Reflecting upon the past couple of years, I've learned so much about relationships, love, and dating just through personal experiences. If I look back on what I was looking for back then compared to what I'm looking for now, the lists are completely different. After finding my serious relationships rather short-lived, I've now taken a step back from dating to see the bigger picture and have compiled a list of what steps I should take towards dating and steps I should avoid.
Being in four serious relationships in the last four years doesn't sound like the greatest dating history in my honest opinion. I'm actually a very serious dater and prefer long-term relationships, but unfortunately, the ideal love life that I've always wanted didn't turn out like expected. Ted Mosby moment, anyone (LOL)? From incompatibility to unhealthy arguments, I've learned that there's no way to keep a significant other by your side in the long run unless you can handle both his/her best and worst sides. However, if the flaws and arguments outweigh the positives in the relationship, you already know that it's best to break things off from there and move on. Here, I've included tips on relationships, dating, and love based on what I've experienced in my past relationships and what I'm looking for in a future relationship. Please note that these tips do not apply to EVERYBODY, but simply just serve as general statements that the average person should apply to his/her dating lifestyle.
Do not date somebody who is not compatible with you.
In some cases, opposites do attract and the relationship works out for the best because you both continue to discover and learn new interests about each other. However, through my past dating experiences, I've learned the hard way that dating an incompatible individual may often lead to more arguments if one individual does not support or goes against their partner's interest/passion. For example, since I am a passionate lifestyle blogger who will always have to take pictures to create more content for the blog, it's probably in my best interest not to date an impatient man, a man who hates photography, or a man who discourages me from pursuing my passion.
Do date somebody who is compatible with you or supports your passion/interests.
When you both find a common interest, it makes it easier for both of you to connect physically and emotionally when doing this activity together. These hobbies may include, but are not limited to, photography, hiking, sports, discovering the newest local coffee shops, and more. One of the best feelings in the world is to have that special somebody by your side as he cheers you on with whatever you're passionate about, and all I would want is to do the same for him.
Do not date somebody just for companionship.
Never date somebody just to have him/her by your side in fear of being alone. Honestly, when you do this, the relationship lacks all romance and will eventually go downhill when you both realize that love isn't in the equation anymore. You should want to date somebody because you love spending time with him/her and knowing that you'll go above and beyond to make this significant other happy.
Do not date somebody you are not physically or emotionally attracted to.
If you don't find yourself naturally attracted to a person and often feel like you have to force yourself to see if you like him/her or not, more often than not - you are not attracted to this person at the moment or at all. In the past, my friends have encouraged or even labeled my relationship with a certain individual and these moves alone convinced me to give him a chance, even when I knew that my heart was telling me otherwise. In the end, you should never force yourself to fall for somebody or listen to what other people say or think. Trust your instincts, move at your own pace, and everything will fall into place if it was meant to be.
Do date somebody who is independent and gives you your space all the while cares about spending time with you.
In my past relationships, I was typically the girl who would disappear from my friend group as soon as I got a boyfriend. I want to say that I regret dedicating all of my free time to my boyfriend while saving almost little or no time for my friends - but instead of saying I regret all of my poor choices, I rather call this bad decision making on my part and apply it as a learning lesson for next time. I know that there are specifically some couples out there who live together or see each other almost every minute of the day and I'm totally cool with that. However, for me personally, I know that I would want my personal space every now and then so that I could get a little bit of "me" time - whether that be spending time with my girlfriends, getting a mani-pedi, binge-watching Netflix, or just blogging away on my laptop. And honestly, I would love it if he wanted his personal space as well, ranging from guy time in front of the TV or playing sports. Also, I find that couples who spend time away from each other are still capable of growing closer while apart - you miss this person more, you cherish time together more, and you ask about each other's day more. In a future relationship, I know that I would want to date a man who not only enjoys his alone time, but would also make an effort to hang out with me every now and then.
Do not beg for another chance in the relationship.
Talking about a breakup maturely is way different than begging for another chance in a relationship. Honestly, I'm not ashamed to say that I've been there - I've begged for a second chance when things hit rock bottom. However, I've learned afterwards that if somebody does not want you or your time anymore, don't fight another second for it. As much as you want to continue where you left things off or don't want to throw away your long dating history, why would you even want to stay with a certain individual who was willing to give you up? There are so many fish in the sea and there's definitely somebody out there who would not throw away your time, your appreciation, your love, and most importantly, you. Know your worth and that you're much better than that.
Keep an open-mind with dating apps and go-with-the-flow, but do not take them 100% seriously.
I've been on Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, and OkCupid and honestly, I hate ALL of them. I already know that dating apps aren't meant for me because I prefer to meet a guy through a natural occurrence rather than a mobile app's luck or fate. There are so many factors to consider when you date somebody online - he/she could be lying or hiding something, he/she could be dating around without telling you, he/she could be totally different online than in person, he/she could stop texting you all of a sudden for unknown reasons, etc. I'm not saying that dating apps are stupid or a bad idea - I'm just saying that they are personally not suited for my taste. However, if you do find a good catch along the way on one of these dating apps, just be sure to set boundaries, establish what you're both looking for, and be honest with one another. And with that, good luck & happy dating!
Don't look, but live.
Not going to lie, but I remember getting out of a relationship and experiencing this "desperate" phase where I needed to get back into a relationship immediately. Let's just say that I didn't end up "matching" up with the most compatible guys and felt drained when each date ended in disappointment. Eventually, I stopped dating and distracted myself from the breakup by constantly hanging out with friends, finding DIY activities to do, and just packing my schedule with a list of errands to do. When you keep yourself busy, you think less about the breakup and more about yourself - and isn't that what you should do when you're single? Learn, recover, and move on for the breakup - it didn't work out for the best, but at least you learned something from it, right? Take everything as a positive learning experience, no matter how negative, and you'll find yourself becoming a more mature individual.
I hope that all of my past relationship and dating advice has resonated with some of you and if you liked reading this post, please click the like button and leave your comments below! :) And don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY with Jord Wood Watches one blog post back here. Giveaway ends July 10th and the winner will be emailed an E-gift voucher towards the purchase of their very own JORD Wood Watch :)
Hat: Forever 21 | Maxi Dress: PPLA Clothing | Necklace: The Amethyst Moon | Watch: JORD Wood Watches | Wedges: Nine West