Let's face it: Dating can be a little intimidating, and it has nothing to do with confidence. Even if you are completely comfortable with yourself and are a good conversationalist, the idea of putting your best self forward and being vulnerable with a stranger who may become the love of your life is, well, daunting. If you're in the market for a relationship—whether it's a casual fling or something long-term—consider this your guide to modern dating.
We've compiled the six essential rules when it comes to finding what you're looking for, so put your stress on the shelf and enjoy yourself when you're on the dating circuit.
Put Yourself Out There
We know meeting people can be stressful, but try to overcome any negative emotions you have surrounding dating because the more you put yourself out there, the better your chances are to meet someone you really like. If you're not into dating apps, try a different avenue, like asking your friends to fix you up. You could even scope the scene at your favorite places, which increases your odds of finding someone with shared interests. So if you love yoga, see if you find anyone in the class attractive and talk to them afterward.
Keep an Open Mind
Being open-minded is perhaps the most important rule on this list. You may think you have a type, which has inadvertently closed you off to meeting someone you could fall in love with. Just because someone has different interests than you or isn't your typical "go-to" doesn't mean that you should automatically write them off as someone you wouldn't be interested in. After all, what do you have to lose by giving someone a chance?
Another thing to keep in mind: your safety is the most important when dating. If you don't feel comfortable or safe, do not worry about staying to be polite. Definitely get out of there. If you're meeting up with someone from a dating app (a stranger), we recommend letting a friend know where you are, meeting your date in a public place, and staying clearheaded, so that you can make good choices from start to finish.
If you want to take the edge off a first date, suggest a place you've been to before so that you at least feel comfortable in your surroundings.
Set Your Own Pace
When you're dating someone new, it's important to move the relationship forward at your own pace. We don't necessarily subscribe to society's long-standing and unspoken rule of waiting a specific amount of time before being intimate with your new partner, but we do believe that waiting is okay if you aren't completely sure that intimacy is something you're ready for yet.
Remember: Forming Connections Takes Time
Speaking of setting your own pace, take some of the stress off yourself and remember that finding the perfect person for you won’t happen overnight. So rather than rushing the process and settling on a partner who doesn’t meet all of your needs, it’s in your best interest to put in the time it takes to date more people and up your chances of finding the one who makes you happiest.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
We get it, you can't be positive all the time. However, when it comes to dating, try your best to keep any negativity at bay because if you go on a first date thinking it will be a disaster, it probably will be. Think of it this way: If you go out for drinks with someone you weren't that into, it was just two or so hours of your life, right? However, if you're on your way to a first date thinking, "I'm going to laugh a lot, order my favorite cocktail, and have a great time even if there's no second date," you'll have plenty of fun. The power of positive thinking is definitely real.