I am so afraid of dating I know I have to force myself to go out there.God, I really hate that I go for the wrong types of guys, Even when I thought I had the perfect guy he failed me. If this can somehow be turned into questions, my issues are that I am finding it hard to be open and present during a date. My suggestions will help you to be mindful, date with your eyes and ears open, to come from a place of personal security, and to be aware of what to look for when considering progressing from dating into a fully-fledged relationship. No matter how much your body and your imagination screams yes, leave sex out of the first few dates, longer if possible.
Contrary to popular opinion, the key thing that you need to discover is whether you share common core values – this is what will take you from dating into a bona fide relationship. Never assume that because someone has shown interest, asked you out or is even dating you, that they are single or willing, able, and ready for a relationship. Somewhere between date one and three, you need to clarify that the person is single and that they are not married, with somebody, living with an ex, just separated, long-term separated etc.
Get a life with some variety that opens you up to meeting new people and having new experiences. The only way you can discover if someone shares the same values as you is by spending the time and getting to know them.
Of course once you are dating someone, be careful of anyone who is afraid to even think ahead to the following day. Be careful of anyone who is reliant on texts, instant messenger, and email as their dominant forms of contact as these are forms of lazy communication that not only lead to a lazy relationship but may cause you to build sandcastles in the sky. If you feel most attracted to people who are not interested in you and typically increase your disinterest if they are interested in you, take this as a warning sign that something is very wrong. There is a time and a place for talking about past relationships but be careful of who you share this information with. Get your head in order before you date because we end up in relationships with people that reflect what we believe, so it’s best to make your beliefs and attitude positive. On your dating profile, if you’re only interested in people who are looking for a serious relationship, say so. Don’t discover a piece of information about their ex and then try to make yourself into them or start to feel insecure. Don’t allow people you are dating to call you up after the whole week has gone by and expect you to make plans.
Stay positive for the second and subsequent dates and be careful of creating oversized expectations. It’s more than OK to have drinks on your dates but if you get drunk and lose control of yourself, it may be best to leave out alcohol or limit yourself. Don’t hang around with people who have negative attitudes towards dating, especially if they affect your mindset and cloud your judgement. Find out who you are, what you like, what your interests are and what your goals are, and then find events, clubs, places etc that not only reflect these but give you the opportunity to meet like-minded people. Unless you are in a relationship, you trust them, and there is a healthy foundation to your relationship, no lending to or borrowing money from dates. Avoid emotionally unavailable men and women (Mr and Miss Unavailables) as well as assclowns (unavailable as well being shady users and abusers) like the plague. This means striking a balance between meeting people, socialising, and the potential of finding a relationship. All of them struck fear into me in different ways, mostly because they revealed that I still have a leaky roof – both caused and exposed by the ex-AC. More seriously, I am still just so frustrated and angry at myself and the AC, and I don’t really trust myself yet not to want to destroy something possibly worthwhile (which a dating no-no on your list). It’s a getting to know you period where you can get a sense of how much you click as well as whether you have enough going on to forge a relationship.
If you rely on sexual chemistry and common interests and forget to discover whether you share common values and the other landmarks of healthy and successful relationships, you will mistake personality for character, lust and attraction for the presence of shared core values, and will ultimately struggle to understand why you cannot move forward with somebody with whom you believe you have so much in common. For you to have a sense of who they are, the relationship or the possibility of one, and whether it feels good for you, you need to be capable of engaging with them with your eyes and ears open.
It is totally okay for you not to be interested and they are not entitled to reciprocation. It is important for you to know your limits and act in accordance, otherwise you will communicate to your dates that not only do you not respect yourself enough but that they are free to take advantage of you.
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, as in you have asked and clarified, or you are afraid to ask, do not pass GO.
You are not going to meet someone doing the same hard and fast routine day in day out, week in, week out. Sometimes you’ll have to drag yourself out when all you feel like is curling up in a ball and going to sleep. Someone could be The Nicest Person In The Universe TM but if you have little in common on both the interests and core values front, that is OK.
