“I hate dating.”
--- Pretty much everyone ever, right?
I used to feel this way. Dating can be STRESSful and oftentimes seems like way more trouble than it’s worth.
I have done a good bit of personal research on the topic. You see, I’ve spent the better part of the past couple of years going on lots and lots of dates (in New York City no less, debatably the most intense, cutthroat place on earth), and I’ve discovered firsthand a thing or two about the ways I can make it all more fun.
Ultimately, I think the difference between loving dating and loathing it boils down to one little piece of advice:
You need to stop focusing on how your dates feel about you and instead focus on how you feel about them.
Seems simple right? But simple isn’t easy.
Here’s how I go about doing it:
Before the date, I remind myself how much I love my life, just as it is right now. I consciously remember all the ways my life is full and fulfilling with or without a guy.
When I’m on the date, I put the focus back on the guy I’m out with. I try to ask him questions and really listen to the answers. I try to get a sense of the person I’m sitting across from so I can see if they might be someone I’d want to get to know better.
I try to always be myself. I say what I think and I’m really honest about who I am and what my life is like. This might be the most important part of all.
And finally, I always remind myself that the guy I’m with is also on a date. He might be nervous, so I try to be extra kind. This also serves as a reminder that I’m not in it alone.
These days I go on dates with the aim of determining if I might have a connection with the other person, to see if he’s someone I might want to keep in my life for a bit. If the date doesn’t go well or doesn’t seem to lead to anything, I move on. It doesn’t change my life and it doesn’t change me.
Every interaction holds the possibility of a spark, of a real, magnetic connection. Because I love that possibility, I now actually really like dating. I’ve realized all I have to do is show up, relax, be myself and see what happens. That’s literally it!
There’s really nothing to hate after all ☺