modern dating

Online Dating Dos and Don’ts

Times have definitely changed when it comes to dating and it’s time these dating rules get an update. No more waiting three days to call nor footing every bill to the male. We’re strong, independent women who no longer need a man…still we want him.

In a previous post, I briefly mentioned this guy who would talk about his other dates on our dates. That’s rule number 1, when using dating apps we all know you’re in different stages of talking and dating multiple people. You’re doing it, I’m doing it, he’s doing it, the trick is to not be the jerk who talks about it. You don’t impress me by telling me about the obsessive girl texting you during our date and I definitely don’t care about the girl you saw last night when I was busy. Instead, I’ll think you’re more interested in those girls or maybe just a guy who’s so starved for attention he needs it from multiple girls.

But with everyone going on multiple dates, you need to make an impression and establish a connection quicker. In the past you might keep the conversation light so you don’t rock the boat too early, but now we tend to dive into important topics within the first couple of dates. There are so many profiles and options with online dating, you need to know if this person is a good match for you ASAP so you don’t waste your time and miss out on a better fish.

Before the age of texting, suitors used to wait three days to call, I guess in order to not seem too desperate? Now you can text the same night the date ends or the next day, saying how you enjoyed yourself, thanking them for a fun evening, and hoping to see them again. It’s no longer seen as desperate, in fact if you wait longer than the next day they’re more likely to think you’re not interested and probably move on.

I wrote about when the right time for a first kiss is but with the way modern dating is going now, people are doing a lot more than just kissing on the first date. Some people are just looking for something casual and there are plenty of long-term couples that say they started out just hooking up so there’s really no rule now on how soon is too soon. As long as you’re both being honest about what you’re looking for, then go all the way on the first day and have fun!

The etiquette of a man always paying for dates started long ago when it made much more sense in society. Society has been changing though with more women in the workforce and the wage gap closing in. The bill doesn’t always have to fall on the man now, plenty of couples go dutchor figure out other ways to share equal weight of the finances.

Let me know of some more modern dating rules you follow in the comments!

Desperate or Not Settling

I keep thinking that it might be time to take a break from dating, that the guys must smell the desperation reeking off of me.

I’m looking for a real relationship with a smart, kind man. One with ambition but knows how to relax. One that is also looking for a relationship and willing to show me that effort.

This is apparently a tall order to fill. I am beginning to think I’m asking too much or I’m looking too hard for love.

For one, I don’t think love finds you when you stop looking for it. You have to be open for love but it can’t become your obsession. As long as you maintain your identity by hanging with friends and following your hobbies while dating then you should be able to look for love and find it.

Secondly, I don’t think I’m asking too much of potential suitors, but perhaps I am asking the wrong ones. Dating Apps are becoming notoriously known for casual dating and just a way to pass the time. So finding someone who is looking to really commit has become more than half the battle.

So No, I’m not desperate because I’m looking for something real and long lasting. I just need to start looking in more places and take breaks when the constant left down starts to make dating less fun.

He’s Just Not That Into You

…then he’s honestly just not into you.

I know every girl wants to believe they can change a man or that they will defy all odds because their love is so strong but that’s a one in a million shot.

If a guy can’t or doesn’t want to make the time to see you, then he just doesn’t actually care enough to make that effort. Sure maybe he’s scared, going through a hard time, or entering a new point in his life that makes him super busy but all that means is that he’s unavailable.

Then there’s the guy that can never take things to the next level. Maybe he says he’s fine being exclusive but then he won’t put a label on it or introduce you as his girlfriend, or at all. This can happen anywhere down the line, together for 3 months or 9 years, you never know where your guy’s invisible intimacy line is. You’ve been together for so long, why can’t he pop the question?

It’s hard to tell what’s worse though, the guy who can’t say those important words or the one who keeps you strung along by promising a non existent future together. I know we’ll be together one day and that’s why you should forgive me for not putting you first now. For me going out with the boys and ignoring you. For me talking to those girls while I’m still young and dumb.

You begin to put up with a lot of crap because you think it will eventually pay off. All you want is to be loved and after you’re with someone for so long you worry you may never find someone willing to stick with you through all the tough times. You’re scared to start over, afraid this is the best it’s going to get, so you settle.

You settle for the guy who’s just not that into you and he settles for you too. He doesn’t see you because he’s wondering if he’ll see someone else. He talks to other girls because he’s unsure if you’re the best he’s going to do. He doesn’t commit to you because he’s worried as soon as he does that the real girl of his dreams will come walking through the door.

