1. Dating should feel fun. You should laugh and smile more than anything else. It should feel like dancing freely in a room where no one is judging you. Where the mistakes you make don’t matter as much as the good time you’re having.
But dating shouldn’t feel like a game of survivor. A game where you’re manipulating and plotting to see who is the last person standing; “winning” whatever game you think you’re playing.
2. Dating should feel easy. Not the kind of easy that makes you complacent or inattentive. But the kind of easy that’s light and relaxing. The kind of easy that makes you feel at home.
But dating shouldn’t feel hard. It shouldn’t be so difficult that you spend most of your time frustrated and disappointed. It shouldn’t feel like you’re always one step away from breaking your heart or someone else’s.
3. Dating should feel freeing. You should feel like you’re giving of yourself to someone who really wants to know you, who really cares about you.
But dating shouldn’t feel suffocating. You shouldn’t feel chained to so many rules and pieces of advice and voices in your head. All of these things telling you to be everything but the person you really want to be.
4. Dating should feel calming. It should feel like you’re taking a break from all the other tragedies and miseries of life. It should give you peace of mind and temper an often restless heart.
But dating shouldn’t feel tumultuous. Like you’re constantly on edge around someone. You shouldn’t feel the certain kind of pseudo passion that’s just really unnecessary suffering. It shouldn’t be a constant battle.
5. Dating should feel inspiring. It should make you want to be a better person for yourself and for the person you choose to be with. It should make you want to see the world and all that’s in it in a whole new light.
But dating shouldn’t feel discouraging. Like you’re constantly made to feel less than what you are. Like you’re constantly settling for less than what you believe you deserve.
6. Dating should feel empowering. It should feel like with each step you take towards knowing someone better – whether it’s someone new or it’s someone you’ve been with for a while, you’re learning about your strengths, your weaknesses, and everything else in between.
But dating shouldn’t feel exasperating. It shouldn’t feel like every thought, every action is so calculated that you are emotionally exhausted. And all because you want to love and be loved for who you are, and who you want to become.
7. Dating should feel exciting. You should be nervous but in a good way. In a way that makes you wonderfully scared for all the possibilities ahead. It should leave you breathless at least some of the time.
But dating shouldn’t feel indifferent. It shouldn’t feel like it doesn’t matter who you’re with, and what they think, and what you do. It shouldn’t feel like your life hasn’t changed in any way when you’re with someone who you want to share a part of your life with.
8. Dating should feel enlightening. You should be finding out more about who you are, and what you love. It should be an experience that makes you grow and learn and know more about the world around you.
But dating shouldn’t feel confusing. You shouldn’t feel like you’re never certain of where you stand, and that you never will be. It shouldn’t feel like constant longing without satisfaction; a mental purgatory that always leaves you half-empty and completely drained.
9. Dating should feel daring. It should be an adventure that makes you more curious each day. It should teach new things, and take you places both literally and figuratively, that you’ve never been before.
But dating shouldn’t feel daunting. It shouldn’t make you want to give up on the things that matter to you, in order to have someone to share them with. It shouldn’t make you bitter, angry, tiresome, or just plain tired all the time.
10. Dating should feel simple. In the end, it should be made up of the little things: kind words, meaningful gestures, and a gentle way of being that only two people understand.
But dating shouldn’t feel complicated. In the end, it shouldn’t feel like you’re always wanting something that wasn’t meant for you. And if it does, maybe it’s time to let go and make room for something and someone who believes in the simple things, which are of course, the best things.