Cut down your dating waste.
At this point in the year, let’s be honest, dating is exhausting. With friends, family, studies, a career and a hundred and one other things to focus on, there’s no denying finding time for someone else, let alone yourself can be a push, at best.
And now cuffing season is about to begin! If your friends put the work in early and guaranteed themselves a significant other to bunk down and keep warm with this winter – while you sat back and thought the grafting can wait – you may be rethinking that tactic as you settle in to binge watch Love Island season five on your own.
But come on, whether winter is creeping its way in or not, there is no valid excuse for letting your standards slip. So no, the boy you briefly dated who sells novelty socks on Facebook marketplace and “doesn’t believe in soap” is still not the right option for you, no matter how lonely you may be.
These are the 10 questions to ask yourself if you’re not quite sure about the person you’re dating, to help you cut down on your dating waste:
Why am I going on it?
If you’re forcing yourself to go on date after date with the same boring men because you feel like it’s what everyone was doing and you should be proactively looking for someone to spend your life with – remember that you don’t need to get married or have kids or find a soulmate if you don’t want to!
Dating should be a fun experience that you’re personally ready for, so move at your own pace.
Are they worth getting out of my PJs?
Let’s face it: date preparation takes energy. What am I going to wear? Should I wear lipstick or not? Have I got a few jokes up my sleeve? There are plenty of things we think about as we’re prepping for a date. Ask yourself, is it really worth getting out of your PJs and cosy bed to go and meet this person?
Do I actually fancy them or is that we just get along well?
If an initial attraction or chemistry isn’t there, or it’s just not happening after three dates or so, then it’s unlikely to happen at all. Don’t ignore this just because you’re having a bad day and want some company.
Let them know that you enjoy their company on a friendship level to preserve the relationship (if you want it) rather than potentially ruining it with a lack of unreciprocated feelings.
Do I just want a free meal?
Okay, so you may just want to live your best life with endless meals at nice restaurants, but are you dating purely on the premise of a nice dinner or food running low in your fridge?
Am I being too picky?
Being critical of your partner some way down the line is often what happens. You might feel they need to smarten themselves up, make a bit more effort or spend less time watching sport and more time doing it.
But these – especially during the first few dates – should be endearing rather than irritating; when the honeymoon phase is over that’s when the irritation begins.
So if you’re already feeling like you want to change something about them, then that is probably a major red flag that the relationship probably isn’t going anywhere fast.
I’m not sure I trust them, should I continue dating them?
In the early stages of dating, especially after a few dates, we expect that what we are being told is honest. If you start having doubts about that or what they’re telling you, then you may be with someone who is not being totally upfront to you. If your instinct says that something isn’t quite right, then trust it… it probably isn’t.
Am I scared of being single?
It can be so easy to hit the rebound button and throw yourself back into the world of dating because of a painful breakup.
However, rushing into something that’s not quite right for you just for the sake of filling a void and fear of loneliness will only cause further issues down the line. Is your fear of being alone just going to set you back for your own self-happiness if you stay with this person?
Do they make me feel good about myself?
Your date should be making you feel good about yourself; so if they’re undermining you in any way or you get the feeling that there are things about you that they’d like to change, then you may be dating someone who wants to control you, is gaslighting you or may even be a narcissist.
A relationship involves self-love as well as loving the other person and you don’t want to get lost in yourself for the sake of someone else.
Could it all be worth it if I meet someone I love?
Sometimes good things take time, especially when it comes to people creeping out of their shell – but are you prepared to wait for that during the dating phase, or do you just want a fast flame?
Do they listen to me when I’ve had a bad day?
While no one wants to date someone who is always grizzling about their boss or work issues, your partner – even at the early stages of a relationship – should be there to comfort or reassure you if you’re feeling sad, emotional or just having a bad day.
Every couple needs to be able to share from time to time, when they are having a tough time and at least feel that they are being listened to and an effort is being made to cheer them up. If they don’t offer you comfort, or even tell you that you’re overreacting, they might lack empathy and emotional intelligence. Is this something that you’re really prepared to sacrifice?