Dating today is a whole lot easier than ever before – and all a lot harder!
The internet has totally transformed the world of dating from top to bottom similarly to how it’s transformed pretty much every other aspect of our lives. People have access to more potential romantic relationships now than they ever used to in the past, with love – or something like it – “just a swipe away”.
At the same time, we’ve lost a little bit of the romance and fun that dating brings to the table.
People feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and inundated with options while at the same time feeling like they have no real options whatsoever. Folks are going on less dates now than ever before, having less sex now than ever before, and there are literally millions of people desperate for dating advice to try and turn things around.
That’s why we have put together this quick guide.
Below you’ll find plenty of inside information and some of the best dating advice anywhere to help you whether you’re looking to start dating again, start dating for the first time, or are just interested in learning a little more about how to “date” someone that you are already in a serious relationship with.
Really Understand Yourself Before You Jump Into the Dating Pool
Dating today – if you are going to be successful, anyway – starts way before you download any of the popular dating apps out there right now.
One of the biggest challenges people have with dating is that they aren’t exactly sure of what they are after, the kind of person they are interested in, and the kind of relationship that they would like to pursue right now and in the future.
All of this uncertainty forces people to sort of “wing it” when it comes to one of life’s most important relationships, the relationship that you have with someone that could very well become the your partner for the rest of your life.
Sure, there’s a lot of romance in the idea of sort of tripping into love and stumbling into the perfect person for you and the perfect relationship – but that’s not really how it works outside of Hollywood.
Instead you’ll need to know exactly who YOU are, what YOU want, and what YOU are bringing to the table before you start to go out and look for someone else.
On top of that, you have to be really honest and very real with your assessment of what you are bringing to the table.
If you aren’t honest with yourself during this part of the process you’ll inevitably go down some dating rabbit holes that aren’t going to help you out with people that just aren’t going to be all that compatible, wondering the entire time why things aren’t working out when they were self-sabotaged from the beginning.
This might not be the sexiest dating advice you’ll ever get but it’s the dating advice for men and dating advice for women that you’ll want to focus on above all else when you’re getting ready to start dating again.
What Are You Looking For, Exactly?
Now that you have dug a little deeper underneath the surface of who you are and what you are bringing to the table it’s important to get really concrete about what you’re looking for when you jump headfirst into the dating pool.
Some people are looking to start dating just to see what’s out there, just to have a little bit of fun, and just to get into something kind of casual while they focus on other areas of their life right now.
Other folks are looking to start dating again to find someone they can get really serious with, someone that they can build a life with, and someone that could well be the very last person that they ever date.
Now, obviously there are all kinds of shades of dating along the spectrum between those two extremes we highlighted above but regardless of where you sit on that spectrum your expectations are going to dictate the type of people that you go on dates with, the types of dates you have, and your level of happiness throughout the process.
If, for example, you are focused almost exclusively on finding someone that you can be really casual with and have absolutely no real expectations of things getting more serious at this particular point in time – but aren’t upfront or honest about this (with the other person or yourself, for that matter) the odds are pretty good you’ll end up in relationships that you aren’t happy with in a hurry.
Keep open lines of communication about what you are looking for in this relationship while understanding that things change and priority shift on the fly whenever you’re talking about two people getting romantic with one another and you’ll find that your happiness skyrockets and your relationships (no matter what kind of relationships those might be) benefit significantly because of it.
First Impressions Last a Lifetime
A lot of people obviously understand the value in presenting yourself well when you go out on a first date, but not everyone realizes just how much of an impact first impressions make – and most really aren’t at least consciously aware of the fact that first impressions can quite literally last a lifetime and inform almost everything that happens in a relationship from that moment on.
Not only should you think about your specific appearance when you’re looking to create an impactful first impression, but you’ll also want to think about:
- Whether or not you show up on time
- The attitude or emotional headspace you have when you show up on your date
- The open or closed lines of communication you have when you are first getting to know someone new
- Your sense of humor and the interest that you decide to highlight in the early stages of dating
- The venue or the activity that you both have selected for this date
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
All of these things go well beyond digging through your closet or popping down to your favorite store and grabbing a new outfit to look your very best with your first impression, but they are going to have at least as much of an impact as how you look if not even more so!
