There's no clear path or secret to finding love. Today's dating process has never been trickier. Which app is the best? When do you transition from chat to meeting in-person? Who texts first, and when do phone calls come into play? To find love, there needs to be a solid thought process and approach to dating... and it starts with five basic rules.
1. Set your expectations
Whether you are using an online dating site, a mobile dating application, or speed dating, you need to gauge your expectations. Regardless of where or how you meet potential partners, it will take time to get to know them—the real them. Who you read about in their online profile isn't who they will be on date #1... and that's not who they will be on date #10. Take your time. Allow the get-to-know-you process to take it's natural course.
2. Be clear on what you want
Are you looking for something casual or something more? Generally speaking, physical attraction and infatuation can give off a false positive of "real connection". But unless both people are looking for the same thing—fling or long-term—there will likely be a disconnect—as so many friend-with-benefits relationships now show. As you get to know new people, get clear on where things are going and what you both want from each other at this time in your life—and do so from an objective standpoint. Make sure you are seeing who they are and where they are at, and not who you wish they were.
3. Know your value
Stop what you are doing and go look in the mirror. The person you see is worthy of love. Stop trying to convince yourself otherwise... NO EXCUSES! Too fat, too thin, too out, too in, too busy, too broke, too much trouble, too many assholes, too much baggage, too little time, too much drama, too many bills, too late, too old........ STOP! Just as you are, you are worthy. We are all growing and all works-in-progress. Everyone is a train wreck in their own way. When you see it, others you select will, also. If you don't see it, you need to reframe how you see you... and it starts here.
4. Don't be afraid to be single
You should want to be in a relationship... not need one. When you need a relationship, you can end up ignoring red flags, and that leads to nothing but heartache and problems later. Settling for what you don't actually want just for the sake of being with someone doesn't work. At best, it leads to resentment and unhappiness. At worst, it leads to depression and a feeling of inadequacy. Take your time and don't settle. Bottom line: If you can't be happy by yourself, you can't be happy in a relationship.
5. Have fun!
Enjoy the process of dating and getting to know others. Those you're compatible with won't necessarily be in your local bar or nightclub. Your friends and colleagues can be a great resource to find likeminded people. But if you're looking to find quality people on your own, my advice: take a class. Here's why:
If you are single-and-looking, here's my recommendation: Sign up for a class—specifically a cooking class or a dance class. Classes that are interactive provide a great environment for singles. Here's why:
- Everyone is there to learn something new... which means they are bettering themselves, and that is the type of person you want to attract.
- Everyone starts even. No one knows more than the other, so unless someone is secretly a ringer... there's no unfair advantage, no one puts anyone down, and everyone is in a positive place.
- You get to experience raw relationship dynamics. In active classes (like cooking, dancing, and others), people are often paired up. You can see how they handle mistakes, what their ego and confidence level are like, how they deal with learning new things, how they handle insecurity, and if they are comfortable allowing you your own space to do your thing. And while there is no guarantee that you will be partnered with someone of the opposite sex, you will see others—and interact with them.