Make sure that there is plenty of human-to-human contact and that you’re not predominantly relying on words. You need to have a positive answer to this question if you’re thinking about going from dating to being in a relationship with someone.

When you’re further along in dating and are thinking that you want more, this is a question you must be able to answer before you commit. One of the biggest causes of dating and relationship issues is failing to pay attention to obvious code red behaviour and issues in the early stages of dating which subsequently come back to bite you in the bum when you’re further along in the relationship.
You will only notice this difference if you are not in Lala land with rose tinted glasses and the fur coat of denial. People think that you need to talk a lot for good communication but there needs to be a balance between talking and listening. Don’t date if you feel cynical, jaded, or bored with dating because it will manifest itself in your behaviour and choices. Often people say they are looking for a mix of things and get a mix of people, but it pays to be very specific in your profile because even though you may get less respondents, you are more likely to weed out people who are just looking to get laid or to clock up dating numbers, and even if you do still find yourself with one of these people, knowing that you have been specific means that you can let them go because you were upfront. If the first date went well, this is great, but that doesn’t mean that you should expect fireworks and cymbals clashing for the second date. You may think you come across as independent and self-assured but actually you’re coming across as bitchy, aloof, confrontational, or aggressive.
Much of the drama that happens with dating arises from not being true to yourself and being agreeable. Of course these DTRs can be useful but I tend to find that people use these in the absence of judgment and either jump the gun and have the talk too soon or they leave it until it’s far too late. Save the blow by blow analysis of the person and the date for when you get home and speak to your friends. It should remove ambiguity and you should both understand if there are any limits to your expectations of that person and the resulting relationship that you have with them.
Trust me when I say that the things that you fight about or eventually break up over are often things that could have easily been found out in the early stages of the relationship if only you’d opened your eyes and taken off the rose tinted glasses.
If someone that you met online this morning is already sending you penis shots or trying to get you to talk dirty, you can trust me when I say that nothing more than some sexual flirtation and possibly a wet screen or seat, is going to come of this.
Treat you well, be considerate of the thoughts that you feed you and make sure that what you profess to believe and want is reflected in your actions and attitude.
Taking a 3-6 month break lets you focus on you and when you come back to it, you can start afresh with renewed vigour and attitude. One could potentially leave your wallet empty and the other could leave you emotionally empty. Be personally secure, have boundaries, treat you with love, care, trust, and respect and live by your values because being yourself is what makes you attractive to the other person and it also gives them a birds eye view into what you will be like in a relationship. It’s a tricky business juggling several people and requires you to be very organised and detached.
People who try to Fast Forward the relationship from the get go often rush you through the early stages so that you miss vital signs that all is not well. If you date from an unhappy place when you already have low self-esteem, you will invite people into your life that reduce your self-esteem even further and cater to the insecurities that you already feel. I can’t always tell the difference between AC baggage fear and genuine, healthy intuition that this new person is simply not the way forward.
If you are going to date online, you need the hide of a rhino, good detective skills, and a willingness and ability not to let your imagination run wild. If you’re already making exceptions for someone you are dating, it is a sign of not so great things to come. Shady people will exploit your lack of boundaries and will quickly work out what they can get away with and act accordingly. It’s not easy out there today and too many people seem to think they have too much choice causing them to behave as if everyone is dispensable.
There is no need to be putting your name with their surname, imagining them on holiday, trying to work out if you can marry them, and basically galloping too far into the future. People respect boundaries even though we as individuals are often afraid of setting and living by our boundaries for fear of rejection, however, people respect those that know their own mind, have personal security, and aren’t afraid to say no. Aside from this, the whole going to theirs or your home just puts you a hop, skip, and a jump away from the bedroom and just makes it easier to create an awkward situation.
It’s called you being too available and them being too lazy to deem you important enough to make plans with. In fact, you’d better learn to trust yourself before you start dating otherwise you will either be too fearful and find any reason to find fault, or you will love and trust blindly, which is dangerous also. It also means being willing to step up for you and make an exit when it becomes apparent that they are not honest.
