Mainstream dating advice really pisses me off. Whether it is the stupid manipulative bullshit aimed at men like ‘the game’, or the ‘how men think’ shit aimed at women. It all really really sucks. If I could write a book about dating it probably wouldn’t sell very well because it wouldn’t give you a magical formula for success. That is because there isn’t one. Dating is a crapshoot, and if you are going to do it you should be prepared for that.
Disclaimer I am currently in a stable long term relationship and have not actually dated for some time. You can either take that as my approach to dating works or take the following with a grain of salt its up to you :p
First things first. Women, men and people who identify as neither or both are not monoliths. There is no ‘what women really want’ there is what this particular woman wants. To treat people as though their gender identity can tell you how they will behave in any given situation is EXTREMELY problematic. This one fact alone renders pretty much all mainstream dating advice useless.
So. Think about what you want out of dating. A relationship? Casual Sex? A summer romance that isn’t long term? Some fun? Of course in the process of dating what you want may change and that is fine but it is important to evaluate what you want so that you can ask for it. (now isn’t that a revolutionary thought?)
At the end of the day dating is going to be a numbers game. I personally believe that if you want to date then you have to be comfortable with rejection, learn to understand that rejection does not mean there is anything wrong with YOU but that you are probably not the right fit and that is OK! Statistically lots of people will probably reject you and some won’t. Changing who you are to fit what you think another person wants does not up those odds. Everyone wants different things. Just try and remember it is not really about you as a person. This is the single thing that probably revolutionised how I thought about dating.
So in essence here is how I believe is the best way to date.
1) Communicate honestly. Don’t try and be manipulative and play games. In the long run this never works and it makes dating much more frustrating and stressful then it ever has to be. Be upfront. If someone likes you they will like you and if someone doesn’t there is very little that you can do to make them like you. The worst that can happen is that they will say no. Yes that will suck but you will get over it.
2) Check that you are both on the same page. Yes you may both like each other but that doesn’t mean you want the same things out of life or this particular relationship (whatever form it may take) you might agree to see how things go anyway but it is important to know where you both stand.
3)Relationships (of all kinds) end sometimes. Just like rejection this is a part of life. Something that is hard to accept but we all have to do it. Human relationships are innately messy and hard work. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to try not to be assholes to each other and also ourselves.
Anyway I hope that helps.