How to start dating
Dating is a process and getting good at it is not an overnight thing. It’s a constant work in progress that requires a lot of effort on your part. Thankfully, it’s fun and very much worth the hard work! We collected a few simple things to remember before you begin dating — whether you’re just starting out, taking a break from dating, or getting back out there after a breakup. Save for later and enjoy!
1. Figure out what you want
The most important step a lot of people, for some reason, either entirely dismiss or forget to take into consideration. If everyone in the world knew what they wanted from a partner or dating in general, there would be no mixed signals, ghosting, or mind games.
Getting to know yourself enough to know what you want or don’t want from a relationship and what kind of relationships you desire is crucial. Ask yourself: what exactly am I looking for? What traits am I pursuing? Why am I dating in the first place? A little self-analysis goes a very long way and saves you lots of time.
2. Don’t be afraid to mess up
Dating is a lot of trial and error. Sometimes you say the wrong thing, other times you wear the wrong outfit on your first date. Remember that there’s no such thing as being perfect, and that applies to dating probably more than any other area of life. You don’t owe anyone perfection, so showing up as you are is just enough. Do try, however, to show up as your best self, be authentic, stay true to your values, and keep your mind open.
3. Deal with insecurities first
We must heal what’s hurting and bothering us on the inside before we go out there seeking other people. If you have unresolved deep insecurities, chances are, you will either project them on your dating partners or you will simply need validation in any form, which inevitably leads to dating the wrong people and letting bad behavior slide. Of course, no one is perfectly secure, but if something is truly on your mind at all times it’s a good thing to check in with yourself and do some inner work before you step out there.
4. Set boundaries
Ah, boundaries, yes. Everyone’s heard that word by now — it’s widely used. But how do you actually set them? It’s quite simple. Think of what it is you want and don’t want, then think about what acceptable and unacceptable behavior to you is. When dating, if we like someone too much, we tend to drop our boundaries and standards for how we want to be treated. This is a big mistake, albeit a common one, and leads to a lot of pain and trouble. You must always keep your boundaries in the back of your mind — and don’t be afraid to lose someone if they violate them. Trust me, you don’t want to date a person if they can’t respect your needs. Even if they’re super hot.
5. Put yourself first
Going back to my previous point, self-respect in dating will protect you from pretty much anything you want to avoid. Putting yourself first doesn’t mean acting stuck up or being too good for other people — it’s simply knowing and cherishing yourself and your well-being enough to not let other people mistreat you. Plus, people who respect themselves show up differently: it’s that kind of quiet confidence that will help you immensely and make other people respect you, too!
6. Be the person you’d like to have as a partner
Treat people the way you want to be treated yourself. No, seriously, if you keep ghosting your partners and canceling dates you can’t really be angry at others for doing that to you. By upholding a certain standard for your own behavior, it will be much easier to recognize if other people are wrong or right for you. Be fair!
7. Beware the fear of loneliness
It’s no secret many are in the dating pool simply because they’re terrified of being alone. And guess what? No good relationship can be found when you’re dating out of fear. Plus, again, you’ll be prone to accepting poor behavior just so that you’re not lonely on a Friday night. Being alone is a wonderful thing and should be cherished — it’s a sacred time to get to know yourself, focus on your goals and dreams, and simply be in the moment. There’s nothing wrong with not being involved with someone!
8. Download Pure
Okay, got through all of the steps and think you’re ready? Feel free to go on Pure and find people who share your desires, values, and needs. If you’re having trouble starting out, we have an article on how to write your Pure ad and attract great matches that are actually compatible with you.
If you find it hard to start a conversation, here are some icebreakers for you (and they work!).
Alright, ready, set, go! No more waiting for the perfect moment. The moment is now.