We all feel that tiny niggling, or for some of us a yearning to share our experiences with someone else. An old school romantic perhaps, begging where do you even meet people anymore? As we navigate our 20 somethings between study, work, travel and figuring out exactly who we are, dating doesn’t register as top priority.
So attuned are we to the happenings of everyone no one can tell me that they haven’t been subject to relationship FOMO. Every week without fail as your thumb runs miles across your mobile touch screens a new anniversary pops up on Instagram. We don’t really care about your #couplegoals, roses or romantic getaways.
Take it from someone who has done a fair amount of online experiments (sorry to the gorgeous blue-eyed honey I have swiped right for and exchanged contacts with but consider this your five minutes of fame), romantic reading, relationship advice and deep analysis of The Bachelor. I can tell you straight up, whatever you are doing to lasso that hot-piece of ass you are NOT doing it wrong. Although I am not successful (yet- look you have to be optimistic) in love there are a few things that you have to stick by once you’re competing in the dating game.
1. Know who you are
The hardest part of dating, being apart of or accepting relationships is being comfortable in who you are as a person. You have to understand who you are. This does not mean you have to have a set career path or a specific set of values to live by because all this can change as we uncover the unexpected events of life. All this means is that you have to accept yourself. I understand that everyone has insecurities (if you are one of the many few that are happy with your soul and body entirely my hat goes off to you) but you have to push past those to better yourself. Because who wants to date someone who isn’t positive in their own skin? How can that person be sure they will be positively loved in return if you are unhappy with yourself?
2. Don’t be a victim to virtual love
Online dating apps that spread out potential suitors in a catalogue spread with your choice of hot or not profiles are just too fake. Real life isn’t a smorgasbord of bachelors/bachelorettes waiting to be picked. So you ask the question are dating apps overrated? Yes. If you armour yourself up against rejection, or you convince yourself it’s just for fun and no attachment then I’m sorry to say but you’re just not going to cope. Communicating online is hard to interpret as the person intended eg. sarcasm doesn’t often translate online.
Without speaking to a person face to face how do you know if that person is even interested or even has a slight interest in you as a person? Sure for some stage of your online connection there will be sexual tension or sneaky snaps sent between the two of you but is this the long lasting type of relationship you are looking for. Probably not. Now I’m not saying that you can’t build a successful relationship from an online encounter but do not restrict it to being behind a screen. Humans need interaction and the experiences we share together last longer than a chat message composed with emoticons. Let’s keep this real people.
3. The Chase
The chase is a fine art few can master. Dilemma, you don’t want to be the needy clingy type that messages your love interest constantly but can you expect your love interest to do all the chasing? There is a very thin line between igniting a potential relationship or sending them running the other way. By being the initiator of conversations all the time you are giving the other person expectations. These expectations mean that they don’t feel the need to branch out to you if you are already doing their job for them. Ask yourself if you aren’t the one initiating the conversation do you think the other person would message you?
Or maybe you’re being too laissez faire. For my female singles I like to call this The Cool Girl Approach, when you present yourself as a likeable carefree person. You are open to whichever way the connection goes. Look you’ll give it a go, not push it let the other person lead the conversation, not contact over the weekend and let the other person lead their own life because you’re not actually together right?! Getting set in this mindset is dangerous and can end up in you playing relationship adviser when your love interest becomes interested in someone else.
4. Attract what you want by being what you want
Be upfront and honest. Form the lifestyle you want to lead. That may sound like self help mumbo jumbo but it’s just plain realistic. Anyone interested in you needs to understand and respect you becoming your best self. If they are really interested then they need to see how they fit into this big exciting life of yours. Be very prepared for rejection. Speaking your mind and spelling out your dreams and desires will not always be met with elation. They aren’t worth it, period.
5. Stop looking
Everyone has said to me you can’t find love, love has to find you but if you’re a tad impatient sometimes you just have to explore your options. I find this tip biased from my friends who have loving relationships. I think back to when they were single and more often than not they were actually longing for a relationship too. Maybe some of us just need to sit on the bench a little longer, don’t force something that isn’t really there.
Never count your efforts as a mistake, everything is a learning experience. It does not matter if you’re with the person for a week or a few years appreciate the memories and time spent with them. That ideal partner is waiting for you somewhere, rose in hand or not. If you are a bit lost and not sure who you are yet then that’s ok because. Someone will find you and love you for all your unsurety, just don’t let them define you. You do you.