choose. Sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they get it wrong. Have some pride to say, “Oh well, their loss”.
And the best way to have that kind of esteem is to…
5.Friend Zone Yourself*
No, I’m not talking about some psychology game where you imagine a F-zone and brace yourself for the “worst”. I’m talking about how you shouldn’t buy into all this mainstream portrayal of love.
Don’t believe the hype that dictates you’re incomplete.
You have to know you already have what you need most: yourself. And so, you got to be your biggest fan. A fan that appreciates you. A fan that’s always there to support you.
If you’re not happy with yourself, having a relationship doesn’t fix that. It’s still your internal problem.
If you have the right backing, all the pressure’s off. Let’s face it: you’re going to mess up. There’s times you’re not cool. But a true friend doesn’t give a damn.
So when you friend zone yourself, you get peace of mind. Because now that you’re able to be yourself, you know that’s more than enough.
*Yeah, I could’ve said love yourself, but my friend told me not to get too melodramatic