Before you go ahead and start thinking about whom you’d like to flirt with next, you should spend a few minutes thinking about the people who’ve been here before you and the people who aren’t here anymore. Dating can be a real pain, and so you can save yourself a lot of heartache by thinking about the people you’ve been with, the people you want to date, and the people who won’t be caught dead hanging out with you. Take all the time you need—preferably a few weeks—because the more you think about it, the easier it will be when you finally start to meet people. Once you’ve worked on who you are today, you’ll have a new understanding of how to be dating tomorrow. And it won’t be about trying to fit in to someone else’s version of “who you are.” Life is a series of firsts. To a lot of people, “firsts” are the first time they had sex, their first job, their first kiss, whatever. It’s important to understand that most firsts don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. In fact, it’s all the things you experience later that turn into best firsts. My first best kiss was a long time ago, but I keep looking back on it and I still think about it all the time. Similarly, I think about how I didn’t enjoy my first kiss so much—but the fact that I kept going back for more cemented that it was the best one I ever had. I’ve found that the best firsts for me have always been my first relationships. Whether they were with my partner or a long-term friend, I learned a lot about myself and grew to appreciate what I was capable of. If I had my time again, I’d probably be a better boyfriend because of the way I handle a first date. But I’d still be the same person in every other respect. Dating is a great place to become an entirely new version of you. You can leave the past in the past and get a fresh start on your second life. Dating is the Perfect Time to Figure Out Who You Are Today Dating is essentially looking for someone to be with for an extended period of time. If you put any energy into flirting or dating, the people you meet will begin to define you. Once you’re married, your behavior, habits, and even your work, will be monitored closely by your partner, and
Dating Has Changed Since You Were In College We know, it can be tough to keep up with the latest changes in dating. Technology is always marching forward and changing the way we live our lives, and dating is no exception. These things change so quickly that sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment they changed, but there are some major shifts in dating that you may not have realized. If you’re looking to avoid making the same mistake in the future, this is a good place to start. Dating is More Inclusive Than Ever If you grew up in the ’80s, you probably remember dating in the ’80s. It was pretty much a last resort for most people, and very few people ever saw themselves dating anyone outside their own race or gender. The majority of matches were between people who lived in the same town (we saw that in “Friends,” but it was also more common in the movies), and even fewer couples got to the point of seeing each other outside of the church. That’s all changed. Today, you can find a date for just about any hobby or physical characteristic you can think of. If you’re planning to go out with your sister, it’s no longer necessary to get her permission. You can find a date for just about any interest—be it your fashion sense, your fitness level, or your hobbies—and it’s actually easier than ever to find a match. Dating is Still A Step Into the Unknown It’s hard to find someone you’ll enjoy spending time with from day one, because it’s hard to know if they’ll like you in the beginning. People were much less likely to jump in with both feet when it came to dating, so they were more comfortable playing the field. Now, however, if you’re not in a relationship, dating is still the biggest step you’ll ever take into the unknown. You’ll never know for sure if you are a good match or a bad one until you meet. You’re both taking a risk in putting yourself out there. As a result, you’ll need to try to weed out the people who are never going to be worth your time. Online Dating Has Come A Long Way When you think about online dating, a lot of folks will automatically picture someone from the ’90s or even earlier using a World Wide Web browser. That’s nothing new, but what is new is that people are starting to use the Internet for more