BY TAYLOR WADE
Preface: I don’t usually write a preface to an article like it was some sort of novel. However, I felt the need to explain the title, The Simplicity of Dating. Most people would look at this title with confusion because we all know that dating is never simple. However, the purpose of this article is to break down precise methods for making dating simple. Why? Because when you complicate things in the beginning of a relationship, you don’t allow the full potential of a relationship to thrive.
Genetics and personality types play a huge role in how you act and react in a relationship. Maybe you’re the light-hearted and free-loving adventurer who always has love interests chasing after you. Or maybe you’re the hopeless romantic who always puts too much of your heart, mind, and soul into a relationship way too soon. No matter your dating style or personality type, you can maneuver into a smooth and steady relationship with a little advice and self-control. Keep things light and simple in the beginning stages of dating with these five simplification tips.
Approach each date as fun practice. All of the elements of dating, especially communication and listening, can be classified as forms of practice. They should be molded, formed, and perfected. You can prepare for dating just as you would prepare for an interview. When you view dating in this way, you take the attention away from evaluating whether or not the person is the one, thus removing pressure and first-date jitters. Focus on listening to your date and effectively communicating, both of which keeps you in the moment, and when you are in the moment, you are less likely to analyze, judge, or worry.
2. Head Space
Avoid over-analyzing what’s going on in the relationship. Instead, allow your relationship to take its natural course. Over-analyzing can lead to creating stories which may not be based on reality. These stories can lead to doubt and confusion, and, without clear communication, awkwardness and ultimately relationship failure. It’s easy to let the human mind wander into different scenarios for why he or she hasn’t called, or the hidden meaning behind a certain comment. Rather, redirect this useless energy into something productive. This way, the next time you see your date, you will be in a positive mindset (rather than full of self-doubt and worry). If there is cause for concern, the reasonable action is to communicate, which is our next tip.
Set a good example in the beginning of a relationship by having clear and direct communication. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and assume they are reciprocating in the same manner when they communicate. Don’t misconstrue words to create a story of your own just because you have hidden doubts and fears. When you possess this frame of mind, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary headaches. For example, I had a friend call me frantically, saying she regretted texting a guy she was recently dating. She proceeded to read me the conversation:
My friend: “Hey, how are you?”
Her guy: “Hey, I’m sorry I can’t really talk right now. I have to wake up really early tomorrow.”
She was devastated by his short reply and took it as a sign of disinterest. Before she could go any further, I asked, “Did you ever think that he really did have to wake up early and couldn’t stay awake texting all night? I’m sure he’ll text you tomorrow.” Sure enough, she called me the next day, saying how he responded the next day with an apologetic, “Hey, I'm so sorry I couldn’t talk last night. How are you?” They continued dating for months. The moral of the story is, don’t assume a certain comment or action means something, unless you have actual evidence.
The speed and momentum in which a relationship grows is vital to its success. Personality types, openness and communication, and time spent together are vital components to how quickly the relationship develops. For example, if both people are introverted and less communicative, the relationship may mature slowly. This is not a bad thing.
Singles have a tendency to allow thoughts to jump ahead of the maturity of the relationship. The last thing you want to do is add too much pressure and have it collapse before it is strong enough to hold that pressure. In most cases, there is your perception of the relationship and then there is the reality of the relationship. Remember to frequently give yourself a reality check to make sure your viewpoint is in line with the relationship itself. If you're getting ahead of yourself, take a step back and redirect your focus.
5. Handling Issues
As the relationship slowly progresses, there may be disagreements. Don’t allow little speed bumps to inhibit the growth of your relationship. Anytime you see a red flag, view it as an opportunity to add depth to your relationship. Whether or not you want to proceed is determined by how the two of you handle those red flags, because they are examples of hardships you're going to have in the future.