That’s why you should be the one walking out that door so that you both don’t settle. Let’s be honest, maybe you’re just not that into him.

((This article also works when changing pronouns around, feel free to read it how you identify))

Girlfriend Qualities

I want to talk about how great of a girlfriend I would be.

That sounds soo conceited and I feel insanely weird for making this post but if I have to embarrass myself just for one person to have a good take away from this article then I’ll do it. And its good to be nice to yourself sometimes. So for making such a statement perhaps you’re wondering how her highness has come to this conclusion?

I’m considerate. I let you know when I’m busy so you’re not left hanging. A simple “busy now, text you when I can” message can keep a person from going crazy. I don’t like playing games. I wont wait 40 minutes to text you back just because you took 20. If that type of forwardness makes you uncomfortable then you’re not the guy for me. I don’t want you to go out of your way for me, I try to plan dates that are near both of us and I don’t take it for granted that you might pay for the date.

I can give you space and encourage you to be your own person. It’s a bit mesmerizing for me when someone talks about things they’re passionate about. Their eyes smile, you know their heart is happy and I encourage them to explore that happiness. We don’t need to be together always, you are you and I am me. Your differences are new and exciting to me, so let’s celebrate them.

I’m open minded and understanding, which makes me supportive. If there’s anything I learned about life so far, it’s that people are complicated. Life is hard and you don’t always get it right. You don’t have to be perfect, in fact, I hope you’re not. I try not to judge difficult moments in your life and I’m very appreciative when you trust me enough to share those darker times.

I’ll be a great girlfriend because I loved the wrong ones so well. I have a big heart and if you take the time to climb over these guarding walls, you’d see there’s this big, empty room with your name on the front door calling you home. If I could try so hard to make it work with the guy who didn’t treat me well enough then imagine how well it could work when you are treating me right.

Now, I need you all to repeat after me and say “I’d be a really good girlfriend/boyfriend/ significant other/caring partner/friend.” You listen well or you know how to take action. You can always lighten the mood or you value loyalty. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t make yourself small or apologetic, instead say you’re good enough and actually believe it for once.

You are a good person, a good friend, and you are important to those around you. Tomorrow doesn’t change any of that.

Please write in the comments and tell me a few of your good qualities!

Coming to Terms with a Love that Was Never Meant to Be

So there was this guy I once had a crush on and it lasted many, many years. Nothing ever really happened so there isn’t much of a beginning to talk about but there is an End. We got in a fight because I felt the friendship was very one sided and I was probably also jealous of this girl he liked (and eventually dated). So the end went with him saying, “I only like you as a friend. Sorry.” And just like that it FINALLY clicked. It was over.

He was never going to like me as I wished he would. I needed that direct finality to ultimately stop living in this fantasy relationship alone (This is what I often tried to push Stubborn into saying. It’s also the reason I held on so long, because he could never say it).

Even though we weren’t exes, I feel like the best way to get over an ex is to cut off all contact for some time in order to ensure that no romantic feelings pop back up. Once I stopped putting in the effort to keep in touch with him, the friendship instantly ended. We talked a few times over the next 6 months to be polite but then it just all faded.

So it’s been years since we’ve seen each other and I liked keeping it that way. Now we’re both attending an event and it’s unavoidable. Here, I find myself wondering if he might like me now? Years have passed, I’ve changed my hair, my body has changed, and we’ve both done some growing up.

This is all insecure 16 year old me talking. The first guy she ever liked didn’t like her back and she wants to stop doubting that she’s not good enough.

No matter what color my hair is, I am still me. I will never be the love of his life and don’t want to be her. I’m also not who I used to be when I was 16. I have different wants and needs now; I want a different kind of relationship than I did as a teen. It wasn’t my hair color that stopped him from ever liking me and it surely won’t be the reason he would suddenly like me now.

We just weren’t a good match. That happens sometimes without it being anyone’s fault. That’s a hard reality to face. It took a very long time for me to learn that sometimes two people just aren’t meant to be together. It took me a long time to stop blaming this guy, Stubborn, and myself. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Sometimes you know the reason, other times you don’t.

You can’t make other people like you and you can’t force yourself to fall in love with someone you just don’t have chemistry with. The only person you could really do that with is yourself.

