I’m always preaching about learning about yourself.
Learning what makes you happy. Learning what doesn’t. Learning what makes you feel fulfilled, what dreams keep you up at night and what negative situations stay on your mind for days on end.
It’s in this process of learning about yourself that you learn how to create the best life for yourself.
When you’re learning about yourself you are staying aware. Staying aware of things happening around you and their effect on your happiness can be the change between a magical life and a painful one.
For example say things are going really well for you. You’re feeling more confident than ever, you have a great group of friends, and you’re really in love with where your life is.
Out of the blue you meet someone that you really like. You spend a few weeks together but this person isn’t completely and totally translucent. You know that they’re still recovering from a breakup and that there’s a 100% chance that you are going to walk out of this bruised and battered.
You might think that being bummed out about him not being fully committed to you might only effect your thoughts on your love life but there’s so much more that goes down without you even realizing it.
What happens is that not only is your perspective on men changing for the worse but you’re perspective on yourself and on life is also being negatively impacted.
When we stick around and allow somebody to treat us at a lower level than we prefer we’re welcoming a negative energy that is going to slowly diminish our confidence, our charisma, and our ability to be rational.
The same goes for friends, coworkers, or any situation that keeps you up at night hanging on every single word and wondering what it is about you that you could change to make things better.
Here is where we have to be aware.
We have to be aware that this person or situation is negatively effecting us and that in some situations the best case is to just walk away.
Take a second to step back and notice if insecurities, self doubt, and unhappiness all showed up around the same time as a certain person or situation. That’s when you know it’s time to walk away and that this person or situation is not beneficial to you.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
If there’s a person or situation that is causing you unhappiness you’re essentially depleting yourself of happiness and then never refilling yourself.
As hard as it may seem now, it’s completely and totally worth it to walk away and not allow that situation to mess with your current positive perspectives on dating, yourself, and life.
Learn what makes your happiness tick and what makes you top dead in your tracks in a sea of self doubt.
Learning about yourself-the best ways to make yourself happy and the situations that will inevitably bring unnecessary suffering-will make a huge change in your life and will show you what’s worth your time and what isn’t.
Stay aware and continue to self reflect so that you can create the magical life that you deserve.
You’re probably thinking, how can love have a language?
Yes-love is a universal language and there are a multitude of ways to show someone you love them but that’s exactly where most of us fail.
Pretend you’re holding an old bucket full of flower petals. The petals are pink, red and white and you love how they make you feel when you look at their simple beauty.
Now pretend your significant other (or friend or family member) walks up to your bucket and starts taking handfuls of those flower petals and putting them in their own bucket. At first you don’t mind because you love them and you don’t mind sacrificing something that makes you feel good so that they too can feel good.
Suddenly you notice that your bucket only has a handful of flower petals left in it. The rust on the bottom of the bucket is starting to show and you realize that this bucket isn’t much without the beauty of all of the petals. To your dismay-your significant other takes every single last flower petal and leaves you standing there holding on to a dirty old bucket.
When you ask your partner to give some of your petals back so that you BOTH can enjoy their beauty, instead of handing you the petals that they originally took from you they hand you back a different kind. These petals aren’t nearly as beautiful as the ones you had and it immediately makes you feel like your partner is just taking from you and not appreciating what you are giving.
This is where the five love languages can save your relationship with a significant other, family member, or friend.
Do you see what’s actually happening? In your eyes your partner is just consistently taking from you and never giving back but in reality they feel the exact same way.
In their eyes, they are taking your petals and replacing them with better ones because your partner happens to like their petals more than yours. To them, they are helping you. They are providing for you and they are giving from their bucket to yours to make you happy.
It’s all a simple miscommunication.
Relationships tend to go downhill when we forget to talk to one another in a language that we each understand.
Take a look at the five love languages:
Words of Affirmation
Acts Of Service
For you, the equivalent of the beautiful petals filling your bucket is your partner telling you everyday how much they love you, are attracted to you, and appreciate you (words of affirmation).
For your partner, the equivalent of their bucket being filled with petals is when both of you get to spend a Saturday together watching movies and hanging out around the house (quality time).
When you try to fill your partners love bucket with words of affirmation (since that’s what you believe to be the best way to show another you love them) they feel as if you are just taking all of their flower petals and not giving any back.
