7 Dating Tips Everyone Could Use

Dating is a fun, exciting part of life. It is also hard. We all want to be in healthy, happy relationships and we all want our dates to go well. The key is to be prepared for what might happen on a date; this means being realistic about what you want from it, being honest with yourself about who you are and what you’re looking for in a partner, and taking care of yourself by listening closely to your body’s needs throughout the process.

By following these tips and preparing ahead of time for any eventuality that may come up during your dating experience, the chances are good that your next date will be good.

Set Healthy Expectations

Be honest about your expectations. Honesty is a vital aspect of any healthy relationship. You need to be open and honest with your partner about what you want, as well as your past relationships, expectations, and needs. This will help avoid any potential problems that may arise later in the relationship because of a lack of communication or understanding. It’s also important not to dump all your baggage on your date early in the relationship. Getting to know someone is a discovery process.

Relationships Can’t Fix Problems in Your Life

Don’t expect a relationship to change who you are as a person. Don’t expect someone to change you. Don’t expect someone to fix your problems. Don’t expect someone to make you happy. Don’t expect someone to make you feel better about yourself. The truth is, that relationships can be great, but your entire identity should not be wrapped up in them. Setting unhealthy expectations that your problems will disappear if you get into a relationship will set you up for failure.

Take Care of Your Sexual Health

When you’re dating, especially if you’ve been with multiple partners, it’s critical to be proactive about your sexual health. While you can do the best possible to wear condoms, only sleep with partners you know a lot about, or wait until you’re engaged or married, it’s still important to consider that sexual health is part of your overall health, and sometimes people are carrying around viruses from past experiences that they don’t know about yet. The great news is that you can easily get an HIV test or other STD test that you can use from the comfort of your home. Once you mail in the test, you often get the results within a few weeks or less depending on the test.

Keep an Open Mind

Be open to different types of people. If you’re not interested in dating someone who doesn’t fit your idea of what a partner should be, then you might not be ready for a relationship. That’s fine—but consider that most people have their preferences and biases, too.

Trust Your Gut

Dates can be stressful and nerve-wracking, but it’s important to remember that you are the one in control of a first date. Don’t let a bad date ruin your evening or change how you feel about dating in general. If a date is going poorly, there is no need to sit through an entire awkward meal just because they picked up the tab. At the end of the day, skip out early if things aren’t working out—it’s not worth wasting time on someone who isn’t right for you.

Don’t Play Games

The first thing you should know about dating is that if a date isn’t going well, don’t be afraid to end it early. It’s not always easy to figure out when the point of no return has been reached, but there’s really no reason why you should sit through an entire date if you’re bored or uncomfortable.

Similarly, if a person is boring or unpleasant on their own merits there’s no reason why you should try to force yourself into a relationship with them just because they seem like they might be your type. Don’t lead the person on or make them think you’ll call them when you won’t. It’s best to be kind, but honest that while you are thankful you got to meet each other, you don’t think it’s a relationship you want to pursue.

Ask Questions and Listen

When you’re on a date, you want the other person to enjoy your company. You can make sure that happens by asking questions and listening carefully to their answers. Ask open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no. These types of questions give people room to elaborate on what they like/dislike about something, and they’re great for getting to know someone better. For example: “What was it like growing up in your hometown?” vs “Did you have fun living in such-and-such town?”