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Dating Question: Are You Even Ready to Date?

When the majority of single people say they’re looking for love, to “get out there” and start dating — they immediately think of their type, how they’ll meet that perfect man or perfect woman.

They listen to dating advice and get tips for first dates, figure out what would to do on a perfect date and then… they don’t find one. Or worse, they get a first date and then somehow manage to flub it along the way.

Whether you’re diving back into the dating pool after a breakup, testing the waters for the first time, or finding yourself somewhere in between those two scenarios, the real question shouldn’t be how to find a date. It should really be this: Are you ready to date?

There’s only one way to find out. Take a moment to examine yourself and see if you’re ready.

Some people say they want to settle down, but the truth is they really don’t. Chances are good you know someone like this. In this case, honestly ask yourself if you’re looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend, or if you’re just happy playing the field. Only when you know that will you be able to set appropriate expectations.

Why does this matter? Think about it. You can’t be on the same page as someone else if you don’t even know what page you’re on. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to date, so be honest with yourself and others about the level of relationship you’re willing to offer. If all parties know where you’re coming from, there are fewer opportunities for hurt feelings and wasted time.

It’s great that you have a variety of interests and keep busy with a ton of extracurricular activities; investing in yourself isn’t just fun, it’s important as well. However, if you’re always consumed with other commitments, no one is going to get to know you and realize that you’re a great catch. So make sure that you’re ready to give up some “me time” to invest in potential “we time.”

Don’t want to give up personal time? Great! You don’t have to. But don’t expect others to warp their style to fit yours.

Dig Deep
What are you looking for? And by that, we mean, what do you really want from you boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, husband or wife.

Then look at what you have standing in front of you. Does your date match the person you enjoy spending time with? Even if it’s not for a long term commitment, if what you’re looking for doesn’t mesh with the person in your life then you’re going to invariably feel frustrated with your situation. Remember, the fact that he or she is hot might be what caught your eye initially, but a pretty face won’t fix poorly matched personalities. If you’re serious about dating, you’ve got be on the lookout for a potential best friend as well.

Know Yourself
Confidence is sexy. Too much of it is obnoxious. So it’s important to know the qualities that make you a great date, understand your weaknesses and things you’d like to improve upon, and those steps will help inform your dating decisions down the line. Focus on the positive and stay away from a negative headspace. Know what you bring to the table and embrace the fact that no one, not you or anyone you date, will ever be perfect. That said, stay open to new experiences and different points of view. Be gentle with others and yourself as well.

Remember, you aren’t just looking for that great catch– you are one as well!

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