There’s no surprise that dating has changed drastically since your parents, grandparents, and generations before they got together. Every year, new advancements are made in technology that allows humans to communicate no matter the distance, day, or hour. “He didn’t text me back,” has filled the place of, “He stood me up,” for better or for worse. Every generation has had its share of maneuvering around dating and courtship to find love, but it seems today’s challenges are even more complicated. The introduction of dating apps and online resources have opened a can of worms to millions of potential people who could be the one. The problem is, you have to talk to them all to really be sure. And then meet them in person. And then see if you were right. It can be quite the rollercoaster to find love in this day and age, but here are a few ways to begin so that you make the journey a little less fraught and a little more wonderful.
Be Open to Technology
Online tools are a great way to meet new people that you wouldn’t normally get to meet. That also means you may find someone who is far away from you but seemingly perfect in every way. It is also highly likely you will meet some people who are definitely not your type but won’t stop messaging you. Dating online is a mixed bag. But the good news is that technology does have the power to bring couples closer together. In 2014, a study showed the 24% of internet users said the internet impacted their relationship, and 74% of those said the impact was a positive one. While long-distance used to be nearly impossible, it now allows couples to meet and grow together until they can actually be together. And, technology fosters an emphasis on friendship in a long-distance relationship. This is because couples talk more often than they normally would in person, as they are usually busy with activities or canoodling.
Speaking of friendships, making new friends and getting to know someone who shares your interests could be useful in your search. The best approach to dating is to know that if you begin by trying to find friends, you are more likely to find someone who is compatible with your ideal relationship. Research shows that those who considered their partner to be their best friend were more satisfied in their relationship than those who didn’t. So look for someone whom you get along with, who shares your interests, whom you can trust. It may take some time and patience, but by taking these steps, you will be on your to finding someone who was worth the wait.
Before you start worrying about how to be irresistible to men (or whomever), find a way to be irresistible to yourself first. Self-esteem plays a huge role in how you treat others and how others end up perceiving you. If you are upset with yourself, that shame spiral may have you lashing out at the ones closest to you (including your new partner) and causing them all to shrink slowly out of your life. If you can learn to love yourself like you love your friends, the chances of you living a happier, healthier life increase and the results will show. Think about it — when you mess up, you probably curse yourself and become angry with yourself. When a friend messes up, you likely support them and tell them things like “it’s okay to fail” and “forgive yourself, you did the best you could.” Studies show that those who speak to themselves with compassion rather than criticism are at lower risk for developing anxiety and depression. Self-compassion leads to increased levels of optimism and generally has the ability to make you a positive person who others want to be around. That is the kind of person who is fun to date.
Once you have surrounded yourself with trusted friends and self-compassion, you will be in a great position to open yourself to a blossoming new relationship. And don’t forget — you deserve someone who loves you simply for being you.