Really consider the “big picture” that someone is getting of you during the dating process and whether or not that’s the kind of person you want them to think of when they think of you. If it isn’t, course correct and make adjustments. This is the kind of dating advice that won’t just help you while you’re dating but will help you throughout all of your relationships going forward.
Leverage Your Network
There’s something really cool and really convenient about downloading a mobile dating app and flipping your fingers left or right to decide who you might go on a date with in the future, but there’s also something really hollow and superficial about that whole experience as well.
Research study after research study shows that some of the very best relationships (romantic relationships) are created with people that you have some connection with already – whether that be through friends, family, work, school, or something else entirely.
This isn’t to suggest that the best dating advice for women or men is to lean on other people to help you jumpstart or kickstart your dating life, especially if you are looking to start dating again after a bit of time on the sidelines.
At the same time, however, you do want to lean on the people that know you best and care about you most to help point you in the right direction if they know someone that you might hit it off with.
Obviously, you’ll want to go into this kind of set up with an open mind and an understanding that these kinds of network connections are sometimes created based off of how people see and perceive you rather than based off of your specific interests (especially with something as complicated as your romantic life and goals).
By the odds are pretty good that you’ll go on at least a handful of fun, exciting, and interesting dates with people you feel a lot more comfortable with right out of the gate just because they are people that those closest to you like and trust themselves.
Go On Real Dates
A lot of modern dating advice focuses on the “tactics” of dating without really diving headfirst into the logistics of modern dating.
We are in a really wild time right now aware that the old-school approach – long dinners with total strangers – are being seen as something pretty antiquated, a dating style that is being replaced with a lot more “Netflix and Chill”, coffee dates, and a lot of text messaging back and forth.
At the same time, though, there’s a lot more personal connection to be made when you actually go on real dates – you pick someone up (or are picked up), go somewhere very specifically where it’s just the two of you, and head out for the night with both of you recognizing that it’s a real date and that you are looking to see where things might go between you – that you aren’t ever going to get with the sort of nebulous kind of dating, kind of not approach too many take these days.
Really start to embrace the idea of interjecting a little bit of this older school approach to dating and you might find that your relationships are starting off on the right foot rather than adding a lot of stress and uncertainty to your romantic life that only makes things harder.
Plan Your Spontaneity
Rather than worry about things like trying to plan out the entirety of your conversations, what to do when he pulls away, whether or not you should lean into kiss her, and a whole bunch of other “prepackaged” dating concepts it’s instead a much better idea to sort of let things go with the flow while at the same time planning in a lot of room for spontaneity to take over.
The odds are pretty good that most of your favorite memories (romantic and otherwise) were created in situations where pretty much anything and everything that happened was completely unexpected.
Trying to build these “special moments” is next to impossible without them feeling totally artificial. Instead, you’ll want to plan out your dates so that you have a good idea of where things are going but that there is also room to kind of whether the edges and allow for curveballs to pop up.
Maybe your plan to go out together for little bit of dinner and then either hit a movie or a baseball game. That gives you concrete options to pick and choose from with room for little bit more spontaneity, shifting gears depending on how the night is going.
This approach will guarantee that your dates never feel like they are running on rails and you have to just sort of go through the motions along the way.
If It Isn’t Working, Pull the Rip Cord
At the end of the day, some of the best dating advice that could change your life forever is the idea that not every single date is designed to be a homerun and that it’s perfectly fine to pull the ripcord, walk away, and try things all over again with someone new.
Sure, the idea of having to start dating again with someone new from scratch can be a little daunting at times.
But the only thing worse than that is the idea of forcing yourself to go through a bunch of different dates – maybe wasting months if not a year or more of your life with the wrong person – until you finally just can’t take it anymore and have to restart anyway.
Some people are going to light a spark inside of you that burns bright right from the moment you meet them. Other people offer more of a slow burn, becoming more and more attractive over time as you get to know them and as you grow closer.
But every now and again you’ll go on dates with someone that you just don’t click with, just don’t mesh with, and just aren’t on the same page with. There’s nothing wrong with respecting both of your time and both of your feelings by pulling the ripcord and rebooting the dating process with someone else.