When your partner spend all Saturday with you but never tells you how much they’re enjoying themselves (since just spending time together is enough for them to feel loved and cared for) you feel as if you’re giving away all of this time to someone who doesn’t appreciate your presence.
Our relationships fail when you lose sight of how to fill our partners bucket. They feel unloved and we feel unloved and it’s an all around losing situation.
Find out your love language and have your partner do the same and use this as a guide to making sure that each of you are speaking to each other in the same language and filling each other’s buckets with flower petals best suited for them.
I seriously think that there should be paid time off of work when you go through a break up. I’m not quite sure who would regulate that but in all honesty-it’s a damn good idea.
These things can mess.you.up. I remember my last break up changed my entire life. It changed who I was as a person down to my inner most core. It changed my priorities. It changed my mentality. It changed how I viewed dating.
Some of this was for the good. It made me an insanely strong person and it made me realize that I could and would never settle for anything short of amazing. It created these standards within me that told me that I wouldn’t risk going through that again unless I knew for a damn fact that it was going to be such an insanely awesome relationship that if we broke up it would have been worth it.
On the latter, some was for the bad.
It shut my emotional faucet off. To do this day, when I try to get close to someone I feel like there’s a blinking red light inside of my head saying “WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! IS THIS REALLY WHAT YOU WANT?! DANGER ZONE!”
I don’t like this.
I feel as if this is such a negative way to approach dating. Why should I let my past relationships and my fear of going through an awful break up scare me from ever doing that again?
If we only live once, why would we stray away from a chance at connecting with someone?
Maybe it’s because we feel so strongly within us that it’s not the perfect time. Maybe we’re moving soon or are too busy to deal with dating games.
Is this worth it? Is it worth turning away from something that could be really special because our emotional baggage of having been hit by the heartbreak semi truck has full control over our dating life?
In 2017, I’m deciding no, it’s not worth it.
I’m releasing any negative connotations that I’ve created around dating and deciding that if something feels right and comes naturally then I’m okay with making time for it and letting it become whatever it was meant to become.
I’m cutting the plug on that blinking red light inside of my head that wants so badly for me to run away at the first sign of getting hurt again.
I think this life was meant to be lived and part of living is getting heartbroken. Part of living is to actually rise from the shattered ashes of a past relationship and be a stronger, more badass person than we were before. Part of living is going through this shit.
My past relationships have taught me exactly what I want in a man. They have taught me exactly what I prioritize, what stimulates me, and what makes me really like someone. I would have never known any of this if I had sworn off of dating cold turkey after my high school relationship went splat.
How can I continue to find out what I need from a long term partner if I shut myself off to any opportunity for learning?
As hard as it is to say, I’m going to risk myself to heartbreak at the expense of my future. It may seem strange to do now but in ten years when I have found exactly who I am meant to be with, I’ll realize that I would have never known how special he was if I hadn’t done the work to find out what special means to me.
It’s going to be great sometimes and it’s going to be terrible at other times but it’s all part of life and I guess inevitably love.
But seriously, can we get someone working on the whole paid time off for heartbreak type thing? There’s no better way to get over someone than with pina coladas on the beaches of Cabo ;).
Your life is changing. You’ve hit mid-life, you’re are going through a divorce, your children are adults and you realize you could be alone.
Maybe you join a dating website or you go online to your social media account*, strike up conversations with old classmates, who may be going through the same life changes you are. You have a mutual upset and connect. Maybe this is someone you had a crush on in high school, but didn’t have the self confidence then, whereas now you do. One chat leads to another. Cell phone numbers are exchanged. The texting begins.
Before you know it, you are meeting this person. You are excited and feel so good about yourself. You feel like a high-schooler again. Remember what it was like to go on your first date? For some of you, it may have been decades ago. Let yourself be happy, nervous and aroused.
But before you do meet, make sure to follow some basic rules; and make sure to share your concepts upfront with your date.
Better safe than sorry., Whether you knew this person twenty years ago or they are a new friend, you don’t really know the person well enough to feel completely safe. Meet in a restaurant for lunch. Get to know the person a little better before jumping into bed.
