The Only Dating Guide You'll Need

Dating has always been a sometimes scary process, and online dating has made the whole experience even more complicated. Many people go through plenty of awkward dinners and uncomfortable dates and then give up on finding the right person. It’s easy to get discouraged and start believing that there’s something wrong with you and that the entire situation is hopeless. There are always going to be people who are willing to give you dating advice, but how much of that advice should you take seriously, and what actually leads to a solid and lasting relationship?

Finding the right person

One of the most frustrating parts of entering the dating scene is the difficulty of actually meeting interesting and compatible partners. A good dating tip is to expand your horizons. The bar scene is a good place to start looking for people, but there are plenty of other places to meet up with new and interesting people. If you meet up at an event, like a fun run or concert, you’re more likely to have some common interests before you even start dating. Relationships can start anywhere, even shopping lines or grocery parking lots, so keep your eyes open and don’t limit yourself to certain dating spots.

Another important dating tip is to look online. While there’s still a stigma attached to online dating, it’s an excellent way to meet people that you’d never meet otherwise. It’s also handy because you can specify what you’re looking for in a partner and narrow your search down to people that catch your interest. Dating sites vary by what type of dating experience they offer. Some are more geared towards quick and easy hook-ups, while others will focus on more serious relationships, so make sure that you choose the one that meets your particular interests.

Your friends are the people who know you best, so let them help you in your quest to find a partner. Many of the best relationships start out with a friendly introduction and blossom from there. One of the advantages of having a friend set you up is that you have the comfort of knowing that the person isn’t a complete stranger, and that can help you relax and be yourself during the date.  An important dating tip is to forget about the idea of a “friend-zone”, where relationships between friends can’t develop into something more. Good friends can sometimes make the best dates since you’ve already established that you’ve got the same values, and you’re comfortable with each other. Friendship is also one of the key aspects of any strong relationship, so you can consider yourself ahead of the pack if you start dating a good friend.

No matter how you meet people while dating, make sure that you keep your expectations realistic. No man or woman is perfect, and finding the perfect partner is impossible. Dating should be a testing period where you find out if you’ve got feelings for the other person and if you are compatible with each other. There shouldn’t be any pressure on either person’s part for you to be perfect at all times and there shouldn’t be any pressure to continue dating if the chemistry isn’t there. Learn from your previous dates and experiences and move on.

Relationship tips after the first date

Relationships develop in their own time, and it’s pointless to try and rush them. There is no timetable for feelings, and trying to speed things up will only create a feeling of tension and unnatural closeness that is unlikely to last. It’s important to know when a relationship isn’t working. If you’re the one initiating all the communication, it’s likely the other person isn’t too interested in you. If you haven’t heard from them in two weeks, consider the relationship dead and move on. Don’t try and force a relationship by pushing your feelings on the other person, by trying to guilt them or by inundating them with unwanted texts and emails. On the other hand, if you’re the uninterested party, make your feelings extremely clear instead of stringing the person along. The less time and effort you spend on a relationship that isn’t working, the better.

Once you’ve started dating a person, it’s easy to get caught up in the initial romance and to make your entire world revolve around your new partner. However, this is more likely to end in disaster than it is in a lasting relationship. You have your own interests and passions, and they are most likely what made you attractive to your partner in the first place. A top relationship tip is to always keep in mind the concept of interdependence, which is that both of you have things that you do together, and things that you do independently. Many people fall into the trap of wanting to do everything their partner does, even though they don’t enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy something that your partner does, let them do it by themselves, and take that time to do something that you like. This makes the times you are together more special, while still ensuring that you don’t lose yourself in the relationship.

The quickest way to kill a relationship is through dishonesty and manipulation. A strong relationship is built upon a foundation of mutual trust and respect, and game-playing and lies will erode that foundation. This doesn’t mean that you should bare your entire soul on the first date, but at the same time, don’t lie, even about small things that you consider to be inconsequential. Make sure that your partner is seeing the real you, since that’s the person they’ll be living with (hopefully) for a long time, and nobody can maintain a perfect façade for forever. Relationships have to survive imperfections since you’ll never change every aspect of your partner. Honesty allows both parties to see the “real you” and decide if that’s somebody they want to spend time and energy on, warts, smelly socks and all.

Dating is a minefield, with plenty of websites and magazines offering dating advice that can seem confusing and misleading. Instead of viewing dating and relationship tips as a how-to manual, rely on your feelings and intuition to guide you. If you like a person and they like you back, continue the relationship. If you don’t, end it. Don’t feel pressured to settle for a person because you don’t want to be alone, rather take the time and find someone that you’ll love and can build a solid relationship with.