To me, the similarity between modern dating and war is uncanny. There’s land mines or in other words, bad eggs to dodge, air raids or a barrage of unwanted suitors to contend with, living on rations or dealing with the inconsistency of modern communication and that age old question, which team do I side with? Sometimes, after days like this one all I want to do is retreat back into the safety of the trenches. Where I know I won’t have to face any of these harrowing obstacles again. But silly, foolish me doesn’t. Like a dog with a bone, I crawl from the trenches and march, with my head held high back onto the battlefield. To continue the fight. The fight that is modern dating.
Here’s four tips to help you make it out of the dating battlefield alive:
Don’t give up
Although there has been numerous setbacks, challenges and disappointments, there have also been many lessons and stories. There’s no giving up from me, no matter how difficult the journey seems. I’ve dated for the majority of my late twenties and have seen the dating culture change rapidly during that time. No longer is it as easy to land a date. It requires work. In my experience, men have become complacent, unknowingly onto a great thing and stupid enough to throw that away. This doesn’t fly with an old school romantic like me. I want the guy from the romantic comedies. The one who adores and chases his woman. Who can say how he truly feels and show it. However, all I’m reeling in are boys who struggle to text back, refuse to talk about emotions and are just flying by the seat of their pants when it comes to the world of dating, with no clear path or intentions for a relationship, besides the obvious. It’s the story of my life right now but I really don’t want it to be forever. I’m someone that is far too proactive in seeking love to throw in the towel.
I’m trying hard to change my tune. To look at the green flags, essentially what these guys do have and can offer rather than what they don’t have. It’s a massive shift in mindset but hopefully it makes my dating journey more positive. The notion that dating almost always feels like a chore is one I very much am living by at this point in time. It’s hard out there. It’s ruthless, cut throat, disappointing. It’s full of rejection, ghosting and abandonment. The apps can bring about a sense of uncertainty and anxiety, but what other option is there?
On the flip side, dating can be amazing. It can bring joy, love and laughter. It can inspire you or even teach you. Not taking a risk on dating because you are still holding onto heartbreak or fed up with the world is relinquishing the capacity to allow yourself to feel these exciting emotions. And that, my dear, is absolutely foolish. You deserve to feel all the good things and it’s super important to remember that sometimes the bad things help us to appreciate and know when we’re onto something great. Give yourself some credit. You’re amazing and you deserve to be happy.
Take a risk
I’ve always told myself, ‘It’s a risk not to take a risk.’ For a long time i was hurting and couldn’t even stand the thought of finding someone new. I did meet someone, at a wedding, who was much younger but he taught me that we need to take risks in order to keep on going. We need to take risks so that we can live in the present and not the past. I gained so much from that dalliance with him and I am forever grateful because he was patient with me and this gave me time to come out of the shell I have so deeply dug myself into.
Love could be staring you right in the face but you might think you are still too broken, hurt or reluctant to see it. Opportunities present themselves in weird and wonderful ways. I find it’s so important to take them by the horns. A blind date set up by a friend, why not? That guy who keeps checking if your printer is working, go for it. Capitalize on the opportunities that come your way. Say yes more often. These will provide you with chances to see what it is you do want and what you are not going to keep pursuing.
You do you
Sometimes on the journey, I’ve had to take some time out. A bit of a pause, reflect, reevaluate and repeat. These breaks in dating help me to think about what it is I’m looking for and be more active in searching for that upon my return. Sometimes the dating process can become all too overwhelming, especially when faced with an increase in rejection. One thing I do believe in is that it’s so crucial that you know what you need. If you need a break, take it. If you need to date, do it. Don’t listen to your friends. Listen to that little voice inside your head. It knows what you need and it will help you make the best decisions for you at the time. Doing you is one thing I swear by in dating. You can ask for all the advice you want but at the end of the day are you going to be happy with a decision that your friend made for you? You do you girl. That’s all there is to it.
So go on out there, in the muddy, murky battlefields and show them that killer smile. You’re datable. You’re beautiful. You’re brave. You will survive the fight and you’ll come out even stronger on the other side. And just remember, war does not last forever.