Always come prepared
No pun intended, but make sure you are prepared for a sexual encounter. You need to rely on yourself even if the other person promises they have it covered. In all the excitement and anticipation, sometimes people forget the little details. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you can’t continue on right at the heat of the moment.
Make sure someone you trust knows where you are, and even who you will be with. Just another safety measure. Maybe you can even pull the old ‘phone call from someone important’ routine. Have your trusted friend call you at a certain point. Just make sure you are available to answer.
Live your fantasy
Always had a fantasy that your ex-spouse wasn’t interested in doing? Why not bring up the idea with this person? Sometimes it is easier to have this sexual illusion with your hook-up buddy. You may feel less restrictive and more comfortable.
Keep open lines of communication
Stay in touch with the person. Maybe make this a week/monthly meeting. This allows you the chance to live out some deep hidden dreams, develop a new friendship and have some lovin’ that every one deserves. Plus as the relationship progresses, you can add new adventures (role playing, naughty talk and more people). You don’t have to keep the meeting solely to your re-acquaintance. You have a fantasy, and chances are your new partner shares the same idea. Talk about it and if you do, why not go one step further. Find a third person to share the new found relationship with on an adult match making website.
Prepping prior to meeting
Let yourself loose and have a little texting or phone sex. Hype up the meeting. Get yourself as well as the person you are meeting riled up. This will make the meeting (when ready) for a private setting that much more anticipated.
*According to Pewinternet.com in January 2014, 30-49 year-olds were tied for the top percentage of social media users.
Studies have shown that marrying your best friend can make you happier and help you live longer. Marrying your best friend means you have a deeper connection than just romantic love. Romantic love is fun and all, but eventually those butterflies die down and you’re left with the reality of who each of you are on a daily basis. Can you make it last forever? Well if you were friends before you started dating and before you got married, then you have a pretty good chance of staying friends for life. Here are 5 couples were friends before marriage.
Kate Middleton and Prince William
Image hrhcatherinemiddleton Instagram
Kate Middleton and Prince William met at school, St. Andrews. They were friends and even flat mates before they started dating. Now they’re married with a handsome prince and pretty little princess!
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
Image kunismilax Instagram
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher were longtime friends before getting married in 2015. They met in 1998 and didn’t start dating until 2012. 14 years of friendship before dating! How lovely.
Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford
Image Daily Mail Instagram
Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford were pen pals as children, how adorable is that? They actually lost touch, become reacquainted, and married in 2012. Childhood sweethearts!
Ayesha Curry and Stephen Curry
Image ayeshacurry Instagram
Ayesha Curry and Stephen Curry met when they were 14 and 15 years old, were friends for years, until college- when they started dating. They got married in 2011 when they were 22 and 23.
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West
Image kimkardashian Instagram
Kim and Kanye had been friends for years before starting to date in 2012. He can even be seen in some of the old Keeping Up with the Kardashians shows as a “friend”.
As the famous David Beckham quote goes about loving his wife,
“She’s my best friend, would you want to hurt your best friend?”
I can’t lie it kind of scares me that the term “honeymoon phase” is so widely known. To me that means that it is such a real thing that almost every person above twenty (or even slightly under) has experienced it.
I know I have. And I know you have.
As twenty something year old women most of us have been in a relationship that started with fireworks and ended with a serious burn out. It sucked.
When I look back on this particular relationship in my life I’ve realized that it wasn’t him at all that caused the lack of fireworks-it was totally and completely me.
I know it sounds harsh but I’ve come to terms and I now understand that I let the fireworks go, it was me that let the fluff of the honeymoon phase die down and then stay down.
First off let me say: it’s okay. It’s okay that I subconsciously let that happen and it’s okay if you did too. It. is. okay. Why?
We weren’t ready. We weren’t there.
We weren’t able to recognize that the all of the fun fluff that comes with the honeymoon phase (like constantly wanting to be around each other, texting all the time, not being able to get enough of each other) was simmering out and all we had to do was consciously keep it going instead of allowing ourselves to get used to our partner.
When things start to become predictable we lose our interest. We’re not as intrigued by their text messages when we know their personality so well that we can almost answer for them. We’re not as keen to go out of our way to stay at their house when we have work early in the morning. We know that physically they are always there so there’s no need for that constant lust.
