Hi Krista, how would you respond to someone who doesn’t know where to begin with dating? It’s a big, scary world, and there aren’t any manuals on starting at square one.
Oh my gosh, I loved this question so much that I wanted it to be the very first of my new “Ask Krista” series. So many people reach out with dating questions that I decided I need to start featuring the ones that I think might be more common and could help others.
The dating world is so big that it’s hard to figure out where to start and can feel overwhelming. Starting all the way at square one, I’d say you should first give yourself a mini pep talk. Or better yet, I’ll write one out for you.
Dating isn’t very different than any other interpersonal interaction you have with someone on any given day. It’s all about getting to know people on a deeper level and figuring out whether or not they’re someone you want to keep seeing. Don’t overthink it too much. Enjoy putting yourself out there and realize that there are so many people in this world that if a date goes poorly you’re just going to move on to the next person. You are unique and special in your own way, and someone out there is going to absolutely love you for that.
After you’ve given yourself a little push it’s time to figure out where exactly you want to start. There are apps, websites, and networking events that are all dedicated to finding love. It’s difficult to sift through the dozens of options, but it’s definitely not as daunting as it seems. My advice is to start small. Begin with one or two dating techniques. For example, choose two dating apps that seem to be good for you. You could do one swiping app like Bumble that is built for more casual dates, and add one profile app such as OK Cupid. I’d refrain from spending money on a site at least the first few weeks so you can just adjust to how the online dating world works, then you can better navigate the other sites with a little more ease.
Be yourself online. Don’t worry about being “cool” or impressing your suitors; you’ll have more long-term success in the dating world if you don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. If you aren’t naturally witty or clever, don’t try to come off that way on your profile. One thing I noticed when I was dating was that everyone seemed to love camping and the outdoors. I haven’t been into that since I got sick with POTS, so I actually made a joke about how much I hated hiking and that didn’t know a lot about sports. Guys messaged me and thought my transparency was funny. I also met more people that I actually got along with since I was open about the fact I am not into hooking up, I am a Christian, and I have a natrually silly personality.
When you’re talking to people to go on dates with proceed with confidence and know that you are a great catch. Realize your worth and know that you are doing an amazing thing by putting yourself out there and trying to find love! You are brave, you are a catch, and you are doing your best to find the relationship you are looking for. At the end of the day as long as you are trying you are being productive in your dating life.
Lastly, don’t let the dating world get you down after one — or even a dozen — bad dates. The odds of you meeting someone to settle down with after just a few dates are so incredibly slim. If you really don’t hit it off with someone or do something to embarrass yourself (it happens to the best of us! See here, here, here, and here), just laugh at the situation and move on. You probably won’t have to see your date around again, so don’t even give it another thought!
The more you date the closer you are to finding someone who is right for you. In the meantime you will learn so many different things about yourself and other people. Just keep your heart and mind open, and don’t give up hope. Dating works differently for each individual and sometimes it takes people kissing a lot more frogs to find their Prince Charming than others. You can be excited and think about what you are working towards, but don’t forget to enjoy each day of your life. One day you’ll be married and settled down and might look back on your twenties as being one of the most confusing and lonely times, but you can also make it one of the most adventurous and freeing times of your life. Make the most of your youth while it’s still here, and create fun and beautiful stories to tell your spouse about later when you meet them. Good luck, and remember that persistence pays off.