You don’t need to know if they see a possibility of getting married or having kids, or even having a relationship with you on the first date. Or, they have DTRs all the time and this becomes how you both communicate and that’s not good either.
It’s good to spend time around positive people who support you as opposed to negative people who suck the fun out of things, undermine your choices, trigger you questioning yourself, or portray you and your life as doom and gloom. You will quickly weed out people who are just out for the chase and looking to get laid and you can focus on getting to know your dates in reality and discovering common values.
You (or they) will convey all of the wrong things about yourself and you will communicate ‘I have problems.

Playing games creates unnecessary drama by manipulating people and the outcome of situations. This is fine when you and they know the score but it’s not when you are detached from your actions and are actually dating multiple people as a way of not letting protecting you from intimacy and vulnerability. You also cannot keep up the ambiguity and jealousy on a medium- to long-term basis – it would be exhausting! However, the red flag is the fact that they’re speeding you through instead of letting the dates and the subsequent relationship grow at its own pace. When you treat and regard you with love, care, trust, and respect, you will not accept less than what you can already be and do for yourself from someone else. Remember that while you may think you mean it, it’s best to only say these words when you have all of the building blocks in place for a¬† relationship. Yesterday, a friend innocently mentioned how the AC had moved cities and finally achieved something I had been helping him with (and, to be frank, he had, to some degree, used me for) and it set off all those horrible, primal chemicals in my body. As dating is a discovery phase where you should be aware of things that potentially signal a relationship not happening, turning a blind eye to what may be code amber and code red stuff is not in your interests. If you want to be with somebody who treats and regards you with love, care, trust, and respect, make sure that you also do these for you. You also need to be careful of playing games because some people will get off on the chase, build you up and then discard you. Dates can often be fraught with underlying anxiety and confusion stemming from miscommunication. And yes, sometimes this is down to nerves but slow down a little to get a sense of whether you’re overcompensating for the other party or whether you listen too much to your own talk and project this onto the other party.
If your relationship values and your needs and desire are to be in a long-term relationship, all that a casual relationship is going to do is take you on a detour and get you laid. Meet in an open, public place for the first few dates and keep your spidey senses alert for anything that comes across as strange, intense, or stalkery.
Imitating someone that they’ve broken up with is a one-way track to pain and loss of self. In fact, it takes time to discover these things and before you can even contemplate doing any of these things with anyone, you need to get to know them first.
If you typically abandon everything and everyone once you’re in a relationship, slow your roll and force you to make time for your life. This is carrying the same baggage, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours, choosing the same people different package and expecting different results. You may feel like you need to test your dates but you’re creating a relationship based on misconceptions. The more you try to convince and perform is actually the more questions you raise about you. Dating is a less stressful when you’re not cacking yourself about mixing up names or worrying about sending an email or text to the wrong person. Ask questions, listen and even more importantly, pay attention to see if they’re living in line with their values. I have found that it is a lot easier to have these conversations when you have got to know each other and you know enough about each other not to feel daunted by the conversation.
Easiest thing is to to go into the date rooted in the present and showing up to enjoy yourself. Healthy relationships need interdependence which is where you are each independent entities with your own life who have a mutual healthy dependency in the sense of being connected to and in the relationship.
If you have to make someone jealous for them to feel like they want you, they’re not worth dating. If you are looking for the latter two, adjust your expectations accordingly and be careful of changing the goalposts and your expectations if the person was wanting the same thing that you originally were. Thirteen too, because I fall for the hype the fantasy of having a really fun and happy times. It just hit something so awfully primal, and it’s tiring, this whole self-development thing sometimes.
You’re the only person who you can have significant influence and control over the feelings and behaviour of. In life you will find that a lot of things change when you come from a place of congruency and integrity. When we are, it means we’re empathetic and in reality about who we are and why we do certain things. I also agree with number 100 because I let them fool with my head and I am a part of the whole process.

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