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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