January is a busy month for dating. Many people are now getting back on dating apps after the holiday break.
It’s so easy nowadays to start dating; you just need a phone and an internet connection. While dating apps are bursting with new profiles, swipes, and matches every day, a lot of people are actually dating mindlessly.
In one of my viral articles, I explained why the dating pool is full of undateable people. I listed seven things that daters should check with themselves before putting themselves out there to avoid getting hurt and actually get what they want.
One of the questions is:
Do you have a clear dating goal?
The key to getting what you want is simply knowing what you want.
But many people can’t articulate it or are afraid of saying what they want from dating.
The consequence is that they date on someone else’s terms and get into relationships that ultimately don’t serve them or they could be leading someone else on and hurt both themselves and the other person.
Having a clear dating goal is very important because it will guide the way you carry yourself and the boundaries and standards you set to assess your new partner.
It helps you spot red flags, meaning behaviors and treatments that don’t align with your dating goal (and values.)
It’s not enough to say I want to meet someone or I want to get into a relationship.
What kind of relationship do you want to get into? How often do you want to meet/communicate with your partner? Do you want to live together? Do you want to be monogamous? Do you want to be married? Do you want to have children? Can you say it clearly and loudly to yourself?
People are often scared of saying what they want, and when someone asks them “What are you looking for?”, they try to downplay it because they don’t want to come across as clingy, needy, or too much.
But when you do that, you effectively put other people’s opinions and perceptions of you and their needs before your own.
If you’re in the place where you want a relationship and you want to have family and children, it needs to come first, and you should put that at the forefront when you’re looking for a new partner.
It literally determines your future.
Especially if you’re a woman and you want to have children before a certain age, then you need to put that first instead of worrying about some guy’s — who’s probably not right for you — opinions of you or who thinks you are too much or too soon.
You do not have to care about those guys’ opinions; the right guy, the guy who also wants a family with you, will be overjoyed that you are so clear and so upfront about what you’re looking for, so they can move forward with you.
In a patriarchal society, things aren’t designed to serve women by default. So if you go with the flow and give up your negotiating power right from the get-go, you will likely find yourself worse off.
Don’t be afraid to state what you want and what you need in a relationship.
Your relationship should serve you and meet your needs.
Be warned: When you have a clear and specific dating goal, naturally, it will narrow down the pool of people suitable to even start dating.
But that’s the point. You want to select the most compatible one from the pool of people who are looking for the same thing as you do.
It takes time but it’s worth it because a bad relationship costs you more than just wasted time — they can leave very long-lasting impacts on your mental health and your well-being.
Have a clear dating goal. Have the boundaries and standards to support that goal and take your time.
To make your dating goal really work for you, you have to really understand why you even have this goal.
Is it actually true for you? Does it actually work for you?
A few years ago, before I met my fiance, I wrote down that I want to get married. Mind you — I have not always been able to say that to myself.
For a long time, even my family members all thought that I would never get married and I would agree with them.
But when I had my experiences and I learned more about myself, I really understand why this is what I want and what the benefits it is actually going to bring into my life. I came to embrace that need and that desire to have a partner in my life.
It made me feel very empowered when putting myself out there because I could say this is what I want and this is what I don’t want. I could say to people who don’t meet my needs that they’re not right for me.
It’s not necessarily something wrong with them, we’re just not on the same page, we’re not looking for the same things. So I was able to move on and find what I wanted because I knew what I wanted.
No one could talk me into doing other things either.
They couldn’t get me into a casual relationship, for example, because I could tell it was not where I was at. It helped me to recognize the right partner for me as he met my expectations and needs for a serious relationship.
Maybe as you look inside yourself and ask yourself why you want your goal, you will realize that you don’t actually want what you think you want.
And it’s okay.
All the experiences you have in life, all the relationships you have ultimately will teach you more things about yourself and it’s wonderful. The journey in life is for you to discover yourself, the mystery of the universe, the gift that you were born with.
So enjoy the ride and try to learn more and more as you can about yourself.