This is exactly what I meant by I wasn’t ready and I certainly wasn’t there. I didn’t know that these warning signs were signs at all-I just thought that this is what was happening in my relationship and that there was no way to stop it.
Now that I’m ready and now that I’m there, I cannot even put into words how wrong I was.
There I was thinking I couldn’t stop it when realistically I was the one that was catalyzing it and making it worse.
Looking back on that relationship has made me grow so much as a person and as a girlfriend. There are three VITAL lessons that I will always take with me from watching a beautiful, loving relationship turn into something platonic and predictive.
How often have you heard couples that have been married for 25+ years say, “it takes a lot of work.” If this is a relationship you are serious about then put the work into it early by being observant when anything starts to get too platonic or not spontaneous. Set your inner big red alarm to go off when you realize that you are getting bored and then veer off course (with your partner in the passenger seat) and make a proactive action to stop things from becoming boring. Go somewhere for the weekend, take a walk together, cook dinner together, do something that you have never done before to spark your interest back in your partner. You’ll remember all of their tiny characteristics that made you fall for them in the first place.
This doesn’t just mean sex. This means small kisses on their shoulder, holding their hand in the car, hugging them randomly, showing affection in anyway that makes them know that you are dead set on them and everything they have to offer you. Men are very responsive to physical touch and when it comes down to it they’re very emotional and want to feel your love for them. Guess what kind of karma comes back from you showing your affection physically? Them making sure you feel their love for you.
Keep doing all the little things that you enjoyed in the beginning.
For example, ordering lunch to their work, giving them a late night massage, buying them a spontaneous present, surprising him with the Redbox he’s been talking about wanting to see, all of the little things that made for the loving vibes in the beginning. This goes hand in hand with staying observant-it’s your job to make sure that you don’t let these little acts of kindness slip away as time goes on. Five years into your relationship you still want to be doing these little things for him so that your man receptively continues doing the little things for you.
I keep talking about there and this is what I mean by it-when you as a girlfriend or spouse are ready and understanding of the importance of these three actions in your relationship.
It takes time and if you’re not there it’s not a bad thing, AT ALL. It took me years to find myself in a place where I can confidently say, I know I would be ready and able to take on the responsibility of loving someone and making sure that they always feel that love. Let your life’s course play out at it’s own pace.
Take these actions as a secret guide to maintaining a healthy and loving relationship so that one day together we can wipe out the phrase “honeymoon phase” and the entirety of our relationship will be filled with love, lust, and beauty.
We have all been at the point in our life when we were between relationships. We have no potential prospects and are feeling lonesome and in need of companionship, and sexual release. So, what do you do on a Friday night when your libido is taking over? Sure, you could self-indulge and masturbate; but why should you when a sexual partner could only be a phone call away?
The idea of having someone that is only a phone call away to have a sexual encounter with is an exciting adventure. People need to have this experience once in his or her lifetime. No need for faithfulness, a trusting connection and someone you can care about, have sex with but have no further obligation to.
We’ve read about it, we’ve seen it acted out in the movies and on TV shows and you may know friends who participate in such activity. So, how do you get a ‘friends with benefits‘ (FWB) partner? Where do you look for this type of a relationship?
You know someone who is involved in a similar type of set-up, so ask that person if he or she knows another person looking for the same situation. Having a person referred to you takes away some of the guess work as to the person’s background and reputation. Now, keep in mind, only ask your friend if you are fine with someone knowing of your soon-to-be sexual set-up.
Online Dating Websites
These websites generally monitor registered users to make sure they a genuine. Plus they have categories for hook-ups and/or friends with benefits. You can even search for people via their fetishes and sexual interests.
Perhaps you want to keep this set-up on the down low; so being discreet and not letting others know of your predicament, situation or ‘friend’ is your choice. No one needs to know what is going on. As long as you, and your FWB are happy with how the relationship is, then why bother telling people. Some friends may not be as open-minded or understanding of your state of affairs. So it may be best to keep it hush.
Honesty is the best policy; and when having a sexual relationship with someone, never hide important facts. Be as open and honest as you would like the other person to be with you. After all, you are planning on being naked with this person so they have seen you at your most vulnerable.
