Do You Hate Dating? We've Got A Fix For That.
Throughout the years, a good amount of single people have hit me up to talk about the double-edged sword that comes with dating. While on one hand, they know that it's an effective way to meet new people (or get to know someone better), when there's not an initial connection or the date itself is wack, and this happens more than three times in a row, "weary" doesn't even begin to express how it makes them feel.
I thought about this when I read an article about some of the things that folks hate the most about dating. One person said they hate it when first dates happen at the other person's house. Another said what they hate are "two-night stands"—you know, when the first two dates are fabulous, you think something real is transpiring, only to find out that he wasn't all that you thought he was—after he gets some. Someone else mentioned what they hated about dating was all of the stages we oftentimes seem to have to go through in order to finally be in an "official" relationship.
Whew chile. It's been a hot minute since I've been on a date (by choice), but man, reading all of that definitely takes me back. The uncreative dates. The time invested. The disappointments. It all can tempt you to just call it a day and Netflix and Chill by your own damn self. But before you take such drastic measures, come sit on my cyberspace couch and let's look a little deeper into what's really going on. Sometimes, when the right questions are asked, it can lead you to the answers that you need to have a better and brighter perspective on things.
Dating doesn't have to be a low-key cuss word in your mind. It's all about figuring out what you want and how to use it to your best advantage.
Perhaps scratching beneath the surface of your utter disdain will help.
What About Dating Do You Dislike?
I already shared some of the reasons why people hate dating according to the internet, but you are your own person. Can you relate to the reasons that I just shared, or do your reasons go beyond them? Maybe your dates have always been set ups that have gone totally wrong. Maybe you're an introvert or an ambivert and, for that reason, dating has always been a little awkward or even difficult. Maybe you only go on dates because society (or maybe even your mama or auntie) has made you think that, as a single woman, it's something that you're "supposed to do".
Have you ever been around a toddler who is hungry, but they don't know what they want to eat? And, since they don't know, that only further irritates them? A lot of us grown folks are a lot like that. We might know that we're unhappy about something, but until we make the time to discover why that is the case, it's going to stay that way.
So, if you do indeed hate dating, pull out a sheet of paper and jot down exactly why. Then share your thoughts with a married couple, a guy friend and a girlfriend. Be open to their insights and perspectives about what you just shared. Sometimes, just knowing the root cause of your feelings—and then gaining some wisdom from folks who care about you—can totally alter how (and why) you date, moving forward.
Have You Actually Had a Great Date Before?
Let's be honest. One of the reasons why a lot of us hate dating is because we've never been on a great date before. Sometimes it's too predictable like dinner and a movie. Other times, the guy exhibits all sorts of no-no dating behaviors like staying on his phone or flirting with the server. Maybe the attraction is there, but the communication totally sucks. Y'all know I could go on and on…and on and on about this.
A great date that I had with someone came as the result of talking to him about what I considered a great date to be ahead of time. I didn't want to plan it. I didn't want to be on the clock. I wanted to try something I had never done before. He came up with a day date that consisted of doing fun things in the day (casual wear) and then going to a really nice restaurant at night (dressing up). And yes, he got me to do something that, not only had I never done before, but I never thought I would do. It was perfect.
The reason why I just shared that little tale is while it's nice when a guy is super-intuitive, it's not fair to expect him to be a mind-reader (especially if it's the first or second date). Therefore, sharing what your idea of a great date is isn't a bad thing. From what my male friends have told me, hearing a few suggestions can actually prove to be quite beneficial.
How do you do that? Well, when he asks you out and you say "yes", it's OK to ask him what he is thinking about doing. If in your mind, you're already thinking "yuck", don't say that out of your mouth; however, do offer up some other options to consider. Ask him if he'd be open to any of those. There's a Scripture in the Bible that says, "You have not because you ask not." (James 4:2) When it comes to dating, this tends to very much so apply.
Do You Need to Do Some “Bad Date Detoxing”?
Something that I absolutely adore when it comes to a lot of fathers that I know is they make it a point and purpose to "date their daughters"; it's a standing appointment, every month, to do something special, just the two of them. If a lot of us were honest with ourselves, the reason why we don't "get" dating now is because our fathers didn't do the same thing for us.
That's unfortunate, but there's no time like the present to do what I call "bad date detoxing". Take a month or two to not formally go out on dates. Then, during that time, ask some of your single male friends if they would be willing to go out on a few dates with you. The objective here is not to "date" them so much as for them to help you to set a standard of what you desire and expect.
I know that this works because, after venting to some of my own single male friends about some of the foolishness that I've been through, they were like, "Girl, let me show you how a real man does it." Many times, what they came up with really did open my eyes to two things. One, that some men really do know what a proper date is like and two, that when a guy is truly invested in you, he will put in the time, effort and energy to "date you right" (meaning, date you the way you want to be dated).
