There is a reason first impressions are important. Not because we are just judgmental and shallow people, but because first impressions can give you a glimpse into how much someone cares and feels about a certain thing or person.
Think about interviews, meeting extended family for the first time, or even your first day of school; you probably had a desire to make a good first impression. You probably took an extra long shower, made your hair look nice, and maybe spent additional time preparing for it the day before. You did this because you cared and because these events were important to you.
First dates are first impressions. First dates can give you a glimpse into how much someone cares and feels about you.
How they treat you from the beginning sets the bar on how they will treat you throughout the relationship. And let’s be clear, a “good” first date doesn’t need to be a five-course meal at a Michelin star restaurant. A good first date is with someone who makes it clear it’s a date. A good first date involves a plan and a thought out destination.
A good first date is with someone who doesn’t make you feel like a choice. They feel lucky to get to know more about that beautiful mind of yours.
But not everyone you date will be your endgame. Not everyone you date will sweep you off your feet and fill you with butterflies; and that’s okay. But what’s not okay is accepting the bare minimum because you’d rather date someone in hopes that they change than realize who they are right from the start.
Because they will show you their true colors right from the start, and I encourage you to not just turn a blind eye when they do. You need to decide what’s important to you in a relationship and not accept anything less. That includes the bare minimum.
The bare minimum isn’t enough. Dating isn’t like coloring a page in a coloring book where some minimal effort can suffice; this is your life. It’s who you spend and share your heart with, and that deserves so much more than the bare minimum.
Maybe we are in such a non-committal era that we have grown accustomed to the idea of a Saturday night in with Netflix and a cheap bottle of wine as the ‘holy grail’ of dates. Maybe we have tricked our minds into believing that communication and expressing our feelings is only reserved to long-term committed relationships. Maybe we have accepted the bare minimum before because that’s what we’re used to.
But now it’s time to start expecting the person to give a damn about dating you, and nothing less.
There is someone out there that won’t make you second-guess yourself. There is someone out there who will make you feel special and make it clear in their actions. You deserve that. You deserve to go on dates that make you feel like the main course, not a side dish.
But you need to determine what you can and cannot accept in a relationship and never give your heart away for anything less. If something begins to feel off, it probably is. If you begin to feel like you are putting in the majority of the effort and it is no longer mutual, maybe it’s time to walk away. Don’t be afraid of leaving someone who wouldn’t think twice about leaving you.
You are worth so much more than the bare minimum. You are worth it, so please don’t accept anything less.