Image source Unsplash
As women, it is easy to feel like we have grown up in a world where our main mission in life is to meet the perfect partner, our soul mate. Surely if Disney movies weren’t the cause alone for you to begin your search for prince charming in your younger days, the endless supply of romantic movies and TV shows that tell the tale of women on their search for love will do the trick.
But as we grow and the years go by, what happens when we just can’t find the one? By the time you are a woman in your 30’s, you have passed the ‘lets go to nightclubs and party’ every night stage, you have been a bridesmaid or two, thrown your ’bf’ her baby shower, and a fun night out with the girls (married girls) turns into some kind of sympathetic support group rallying you on your mission to find love.
Let’s be honest, being single can be brutal at times and leave you feeling a little deflated, particularly when leaving yet another family gathering where everyone started a conversation with that same old dreaded question…So are you seeing anyone? Leaving you wondering, is that all I am…just single?
The truth of the matter is that too many people assume that being single is the same as being lonely, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Can’t a women just enjoy her life and not let being single define her existence? Many fabulous women are embracing the wonderful perks of being single, but if you need a little reminder the next time you start thinking the grass is greener on the marriage train, try to remember these;
1) Get excited about your future, because you don’t know what it holds.
There are few unpredictable surprises we get in life, so just remind yourself; you have got so many wonderful surprises ahead like, how you will meet your partner, what they will look like, your engagement, wedding, babies… Once you have done it, that will be your story, so don’t rush it and enjoy the process.
2) You may not know any different now, but there might be a time when you may not be able to spend your money on certain things for yourself as you may do now.
When you get married, your money also becomes his money and throw kids in the mix… you might be saying…what money? As at today, you might be able to buy yourself those heels, that handbag, maybe that dress you have been eyeing off…so if you can just enjoy it. Those extra years of working and climbing your way to the top might make you more financially stable and independent and that is something to be really proud of!
3) Celebrate your birthday and embrace your maturity.
Too often I hear my single friends dread their pending birthday. This is your life ladies! Once you meet your partner you won’t be able to turn back the clock and enjoy the birthday before, or the one before that. Instead, celebrate your life and realise that perhaps now you are a little older, you are also a little wiser. You will know what you want in a partner, or at least you will certainly know what you don’t want in a partner.
4) Love your single body.
It might sound a little silly, but before you find out what babies might do to that sexy body of yours enjoy it! Being single can often place you in the fortunate place of having more time to spend on yourself, and so take advantage of it. Exercising should not be limited to going to a gym; things like team sports and dancing classes may not only be great for your body but have a great social aspect to it too.
5) Surround yourself with good people.
Good friends are like diamonds too rare to ever trade in. They will listen and comfort you when you want to scream ‘where the hell is he?’ and ‘why can’t I find him’, and they will be your perfect ‘wing women’ when you are out and about on the town. Forgive them when they ask you too many ‘single’ related questions and have some comfort in knowing that chances are their curiosity likely comes after years of married life and wanting to live the single life vicariously through you.
6) One thing that we all can appreciate is time for ourselves.
Life can be so busy, so just a little time out to assess what you want from life, to refocus our thoughts or to simply just be and not think at all, can be so good for the soul. Be thankful for what you have and not what you don’t have, and if you’re truly happy with whom you are within yourself, then your future partner will be very happy with you when he finds you too.
Picture a triangle. At the top you have your health and in the bottom two corners opposite of each other you have relationships and career. All three are important pieces in the puzzle of our happiness and when all three are flourishing well individually and together we find ourselves in our own special type happy place.
Unfortunately it is not always that easy to keep our relationships afloat, our career expanding and growing as our skills and talents do, and our health in prime shape. All of these things take time and when you are working 40 hours a week, spending time with your friends, and trying to work out, pack healthy meals, and keep your mind right through meditation something starts to slack.
For everyone it’s something different. For me it’s relationships. I throw myself into my work because it is my passion and I keep my mind and body in tip top shape because I can feel the positive difference in my life when I keep my blood pumping and my meditation audio rolling.
I don’t go on dates. Calls to my family are fewer and farther between. I’m asleep before my roommates come home. I say no to more fun activities than I should.
