Dating definitely has its challenges yet you can learn how to make dating easier. In this article, you will learn 5 tips to make dating easier.
How to Make Dating Easier Tip #1: Take Your Time
It can be agonizing to repeatedly get your hopes up about someone you began dating only to be disappointed. It’s enough to make you want to give up! Yet to eventually find your person, you must date and continue to try.
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely avoid disappointment in dating. Yet, you can reduce your risks by dating with boundaries.
A healthy limit you can set to protect yourself is to take your time when you are getting to know someone. It can be hard to do this when you like someone. But it’s invaluable to slow down especially if you have anxious attachment. (This type of attachment will make you feel prematurely deeply invested into a relationship thus leading to greater disappointment.)
The truth is to make dating easier, slow and steady wins the race.
How to Make Dating Easier Tip #2: Know – and Honor – Your Own Needs
To date successfully, it helps to know your non-negotiables. These are 3-6 things you need, no matter what, to feel happy and safe long-term in a relationship. Each person’s non-negotiable needs are unique to them. For example, one person may need someone who is consistent while another may want someone spontaneous.
Related: Hate Dating but Want a Relationship?
There are no bad or wrong non-negotiable needs. These are simply your authentic truth. To help you identify your own non-negotiables, you may download a free worksheet. (This is just one of many worksheets featured in the course, Confidently Authentic: Stop People Pleasing and Start Being True to Yourself.)
How to Make Dating Easier Tip #3: Ask the Right Questions
Once you know your non-negotiables, you must discover if your new dating partner can meet these. Remember, these are needs you must have met, no matter what, to feel happy. Furthermore, you must have all these non-negotiable needs met in a person for long-term satisfaction.
If your non-negotiable needs are, let’s say, someone who values marriage, is financially responsible, and thoughtful. You must find someone who meets all 3 needs, or you are still setting yourself up for heartache. The man who wants to get married and is secure financially but is inconsistent will always cause you profound pain. Even if you try to deny your truth and settle.
During the early stages of dating, you are assessing if a person can meet all your non-negotiables. This process often takes a minimum of a few weeks to a few months. At this stage, asking the right questions helps you determine if someone is a viable long-term match.
The truth is you won’t know if someone is a good match until you know. Pacing yourself plus knowing your non-negotiable needs helps tremendously with the assessment process. This sort of mindful dating also helps you minimize the risk of heartache early into a relationship.
Bonus Tip: What Questions to Ask for Effective Dating
When you are clear on your needs, it’s helpful to ask questions about these. These needs include your non-negotiables as well as what kind of lifestyle you want. Lifestyle questions involve if a person wants to marry, have kids, and practice a certain religion. Where a person wants to live long-term also is important to ask.
Finding someone whose vision for the future aligns with your own is important. There is no perfect person or potential partner in this world. Instead, you want to find the person whose vision and values align with yours. You can also be mindful of their mental and relationship health to help guide you.
A few questions to help assess their relationship health are:
- What do you believe about learning? (Someone who is open to learning is easier to communicate with during conflict. A person who thinks they know-it-all will be more challenging.)
- Do you know what your attachment style is? If so, what is it? If not, are you open to learning with me? (Attachment style can be healed. Yet, if they are anxious, avoidant, or anxious avoidant, it will help to know this. Furthermore, ideally, they will be open to planning around this attachment style with you. Again, if someone isn’t open to learning they will be likely difficult to resolve problems with in the future).
- Do you have any relationship regrets in the past? If so, what? (Self-awareness and accountability go a long way towards resolving relationship problems.)
- If your female partner started making double your salary after a promotion, how would you feel? (This is especially relevant for men dating women. A team approach is invaluable. If he feels it’s a win for the relationship, this is very healthy. However, if he would feel insecure or challenged, this is a potentially difficult relationship issue to resolve. Research shows in heterosexual couples where the man is open to the woman’s influence are happier.)
How to Make Dating Easier Tip #4: Make Your Relationship with Yourself the Priority
It’s easy to get discouraged with dating. After all, to do it effectively, it takes time and effort. To help manage hopelessness, it’s essential to love yourself first.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that once you find your person, all your problems in life will fade away. However, this is an illusion. Of course, it’s incredibly exciting to find your person. It also adds a lot of joy. But the truth is no other person can truly make you happy.
Even with a healthy partnership, unresolved mental health issues like anxiety, or trauma, will persist. Learning to love yourself is important to make dating easier. If you don’t learn to self-care for your basic needs, and concerns, you will desperately search for “love” outside of you. But ultimately, this is unsustainable to have met from another person.
“You cannot hate yourself and love anyone else. It is impossible. You will instead project all the qualities you do not think you possess upon someone else, do them lip service, and hate the other individual for possessing them. Though you profess to love the other, you will try to undermine the very foundations of his or her being.“Jane Roberts, The Nature of Personal Reality
How to Make Dating Easier Tip #5: Feel Your Feelings
While often minimized, dating can sometimes be so bad it leads to trauma. The word trauma comes from the Greek word for wound. And likely, if you have been dating long enough, you have experienced some wounding along the way.
When you experience dating trauma, it is natural to want to avoid dating completely. Unfortunately, this doesn’t heal trauma, nor does it get you closer to the companionship you desire and deserve.
To date effectively, it’s necessary to honor your feelings as they arise. If you are disappointed, let yourself acknowledge it and cry. If you’re anxious, breathe through it. You also may then need to distract yourself. If you’re angry, notice if you need to set a boundary.
At other times, you may need more support. This is especially true if you “can’t get over” something or someone. If you feel devastated or keep rehearsing what happened (or may have happened), this is a sign you need extra care.
Related: I Got Ghosted and it Hurts.
You may want to take a break to heal. But during this time, you deserve support. If you have experienced dating trauma, therapy is invaluable. If you can’t afford therapy, you can still care for your mental health. To find out more, read What to Do If You Can’t Afford Therapy: 4 Effective Tips from a Therapist. You may also benefit from a support group such as CoDA.
Your impulse may be to ignore your feelings. You may do this with numbing like drinking or working excessively. Or you may try to power through to the next dating partner believing the best way to get over someone is get under someone new. These tactics may feel better in the short-term. Unfortunately, if you ignore your feelings, they only build up. This leads to further anxiety, hopelessness, or overwhelm in the future.
Dating can be easier
By integrating these 5 tips, you are sure to make dating easier for you.
Of course, it may still take time to find your right match. But that’s ok. When you date in a mindful manner, you greatly support your mental health. This means you will experience less heartache, disappointment, and confusion. Less pain means more peace and ease in dating.
About The Author
Krystal Mazzola Wood, LMFT is a practicing relationship therapist with over a decade of experience. Currently, Krystal sees clients at her private practice, The Healthy Relationship Foundation. She has dedicated her entire career to empowering people to heal from unhealthy relationship processes. She does this by teaching the skills and tools necessary to have a life filled with healthy and loving relationships.
This passion led her to write her best-selling books and create courses. Her books, The Codependency Recovery Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Understand, Accept, and Break Free from the Codependent Cycle and The Codependency Workbook: Simple Practices for Developing and Maintaining Your Independence have helped many people heal.
Her third book, Therapy Within Reach: Setting Boundaries, will be released September, 2023.
If you have any personal dating or relationship questions, Krystal is happy to provide advice using her expertise and compassion. If you feel comfortable, feel free to leave any questions in the comments of this post. Otherwise, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM her on Instagram. Your name and any other identifying information will always be kept confidential.
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