Dating can be hard.
It can be one of the most terrifying things you’ll ever do.
Putting yourself out there, getting rejected, finding someone new, having to tell 100 different people what you like to do for fun.
What kind of question even is that?
We’re in a pandemic.
The answer is, sit in my underwear for 10 hours a day while blowing on a coffee cup full of wine during my zoom meeting so my boss doesn’t know I’m day drinking.
Regardless of all that, there are some dating truths that can make it easier.
They may not take all the pain away, or scare away the ghosts…
But they will help you find more joy in dating and have just a little bit more fun.
You Do Not Owe Them Anything
This may be the most obvious of them all but as a fellow people pleaser, this is one truth I need to remember to hold onto when dating.
Regardless of how nice someone was on the date, no matter how many drinks they bought you, how polite they were, or even if they brought you flowers, you never, ever, owe that person anything in return.
You don’t have to sleep with them.
You don’t have to give them a kiss at the end of the night.
You don’t have to contact them ever again.
You don’t have to go on a second date.
You don’t even owe them an explanation.
Some of these things may be an unpopular opinion and you may feel angry or upset reading this part of the post.
Maybe you’ve been ghosted, maybe someone did one or all of those things to you after thinking the date went well.
But what we need to remember is that no one owes us anything and we don’t owe them anything either.
Regardless of how well the date did or didn’t go, you do not have to do anything for them.
With that being said, if the person you are dating or went on a single date with showed you kindness and respect and you want to show them the same kindness and respect with communication, do it.
And remember, if something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut.
You Can’t Do The Wrong Thing To The Right Person
The temptation to hide our insecurities, flaws, or even whole personality traits is front and center when meeting a new person.
Especially one that has the potential to be in our lives for the long haul.
Agonizing over the right thing to text back, what emojis to add, or if adding too many exclamation points made you come across as “needy” is not fun for anyone.
And let’s face it, 10 years down the road, none of that will matter anyway.
The idea of being rejected for being who you truly are hurts more than being rejected for someone you were just pretending to be.
This is why it’s so easy to put on a mask for the first few weeks or even months of dating.
But the mask fades and sometimes that means the relationship does too.
The thing is, the right person will love that cute nose scrunch you do every time you take a bite.
Or your hilariously unique laugh.
Or the way you pronounce gnocchi.
Or even receiving 50 Tik Toks a day that make no sense, but hey, they make you laugh.
The point is, all those flaws you think you have, all those things you find weird about yourself, all those quirks, the right person will fall in love with.
So why waste your time being someone you’re not with someone you don’t even really match with instead of being 100% you with someone who fits you perfectly?
One Person’s “Too Much”, Is Another’s, “That’s It?”
We all have certain needs in a relationship.
Some needs are emotional and others are physical.
They can show up as our love languages, and sometimes they show up our own security and protection from past relationship trama.
Chances are, you’ll end up dating at least one person who doesn’t respect those needs.
Or is simply incapable of providing those needs for you.
Remember, everyone is doing the best they can with the awareness they have and where they are.
Regardless, if they cannot respect your needs, that is not your person.
What’s important to remember is that your needs in a relationship will never be too much for the right person.
The right person will respect your needs and wants just as you respect theirs.
Whether that’s texting 100 times a day, holding hands in public in order to feel safe, spending quality time without distractions, or even a date night once a week.
When You Look At Someone Through Rose-Colored Glasses, All The Red Flags, Just Look Like Flags
Wanda from Bojack Horseman said it best, “You know it’s funny…when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags, just look like flags.”
That’s the thing about putting someone on a pedestal, it not only hurts them but it also hurts you.
Putting an expectation of how someone is supposed to be before you get to know them creates a false reality of who they really are.
And when you do get to know them and see they’re not who you created in your head, it makes for a lot of resentment, unnecessary pain, and frustration down the line.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t expect good things from people.
But it is important to recognize whether someone’s words also match their actions.
Recognize things you hope will change when you start getting serious with this person.
Recognize when someone shows you who they are the first time, and believe them.
Remember, the people we date are not there to be our savior coming in a black horse in a suit of shining armor.
The right person will work beside you. Not above or below you.
Everything Another Human Can Give You, You Can Already Give To Yourself
All of it, we can already give to ourselves.
But sometimes that truth is lost in dating because we look to the other person to fill us. When in reality, when we find the right person, you both fill each other equally.
Some days they will need more to be full and other days you will.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you are more than capable of giving yourself everything you need.
This is especially important if dating doesn’t work out with someone who you thought was your perfect match.
If you’re finding yourself heartbroken over a lost love, in a broken friends with benefits relationship, or a situationship that leaves you feeling less than, remember, everything you thought they could give you, you can already give yourself.
And you can probably do a better job than they were able to.
Rejection Is Simply Redirection
The final truth on this list is this, rejection is simply redirection.
Yeah, it’s going to hurt.
It may take days, weeks, or even months to get over someone but you will.
Some of the most painful heartbreaks are from those relationships that never were.
It was the possibility that kept you holding on.
And the image in your head of what could be was probably a lot rosier than the reality.
It’s okay to feel the heartbreak, to hurt, cry, scream, heal.
After, it’s important to remember that every rejection is an opportunity to find someone new.
Someone who is the exact right fit for you.
A soulmate even.
To get back out there and try again, or even take a break for a while.
This truth, if remembered and applied can help you heal more quickly from rejection and let go of it so that you can find your perfect match.