Dating can be exhausting.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s well worth it. You’re looking for the one person you want to spend your life with. As a result, you’re going to date a lot of wrongs.
But along the way, you have to stick to your values. And this may seem obvious, but I see, time and time again, people undermining their values for the sake of “love.”
I don’t think it’s on purpose. Hell, I think it goes pretty unnoticed. And on the rare occasion we can see our flaws, sometimes our vision can be blurred. The cause (a partner) may seem bigger than the means (sacrificing values).
I’ve been in this boat. I’ve been in relationships where I allowed myself to be mistreated; I acted like the laid back girl who was okay with anything.
But finding a partner and respecting your values go hand in hand. You don’t want to be with someone that requires you to be less than who you are.
With this in mind, start becoming more aware of your dating life. If you’re doing any of the following, chances are, you’re not respecting your values while dating:
1. You allow people to cancel on you
Sure, emergencies come up. But emergencies don’t always come up. And the whole “my aunt is sick” or “I’m caught up at work” excuse is most likely just that—an excuse.
If you’re finding yourself being canceled on again and again, that person isn’t respecting your time. You could’ve made other plans or scheduled your week differently. Canceling is more than just missing out on a dinner date, it’s about your time being wasted.
Respect your time and speak up for yourself. Let your date know it’s not okay to cancel on you last-minute.
My rule of thumb is that people get two chances. The first time they cancel, I can look past. But the second? I don’t have time for that.
2. You go on dates with people you’re not interested in
I hear a lot of my friends talk about going on dates that they’re not excited about. And I really don’t understand this.
Sure, people can surprise you. But I think that happens more so accidentally, not on a date where you’re going in with the mindset of being uninterested.
And this doesn’t just happen on first dates.
One of my friends dated a guy she knew from college she wasn’t that interested in romantically. They made it well into the fifth date simply because she held out hope that their history as friends would make them a great match.
Spoiler alert: That never happened.
We all have preferences and attractions for a reason. If you’re disinterested in someone, cut them loose. It’s not fair to you or them.
You deserve butterflies; they deserve interest.
3. You sacrifice your comfort for your date’s
After college, I went on a date with a man I met at a yoga studio. He seemed like my type: athletic, charming, friendly, and enthusiastic. But somewhere along our first date, I realized he was much different than I imagined. I knew things wouldn’t progress to a second date.
Yet, when the time came to say goodnight, I let him make out with me on the sidewalk outside of my apartment. I didn’t want to make him feel bad, and boy did that kissing last way too long.
There’s never a good reason to make yourself feel uncomfortable just to make your date comfortable. This includes everything from hand-holding to not speaking up about your opinion. The best relationships are ones you feel comfortable in.
Your comfort matters just as much as your date’s.
4. You move too quickly
Moving too quickly can include emotionally or physically.
If you find yourself getting caught up in feelings with another person, that’s great. What isn’t great is if the other person doesn’t respect those feelings and shows no sign of reciprocation.
That looks like waiting days to text you back, talking to you like only a friend, and never making the first move to see you.
Ask yourself why it is you’re willing to feel for someone who isn’t on your level.
Just as important is if you feel pressured into moving too fast physically. You don’t owe anyone a kiss at the end of the night. You sure as hell don’t owe them sex.
Kiss when you feel comfortable. Have sex when you feel safe with the person.
Your pace is your own, and if someone doesn’t respect that, they don’t deserve to be in your life.
5. You say you’re okay without a label
I’ve agreed to one too many relationships where the guy didn’t want a label. That led to me feeling insecure, questioning myself, and feeling emotionally drained.
You’re not asking too much to define things with someone you’re dating. If they’re not looking to label things, then you two don’t have the same goals. It’s as simple as that.
When someone wants a relationship without the label, you’re letting them know it’s okay to have everything that comes with a boyfriend/girlfriend but without the commitment.
If a significant other is your end goal, don’t settle for anyone not willing to commit.
You deserve someone who wants to be with you without a doubt.
6. You let your date determine your value
This can start as early as when you swipe through dating apps.
When I was single, I’d log on to dating apps and swipe away. I thought things were harmless until I realized how much I was addicted to getting a match. Then it occurred to me how horrible I felt once someone interesting went radio silence on me.
The same would go for in-person dating. A failed date made me think there was something wrong with me. Their disinterest equated to my worth.
But that’s not how human value works.
You are a magnificent, beautiful human being. No other person determines your value.
If you don’t think so, cultivating self-love is going to be your answer, not more dates. Whoever your dating at the time doesn’t determine your self-worth, you do.
Decide what it is you want in an ideal partner and don’t settle for anyone who treats you less, especially a person that makes you think less of yourself.
Dating can be hard enough; there’s no need to make it harder by sacrificing your values. You don’t need a partner to survive this crazy world, you can do it all on your own. A partner is simply the icing on the cake.
Remember that while moving forward into the dating world.
Know who you are and what you deserve. Then make sure to settle for nothing less.