I have to admit, I thought I would be past all this ridiculousness into my adult life, but it appears I was wrong. In fact, the older I get, the more complicated the dating game becomes. New questions emerge like ‘how long until it is appropriate/necessary to meet my partner’s parents?’ or ‘when/do we have the ‘children’ talk?’ Add these to the already gigantic list of things to worry about on a first date and you are getting in the region of seriously overwhelmed.
So how do we simplify it? I like to follow these simple tips to take some of the pressure out of dating:
1) The Honeymoon Phase- The first few months of a relationship should be what I like to call ‘The Honeymoon Phase’. You are just getting to know each other so it should be a fun time of exploring the other person and doing new things. If it ever feels daunting or overly intense, or you and your partner are fighting all the time- then it is probably a good indicator the relationship isn’t going well.
2) Save the hard stuff- Once again, you shouldn’t need to get into all the heavy stuff in the first stages of the relationship as it is the romance phase. However, it is not a bad thing to casually stumble on a few important subjects, just don’t make it a Spanish inquisition. It is possible to casually bring up the other person’s outlook on marriage or kids, without jumping the gun or making things overly serious. While it is important to find out if you share common goals, you don’t want to appear overly pushy or clingy.
3) Dating is Supposed to be fun- Remember the rush you got when your crush said hi to you in the hallways at school? Or how it felt when he/she agreed to a first date, or a first kiss? Dating should still feel like that. After all, having someone new to spend time with is supposed to be fun! So if you feel like you are getting bogged down with semantics, just remember that when you were single you swore up and down that if you just had someone in your life you would appreciate every moment- so do it! Stop spending your time over thinking or keeping track of how many days it’s been since he/she texted and make the first move! Suggest a fun new date idea and get enjoying your dating life. You will thank yourself when you are out having a great time and getting to know your partner even better.
If you keep these three things in mind when dating, then things will naturally start falling into place. And if they don’t? If they really feel like work- then the relationship isn’t what you are looking for anyway. The point of finding another person to spend your life with is to make it better, not more difficult. The person you end up with should always enhance your life, not over complicate it. So stop complicating things for yourself and get back to enjoying your dating experience. Learn to love the dating game again!