When it comes to the trials and errors of dating, we often resort to bashing the overall concept to justify our lack of success. For instance, statements may include something along the lines of: “You know what? Dating is seriously the worst – I’m over it” or “I’m sick of trying. Everyone sucks!”
Cue heavy alcohol consumption and inevitable meltdown about being forever alone.
To be fair, while the modern dating game can often be challenging to navigate, it is also critical to pinpoint areas where we are simply making the same mistakes over and over again.
Here are 3 pieces of dating advice that should be common knowledge, yet we often fail miserably at following them:
1. Don’t seek out information you don’t want to know.
Looking at you, social media stalkers. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, you name it – if “bae” posted it, you’ve seen it. While there is no harm in being an avid social media user, it is important to identify the difference between innocent scrolling and hardcore investigating. For instance, if you’re creeping back 6 years to determine whether you’re more attractive than your current hookup’s high school prom date, you may need to seek help. Now.
The same general idea goes for exes – if you’re not completely over someone, don’t torture yourself by scrutinizing their new relationship on social media. You’re only making things worse for yourself – and further sabotaging your chances of finally moving on.
2. When it comes down to how you feel about someone, just be completely honest.
For whatever reason, honesty scares the hell out of our generation. Instead, we enjoy playing hard to get with hopes of getting the other person to “chase” you – or acting aloof out of fear of coming on too strong or even desperate.
I remember the good old days back in elementary school, when we were too socially awkward to “pursue each other” in person, so we did it over AOL Instant Messenger. We would then put the person’s name and a heart (<3) to signify that we were “dating”, and the rest is history (If you’re lucky, you eventually progressed to holding hands at recess.)
This blast from the past might seem irrelevant, but hear me out.
You might think we have come a long way from hiding behind screens as nervous pre-pubescent 12-year- olds, but have we really?
Think about it. It still takes us a while to even say “I want to date you” or “I think we should make this official”, because we’re so busy spending time “tricking” the other person into seeming like we are the more chill and laid-back one in the relationship.
Bottom line: We could save ourselves a lot of time, energy, and frustration if we were simply upfront about what we wanted.
3. Enjoy the moment – and stop stressing over “what this is” or “what it could be.”
When you begin a relationship, it is always important to consider whether or not you can truly see a future with that person.
However, the key word here is relationship – if it’s simply someone you have gone on a few casual dates with and are enjoying getting to know, appreciate that for what it is. Once you stop overanalyzing every move and learn to appreciate someone’s company without automatically uncovering the “hidden meaning”, you may find that things will fall into place naturally. Plus, you might finally come to the realization that dating may not be the worst after all.