Are you tired of dating? Wondering if you’re even cut out for dating? We’ve seen it in countless TV episodes and movies, and most of us have experienced it at some point in our lives. First dates are a natural part of living in society, provided that you aren’t in an arranged marriage or part of a cult or something.
But just because we all have been on dates, does that mean that that’s the best way to meet someone and start a relationship? Is that really the pinnacle of modern romance? Meeting for coffee or dinner somewhere and asking a laundry list of questions about our potential new partner while hoping that things don’t get too awkward when the check comes?
If that doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, then maybe dating isn’t right for you. In fact, as online interaction has become more prevalent, more people are trying to skip the dating scene altogether in favor of more meaningful interaction, or avoiding awkward small talk altogether.
Today we’ll look at the basics of dating as well as what alternatives are out there if you want to mix things up. One thing is for sure, though, don’t get discouraged because you’re not “dating enough.” Don’t think that because your last date was months ago that you’re somehow abnormal or less deserving of happiness. You just march to the beat of your own drum and find someone who appreciates your music.
Do I Have to Date?
When we’re younger, the concept of dating is so weird. Asking a person out to “hang” is when you’re just friends, but if you want it to be a date, there are suddenly so many different rules. Who asks who out first? Do I pay for your meal? Do we kiss at the end? The whole thing can be nerve-racking for anyone new to the experience, which is why so many people try to avoid the dreaded first date.
But, what else can we do? What other ways are there to meet people that we want to be in a relationship with beyond going out for dates? Thankfully, there are plenty of new options, as long as you are open to them.
What Do You Want?
Before you can decide if dating is your thing, you first have to determine what you want to get out of a relationship. Are you looking for something serious? Flexible? A fling? Think about what will get you the most excited about being with someone and that will help guide you to the right path to get it. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should be open and honest about what you want as soon as possible so that the other person can know what he or she is getting into.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it should give you an idea of what you can do to forgo the traditional sport of dating and still find a loving, fulfilling relationship.
Hear us out on this one. Finding someone online enables you to break the ice without any long, awkward pauses or stares at your phone. A profile can pique your interest, and then a few chats will let you know if there is anything worth pursuing. This option is ideal for those who are nervous when meeting new people or are worried about first impressions.
One of the biggest challenges when asking someone out or dating a person is that there are a lot of different expectations on both of you. If that seems overwhelming, then try to meet people at social gatherings that are catered to specific interests. For example, join a hiking group if you’re into the outdoors, or a gaming group if you’re more of a video game person. If you start engaging in activities that you enjoy with strangers, then you are more likely to find someone who shares your passion and values, meaning that you can start something meaningful without any expectations hovering over you.
For some, the idea of going to something like a “singles mixer” is spine-chilling, but the fact is that there are plenty of modern events that are geared towards bringing single people together in fun, organic ways. No longer will you have to wear a tie and wait by the bar, hoping to catch someone’s eye. Instead, these events are where single people can meet, talk, and make a connection without cheesy music or overt tackiness. Whether it’s an outdoor event or something more intimate, a single’s event can be just the ticket to get out there and find someone.
Just Let It Happen
Another reason that dating might not work for some people is that put too much pressure on the idea of it. Thus, every bad date is a mark against your happiness, and you start to feel like you will never find “the one.” However, in most cases, things tend to fall into place as soon as you stop trying to make them happen.
Thus, our advice would be to take a step back and start meeting people without any pretense of dating them. Too often, our single sense kicks in and makes us start to classify potential partners before getting to know them, which taints our interactions and can drive people away. Instead, approach each new person as an unattainable and talk to him or her as if you can only be friends and nothing more. We promise that once you remove the pretense of intimacy, things will go a lot more smoothly and you will find someone that knocks your socks off.