1. They focus on actions, not words. People say a lot of crap they don’t mean. They don’t usually act on anything they don’t feel, though.
2. They pretend every date they go on is just a practice round for the one(s) that will really matter. If you go into a date with the mindset that it’s a practice round when you’re going on a date with the love of your damn life, you don’t focus on what you can get from the evening, but who you can be.
3. They don’t predict whether or not it’s going to work out before they actually try. Sitting and believing you “know” whether or not you’ll be with someone forever is a product of applying ideas you’ve held about what the love of your life should be to the person that’s in front of you, and not only is it not fair, but it will actively hold you back from actually finding them. Love happens in the moment. To have it, you must create it, to create it, you have to be willing to try, to be willing to try you have to be open to something you didn’t expect.
4. They don’t confuse a mismatched coupling for something being wrong with them. They understand that love is not a game where you more or less earn points based on how appealing someone else finds you and if you tip the scale far enough, they’ll love you. People click because they do. People love because they just do. Breaking up with the wrong person isn’t some condemnation of who you are, it’s just a mismatched pairing. That’s all.
5. They accept things as they are on the surface. Relationships are pretty simple – it’s when you don’t want to understand a relationship or see it for what it is that convolution arises. People who enjoy dating don’t assume they know what other people are thinking, or seek out the “deeper meaning” in every passing interaction.
6. They give their relationships space to grow. It’s not only quality time that builds relationships, it’s time apart. It’s strengthening who you are outside of it, too. Many people struggle with anxiety at the beginning of a relationship because it is uncertain, and you are vulnerable, but you have to remember that negative space is what makes something significant.
7. They have a backup plan.If any given relationship didn’t work out, they have at least a vague notion of what they’d do, what they’d try, or who they’d want to be. People who cling and suffer because of relationships usually lack this – a backup plan. The same way you’d save money in case you lost a job, you have to at least kind of know what you’d do if you no longer spent your time and energy on a single relationship. (Life hack: that’s what you should be doing, regardless.)
8. They focus on the big picture. It is so nauseatingly easy to get caught up – lost, even – in the little minutiae of dating. So easy, in fact, you can forget that a missed call or cancelled date or dissolution of a two-week-old fling isn’t the end of the damn world. People who love dating see it for what it is – a way to meet new people, find out who you are, and see. Just see. Everything (and anything else) is just in your head.