Some of us immediately start to slack on our health regime-foregoing the gym for an extra few hours at our boyfriend’s house or leave our jobs a few hours later to work on that big project at work. Others prioritize their friends and health and suddenly find themselves in a rut when they realize they don’t like the job they’ve been at for the past 3 years.
There is always a tipping point when our triangle collapses. It can’t be held up by a weak floor or wall and when either our health, relationships, or career are faltering we suddenly find ourselves in a heap on the floor because things just aren’t balanced.
We wouldn’t hear the word balance so much if it wasn’t so important. Everyone preaches it because it is an incredible way to find your happy place. When you are balanced you can feel the support of the world around you and when you can feel this support you can rise to any occasion.
So how do we make sure that we stick to our routines? That we are able to make time for one without completely losing out on another?
Keep a calendar whether on your phone or a hard copy that you can resort to to see your upcoming schedule. When we can see what is ahead in our week and month we can physically see what we have time for and don’t have time for. If a work project that takes 3 hours is due in three days then maybe you can say yes to going to that concert with your friends. If you normally work out for an hour a day maybe you can bump it down to a half hour for today so that you can spend some extra time on work. Staying organized with a calendar will create a tangible place for you to actually know what you do and don’t have time for, helping you to keep your balance.
Listen to your body
How do we know when we’re sick? Our body tell us by sniffling and sneezing. How do we know when we are tired? Our body tells us by slowing down. How do we know when we are awake and ready to take on the day? Our body tells us by being energized and focused. Listening to your body and what it is telling you on a day to day and even moment by moment basis can pretty much lead you all the way through life. If you’re so tired that you can’t even open your eyes, maybe it’s not such a good time to try to get some work done or to go out with your friends. Your health is slacking and you have to put time into you and resting up in order to be able to put time into anything else. If you’re awake and energized-ride that wave. Don’t choose to sit and watch Netflix for an hour. Go out and take the bull by the horns and get things done and accomplished. Your body is much wiser than we ever give it credit, so learn to listen and follow direction.
Check your happiness radar
On a scale of 1-10 how happy are you right now with your relationships (friends, family, boyfriends/girlfriends)? How happy are you with the state of your body? How happy are you with your mental strength and stamina? How happy are you in your job? Compare all of your answers and see which one is slacking and which is above and beyond. If you answered 1-5 on any of those questions, then there is a part of your triangle that is seriously slacking. Put more time and positive energy into that corner of your triangle. If you answered 6-10 on any of those questions, then you know you have created good habits in that part of your triangle and you should do your best to keep them up. Figure out where you can improve in your relationships, career, and health for a triangle that can hold itself steady no matter what kind of storm comes through.
This triangle isn’t just any triangle, it’s your triangle. It is essentially a triangle of the foundation of your life. As humans we need relationships, we are a social species who thrive on having interaction with others. We also need to sweat, get our blood pumping, and to have the mental capacity to quiet our mind and sit in silence. And of course, we need some type of financial platform-a place that we don’t resent on Monday morning, that we can use as a creative outlet, and a place to do work that we can be proud of.
Starting to balance your triangle today will bring you immense happiness in the near future. If you are feeling overwhelmed, bored, or just plan unhappy you know there’s a balance somewhere that is completely out of whack.
Use these three free tools to find it and fix it. Find the balance within yourself and then sit back and watch the daily improvements in your life. I can promise you, you’ll never regret it.
As a twenty-something the dating pool can feel a bit overwhelming, singles are everywhere and ready to pounce but navigating bars, internet dating sites and parties is exhausting; for introverts the casual dating scene is often too much. Introverts tend to stay single or opt for long term relationships while extroverts have an easier time dating around casually. While there is certainly nothing wrong with single life or the love shared in a committed relationship, introverts are missing out on the casual dating scene.
Casual dating has many benefits for young women. Women can find companionship, adventure and sexual compatibility while still focusing on their careers, friendships and individual goals. Casual dating can teach you about what you want in a partner; dating around before settling down can help assure you you’ve made the right choice rather than settling for the first man who makes you feel pretty and loved. Those who identify as introverts often opt for a night in with Netflix, a meet up with a friend at a coffee shop or other activities outside of the social scene. While no one is purely introverted or purely extroverted, those who identify as more introverted are less likely to end up at bars, parties or other social mixers that allow for casual dating encounters.