Again, going on dates with your friends may seem trivial or maybe even counterproductive since what you may ultimately desire is a romantic connection. But being able to let someone who you know loves you cater to you in this way can restore your faith in men and detox you any of the resentment that you've had about dating all of this time.
Do You Have Dating Standards—and Do You Honor Them?
Dating shouldn't be a free for all. Unfortunately, a lot of us date that way, though. What I mean by that is, if a friend calls us up and tells us they have someone that they want us to meet or if we swipe right on a dating app because someone is cute and doesn't have too many typos in their correspondence, we might say to ourselves, "Why not? It can't hurt." Eh. Maybe, maybe not. But if you want to go on dates for more reasons than to have something to do on a Friday or Saturday night, it's OK to have a few requirements.
If you're wondering if yours are too high, personally, I don't think there is any such thing. What I will say is, based on what your personal ones may be, it could require more patience to see them manifest. What I will also say is there's sometimes a not-so-fine line between having high standards and being totally unrealistic. If you're wondering what side of the fence you are on, click here to take a quiz and see. (It's not a serious or scientific one, but it could provide a few ah-ha moments for you.)
What Do You Personally Think Dating Is For?
Another reason why some people hate dating is because they haven't really asked themselves why they are doing it. Semi-recently, we posted a video on our IG from a woman by the name of Chance Cessna who said, "Don't just date someone who is going to accommodate today. Date someone who is going to fit your future." If what you ultimately desire is for dating to transition over into courting (because they are not one in the same), I totally agree with her. But, contrary to popular belief, I know for a fact that some women don't date in the hopes of getting into a serious relationship or finding a husband. Some people simply want to enjoy the company of members of the opposite sex. Some have no problem with casual dating.
Whatever your personal reason for dating is, you're going to get frustrated if, three dates in with someone, you find out you and he are on two totally different pages, and that it got that far because you weren't even sure what you wanted from the jump. So yeah, another way to work through dating frustrations is to figure out, for yourself, what you're dating for. If you treat it like nothing more than "something to do", your energy will probably attract people who are just as nonchalant and dismissive about it. Just something to think about.
Now that we've explored how to adjust your mindset concerning dating, let's look into what steps you should put into place.
Create a Dating Dream Board. Then Don’t Settle.
Pretty much all of us have heard of vision boards at this point. If you've never made one before because a part of you is skeptical about how truly effective they are, consider checking out articles on our site like "A Vision Board Helped 'Glow' Actress Sydelle Noel Manifest Her Best Life". There are so many people who can personally vouch for the fact that creating a vision board can help you to focus on what you really desire, provide you with a daily visual reminder of those things, and also keep you in a positive state of mind while you ask them to manifest.
Keeping all of this in mind, why not create a vision board that is totally centered around the kind of dating life you'd like to have? The type of dates you'd like to go on, the kind of man you'd like to enjoy those dates with and what you'd ultimately like those dates to lead to. A great thing about making your own dating dream board—and then posting it up in a place where you can always see it—is not only will it remind you of what you want, it will also prevent you from settling in the meantime. Black and Married with Kids has a great read on this very topic. Check out "Single Ladies: How To Manifest the Man of Your Dreams With a 2019 Vision Board" when you get a chance.
You might've heard the quote by artist Frank Zappa that says, "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." While you shouldn't be so open-minded that your brain falls out (standards, boundaries and principles exist for a reason and purpose), I will say that if all you keep saying to yourself—and anyone else who will listen—is that you hate dating, well…one definition of hate is "unwilling". You know what that means, right? You are basically putting out into the atmosphere that you are unwilling to date. No wonder your dating life is the way that it is. You've literally been standing in your own way!
So, how do you approach being more open-minded as it relates to the dating scene? If you've never let a friend fix you up, try it. If online dating scares you, what I will say is this—reportedly, 40 percent of Americans use online dating as a way to meet new people and 20 percent of folks who are currently in committed relationships met online, so why not at least consider giving it a shot? Why not do something that is a little bit out of your comfort zone?
Take the Pressure Off.
The two main rules in dating (for a woman) are to not settle and to require chivalry at all times. Everything else? Feel free to do some "editing" as you go along. What I mean by that is if you want to ask a guy out, do it. If you want to try going out with someone who isn't your traditional type, no one said you had to marry the guy—try it.
Another reason why a lot of people hate dating is because they are so tied to what they think dating should look like or they're so focused on how someone else's love story went that they end up putting more pressure onto themselves than they actually should.
If you want to break from feeling some type of way (that ain't good) about dating, stop overthinking, relax a little and embrace new ways to approach it; starting with your mindset. In time, you might be surprised how your hate—again, meaning your unwillingness—transitions into a more positive outlook—on dating and dating prospects overall. Keep us posted, please.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images