‘Getting Drinks’ is not a date

I’ve been on probably two non-date coffee dates. One time with Stubborn  in which I believe he was unsure about us and didn’t want to commit to an hour -long meal and a heftier bill. Ironically, that coffee lasted longer than nearly all of my dinner dates. The other coffee date was with some guy I didn’t want to see but he said I judged him too quickly and in order to not look like the bad guy, I agreed to coffee (he was as wrong for me as I originally thought).

When I choose that coffee date with the second guy, I wanted it to come off as noncommittal. I wanted to chug my hot cup in 25 minutes and call it a day no matter the taste bud burns. I didn’t want to be trapped waiting for the waiter to come back and take our meal order. I wanted an easy out.

I’ve also been on two “Let’s get drinks” non-date dates. Now I, personally, am not much of a drinker so the fact that these men suggested drinks means they don’t know me every well nor did they really care to. Those drinks also lasted the noncommittal hour and then they would ask, “Hey, wanna get out of here?” Yes. Yes, I did want to get out of here but sure as hell not with you!

Those were not a ‘let’s get to know each other’ drinks, they were ‘let’s see if you’re interesting enough to want to hook up with’ drinks. They didn’t want to waste time or money truly wooing me. They were lazily looking for something quick and fun. It was their way of ‘sampling the product’ without having to put in the proper amount of time and effort of a real date.

You might be wondering why I continue to call these dates ‘non-dates’ and that’s because the lack of commitment. Coffee or drinks is casual, quick, and easy. It’s kind of like if you just ‘hang out’ with a guy. You’re not really dating him if you’re never seen together in public.

If you really like someone, you probably won’t suggest coffee or drinks as the first option. You’ll be thinking “I really like this person and want to spend as much time with them as possible” and let’s face the facts, coffee just wouldn’t cut it.

Your Dating Flaws

There are so many articles on the Internet about not wasting time on guys who don’t pursue you honestly and whole –heartedly from the start. Since these articles are mostly for women written by women, it nearly makes sense that all the blame seems to be on the guy. We assume it’s always the guy with the commitment issues and his inability to open up that causes him to ruin relationships. We assume the women have no hang ups of their own that would make them unready for a relationship.

Of course, I agree that these men are emotionally unavailable and it’s highly unlikely that they will be in a relationship with anyone anytime soon. But I also think we’re fooling ourselves if we think we’re nothing but innocent bystanders in this. Why are we picking these men? Do we hope to fix them? Do we see something in them that resembles ourselves? Are we not ready for love and just trying to project the blame somewhere else? Are we really just trying to fix ourselves?

If you want the perfect man then you also have to be flawless, which is unrealistic! Perfect does not exist. Relationships are about accepting flaws and how flaws work well together. While others say he’s too restless to settle down, she is excited by his sense of adventure. Some try to say she’s too demanding but he admires the way she loves life so fiercely.

Maybe we attract those that are similar to ourselves. We’re compassionate for flaws we recognize in others. We treat others as kindly as we wish we could treat ourselves. I try to be open -minded and understanding when a guy is opening up to me about a scar of his because I fear someone judging my scars harshly. When I met a guy with intimacy issues, I know not to push him too quickly because I know how easily I scare away too. And perhaps sometimes I think, “if I work on his issues, maybe mine can go away too”.

We are all flawed (despite what Beyonce sings) and we will always be flawed, but that doesn’t make us unlovable. It just takes the right person to see your stars when everyone was seeing an empty sky.

When the Salmon Rots

We had so much fun at that bonfire on the beach, he and I.

The air in my nose was stronger than a salmon swimming upstream.

But if you stayed close enough to the growling fire

that smoky haze would cover you better than a fur blanket.

So I stayed close, tucked into him

dreaming of honey.

Against the black curtain of the sky

It was hard to tell the difference between

the fading flickers of a hot, red amber from a fire

versus his taillights fading down the road.

And then you realize it can’t always be seven o’clock on a summer evening.

The hardest lesson in dating

The hardest lesson you learn while in various relationships is this:

You can’t change people.

 

While you’re young you might have made a list of your ideal partner. Then you started meeting suitors and you realized the perfect partner doesn’t exist. You meet a guy with some potential but you’re both still young and growing your careers. You can’t stay with someone’s potential, waiting and hoping for them to change and grow up. Next thing you know, it’s two years wasted and he’s still exactly how you found him. Plenty of people grow into their potential, but you can’t stay in a relationship where you’re waiting on change. 

