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Tips for a Better Dating Mindset

Oh the stress, the anxiety, and the excitement of dating! It’s a time that’s promising, fun, but sometimes down right daunting. There are many different things to keep in mind when embarking on the dating journey. Many of these things have to do with the way you feel about yourself, your state of mind and the overall mindset about the dating process. So how can you get in the right state of mind? Here are a few tips to steer you in a positive direction:  

Build Confidence:

It’s important when you are beginning to date that you feel confident. Showing your confidence not only makes you feel better, but it can make you more attractive to the other person as well. This is a critical step especially considering some of the latest research shows that online dating can lead to lower self-esteem, so it’s important that you are working to counteract that. With the ease of online dating, rejection can often be easier to dish out, whether you send a message that goes unanswered or never hear back from someone after a great date, it can hard to face that rejection. It’s crucial before you begin this process that you ensure that you feel good about yourself and know your great qualities. Sit down and make a list of your strengths. Think about all the wonderful things that you have to offer in a relationship. You can talk with a friend about your dating adventures and tell them why you think that you are a good catch. They will often provide you with great feedback, boost your confidence and may even give you some tips or even set you up with someone whom they know.

Take Emotional Risks

Relationships of any sort involve an element of emotional risk-taking. This means that it requires you to step outside your comfort zone and be open and vulnerable to new situations. This may seem obvious as dating pushes us to take many emotional risks; however, many people may still remain closed off during the process without even realizing. Often times people remain closed off because they are scared of being hurt or rejected. When people are closed off, they send negative signals to their dates and tend to not have as much fun with the dating process. Learning to let go of rejection fears, will put you in a better place to let your guard down and make dating a more open and fun experience. It is a necessary step in moving forward and realizing that not every relationship will end the same way or be a negative experience. 

Be Open to Possibilities

It’s important to be realistic and keep your eyes open for different possibilities. Many people will tell you “don’t put your eggs in one basket” and that’s kind of the point in this message. It’s important not to see everything as “all or nothing” or “black or white” as there are often gray areas. It’s important to think about what’s right for you and be open for new possibilities. For example, if you go out on one great date, it is important to stay open and continue to meet others, rather than jumping all in for the person you had one great date with. Remember your goal here is to find the right connection for you and not just any connection, so remain open to different possibilities. Many people often have an outline of an “ideal partner” and while this can be important to know what you want in a relationship, it is also important that you are not being shut down to other relationships just because you think the person doesn’t fit into a list. So give people a chance and take time to see if you’re a good match.

Hold on to Yourself:

Maintaining your own identity and personal interests are extremely important when entering into and sustaining a relationship. Obviously, dating and beginning a new relationship can be very exciting and its easy to begin focusing all your time and energy into this new person. When people do that, they stop hanging out with their friends or discontinue things that interest them and this can really be negative as you lose your own identity and an element of yourself. So be sure and work toward maintaining a balance between spending time with someone new as well as maintaining your own identity and interests. Having your own hobbies and individual identity makes you a more interesting person and therefore more attractive as well!

Forget the Contest

Dating is not a contest and we can often get caught up in the game play rather than staying focused on what the purpose is for us. Dating is not about seeing how many people you can go out with or making sure you get the follow-up phone call or the second date even if you’re not a match. It is not about the quantity, but about the quality of the date and the compatibility of the person you are with. So a date that is not followed up with a phone call or a second date might actually be more clarification for you of who is or is not the right match. The focus and the goal here is to find someone who is the right connection for you and not to try and force something that simply does not work. So be sure and maintain a good mindset in the process without getting caught up in the game.

Look for the Best Qualities:

 When analyzing a person for a potential relationship, people can often go immediately to searching for the negative aspects and what they believe is “wrong” with the other person rather than looking for the positives. By doing this, we can unconsciously send out negative messages that end up showing our own negative side as well. We can come across as shut down and critical. Try to pick out the best in others as this will allow your best to shine through too. So after a date, first think of the positive qualities in the other person and the ways in which you might be a good match before making a list of the negatives.

Keep Going Forward:

After several bad dates, rejections, or just overall disappointments, it can be easy to say “forget it” and throw in the towel. Do your best to stay positive and continue to move forward. Use your support system when needed to help push you forward. It often helps to call a friend and laugh or complain about bad dates. Sometimes people may even find it appropriate to take a break from dating for a bit and that’s okay too. You have to find what works for you. Just keep in mind that this is a rollercoaster ride that will have many ups and downs along the way so it’s important to get back on that rollercoaster because another fun moment will come soon enough. 

Good luck in your dating journey!

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Blog written by: Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist, Relationship Coach & Founder of the Loving Roots Project, an online wellness practice specializing in personal growth, mental wellness, & relationship betterment.

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