Currently Crushing On


4 Dating Don'ts

So recently I started dating,  after being in a relationship for the past 4 years my short spell in the world of Tinder, Bumble and the bar at the Slug and Lettuce has been illuminating to say the least. I think the biggest thing that has changed since I was last single at the age of 22 is that I am willing to put up with a lot less when it comes to the behaviour of the opposite sex. Back then my self-esteem hinged on the attention of men whereas these days my life and career are so full on that I'm more selective with who is and who is not worthy of my time. I am by no means an expert but here are some things I have learnt so far as someone with an open mind and a low bullshit threshold

Don't read into anything

A guy can put in all the spadework, praise you, wine and dine you, introduce you to his friends, message you all day every day and then simply lose interest, find a "better" option or simply disappear. The phrase "too good to be true" rolls off my tongue all too often and yet I still find myself buying into the false representation some people choose to hide behind. At the end of the day there are no guarantees in dating, no one signs a contract to 100% be who they claim to be so always be prepared for this, no matter how much he may sell himself as "straight-forward Guy." A healthy level of scepticism is key to ensuring that you don't get hurt or at the very least minimising that hurt when it happens. Realism over Romance, sorry Shakespeare  

Don't overlook key signs

This one is rather contradictory to the previous point but bear with me. Remain vigilant for subtle changes in behaviour that would indicate a waning of interest or perhaps distraction with something or someone else. When presented with this behaviour and no reasonable explanation for it's occurrence, begin to prepare yourself mentally for what is to come. This will help to "cushion" the blow when or indeed if he eventually does the decent thing and ends it officially rather than choosing to simply "Ghost" you. It is far too easy for men to dismiss women as "crazy" or "mental" when they were simply left to join the dots together from the behaviour of someone too tragically afraid or skilfully deceptive to offer up closure. Far too many times I've had to council friends though situations where I've thought "take the fucking hint," but that's the thing - when you're in it you don't recognise those hints or you hope they're just your own insecurities instead of someone playing games 

Don't play games 

On that note. Don't play games, it's tedious for all concerned. How the person you date chooses to conduct themselves is ultimately up to them but you should always play it straight. Make your intentions clear to avoid wasting time with someone who is not looking for the same thing you are. Be clear with what you are looking for, open with how you feel and maintain integrity at all times. If you've reached a stage where you don't want them shagging other people then tell them. If you don't see it going anywhere then tell them. Most of us are never more than 30cm away from our phones and it can save someone a world of upset to literally spell out how you feel. I went on two dates with a wonderful guy that I unfortunately didn't connect with, a message explaining that to him saved him wasting time chasing me and freed him to persue someone on his wavelength. If the worst comes to the worst at the very least you can walk away from the situation knowing that you were truthful and that will help you to move forward 

Don't change yourself 

This one sounds obvious and yet it is so easy to fall into the trap of adjusting your behaviour or diminishing your emotions to align with what the person you are dating deems as desirable. I recently found myself dating someone who had me biting my tongue in an effort to appear "laid-back" when something had made me feel uneasy. The uneasiness manifested itself as anger and I lost my temper over something minor, which impacted on the connection we had built. This pitfall is especially hard to avoid if you develop strong feelings for someone very quickly - common sense goes out of the window. Ultimately, if you think something the person you're dating does is wrong then speak up, if you don't want to do something they suggest then don't do it. Do not live with the anger and resentment of having let someone else's comfort rank above your own self-worth and again you can walk away from the situation knowing that you were true to yourself. You should never have to adjust who you are for someone else's ease, no matter how much you like them

So there you have it, 4 things I've learnt so far. I'm sure that there will be more lessons to come. I'm enjoying the ride - No pun intended


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