 

You are not the same person at 23 that you were at 18 and even that person has evolved at 29 years old. Your education, beliefs, and characteristics you’re looking for in a partner all change. Just as you can’t change people, you also can’t stop them from changing. Important life goals like wanting to get married or wanting children can change over the years. It’s heartbreaking but you have to know when partners in a relationship have changed so much that they’re no longer on the same path. 

 

Another thing women tend to do at a young age is try to fix the guys they want to date. You meet a guy who’s giving you attention and he has good qualities but his coping mechanisms are stunting his growth. Life lessons have shaped all of us and it’s up to us to seek professional help if we feel like we need ‘fixing’. It’s not our job as a partner to be someone’s mother and therapist. We’re your partner and we will support you but it should not fall on our shoulders to fix you up. Above you had to know when to end a relationship, but here you have to know when you shouldn’t even start one. 

 

Nagging or mothering someone into changing only leads to resentment and exhaustion. The ones who do make any type of change or improvements did so themselves. You can be motivation or a support system but they have to put in all the work. Even after all this, there’s no guarantee for a successful relationship. 

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Instead of trying to change someone, you have to know when it’s time to change your plans. After a few years of dating you’ll know what you’re not willing to settle for and you’ll probably figure out the hard way of when it’s time to cut your losses on a partner that will never become who you need them to be. 

 

How can I trust myself to pick the right guy?

Over the past 5 years, I’ve been on tons of first dates. More than any person would ever want to, I’m sure. I kept going on first dates though because I was ‘picky’. I needed a palpable connection and a list of criteria to be met. It was meaningless first date after first date when I finally met my long term boyfriend.

Finally, someone I just connected with. The beginning was easy, I felt alive, and he was good to me. I finally picked the right one! Even his mom was excited about our future!

But time passed and he stopped treating me right and eventually he became my ex. I should have left a lot earlier than I did and now it’s hard to trust myself. 

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I’m really picky and I still didn’t pick the right guy. How can I trust myself now?

 

I’m wondering if I should go about picking partners differently now since clearly, I’ve been getting it wrong all these years. I don’t think I’m too picky honestly, but however I am picking must not be working. Do I need to stop putting so much weight on that feeling of connection?

Maybe with the information I knew at the time, I was picking right? And eventually as time goes on, someone who was right for you can stop being right for your future.

We all know love has a way of blinding us so maybe I need friends and family to pick the right match for me. People who know and love me and have my best interests at heart. But we probably all know someone we would have picked differently for and who’s to say that they made the wrong choice?

Maybe with the new lessons I learned from my dating experience, I will pick the right one next time and I can trust myself. I can trust myself by being self aware. By knowing I’m a hopeless romantic and where my weak spots are. By listening to red flags when I first see them and by understanding the type of men I gravitate towards.

 

What I thought a Pandemic would do to modern dating vs what’s really happening

What a crazy world we’re living in right now! A global pandemic that has completely changed our daily lives. It’s affected the dating world too.

Since we can’t really meet, I thought COVID-19 would weed out the fuckboys and hook up culture. It would force people to really talk and get to know each other before meeting up. It would foster relationships based on conversations and not looks or make outs. 

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I had seen the cute memes. They facetime, deliver meals to each other’s houses and have a virtual date. It was the most chivalrous dating I have ever seen. But I think those might be the rare cases.

 

What’s really happening are the fuckboys don’t care about social distancing and are still trying to get you to come over. For the smart ones who do listen to COVID rules, conversation goes stale quickly. A conversation normally lasts two weeks before you run out of questions and memories to talk about. Then you talk about the weather and the third walk you went on that day and the connection is dead.

Long Distance relationships work, in part, because they both have an end goal in mind of when they’ll get to see each other again. With this pandemic, you know they live close by but you don’t know when you’ll actually get to meet them in person. With no end goal or date in mind, it’s hard to keep the motivation to stay connected.

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I’ve lost all desire to connect with anyone new. There is no way a random date with some Tinder guy could possibly be worth the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. And any potentially good matches are kind of ruined by the boredom so I nearly don’t want to talk to them until the world is a bit back to normal. If a match has potential now, then hopefully they will also have potential in another month or two. I guess I’m waiting for the guy that could catch my attention and change my mind. For now, no one is really catching my eye.