Introverts gain energy through their inner world meaning they need more alone time to reflect and recharge. Extroverts gain energy through external stimuli like that you would find at a party or get together. Young introverts may struggle in social settings, come across as shy or reclusive by avoiding such activities all together. In reality introverts need companionship and enjoy close relationships just as much as extroverts. Rather than feeling out of place by pushing themselves into extroverted activities, introverts should approach dating differently. To enjoy the benefits of casual dating introverts should work with their personalities rather than against them.
Meeting Potential Dates
Rather than looking to meet cute guys at parties you don’t want to attend, focus on meeting potential dates elsewhere. Don’t be afraid of meeting a date at the gym, at a coffee shop or even through work. If you find you are unable to meet potential dates in your day-to-day life, you may want to try online dating. Many introverts like the opportunity to test out the waters with a date before meeting in person. There is nothing wrong with telling your date you are an introvert and what being an introvert means to you. He will probably appreciate knowing a bit more about you!
Once you’ve met someone you want to spend time with try and steer him towards a one on one date rather than meeting up at a party. As an introvert it can be overly intimidating to join a new date at a party with unfamiliar faces. Unless you’re confident you may end up with unnecessary social anxiety. Until you are more comfortable, dinner, coffee, or even heading to a movie or museum together is a safer option.
On a Date
A few nerves prior to a first date (or second, or third) is perfectly normal. Avoid cancelling on your date due to nerves, even extroverts experience first date butterflies, it’s part of the fun! To ease your first date jitters set yourself up for success. Suggest a restaurant or coffee shop you already know you love and feel comfortable at, or better yet suggest an activity-based date. If you’re busy painting and sipping wine you won’t have as much time to overanalyze and fret. The activity is a built in default conversation saving you from the awkward silences all introverts fear!
Once you’ve settled on an activity spend a few minutes prior to meeting up to brainstorm a few topics of conversation. In the moment introverts sometimes freeze up and forget what to talk about (even though we have plenty of conversation ideas). Think about your date’s job, hobbies, hometown and family life. Even do a little social media stalking to help you generate a few open-ended questions you can pull out in a bind. Likewise, think about yourself. Have you gone on any interesting vacations recently? Did you read a fun article you can’t stop thinking about? What are your goals for the next year? Remind yourself how interesting you are! Save a few anecdotes, or conversation topics in the back of your mind. If you’re really nervous you can even write a short list in your phone and check the list in the bathroom or when your date steps away to refresh your memory. Chances are you won’t need it, just knowing you have it can be a relief.
Dating an Extrovert
Introverts are commonly drawn to extroverts admiring their ability to seamlessly jump from conversation to conversation without stressing or over analyzing. Extroverts admire introverts for what they see as deep thinking and complex analysis. The saying “opposites attract” is true in this scenario but doesn’t come free of issues. Your extrovert date will want to grab dinner with friends after a long day; an introvert prefers a low key night at home to unwind. In a relationship these differences are bound to cause tension at some point. Search for balance and respect each other’s differences. Allow an extrovert to introduce you to new experiences. Look for ways to show your extroverted partner(s) the deep and meaningful conversation you crave. Just because you’re dating casually doesn’t mean you must confine conversations to small talk.
Finding time to Refresh
Casual dating is sometimes synonymous with serial dating. If you find yourself lining up date after date (you go girl!), you may become exhausted. Introverts need alone time to reflect and recharge. Be honest with yourself about how much time you need alone to feel healthy and balanced. Schedule alone time like you would schedule a dinner date and do not cancel on yourself! Casual dating is supposed to be fun, if you overbook yourself you will drain yourself mentally.
Dating as an introvert presents a unique set of challenges your extroverted friends won’t be able to relate to. Still, single life can be as free, fun-filled and rewarding as it is for the extroverts out there. By focusing on understanding yourself you will be able to better prepare yourself for dating. Understand what you need to be happy and be forth front with your desires, being an introvert is not a flaw. Susan Cain described the strength of introverts appropriately, ““I also believe that introversion is my greatest strength. I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward.” Be proud of your quieter, perhaps softer nature, and look for men that appreciate your introspective personality. Casual dating is a different experience for an introvert than for an extrovert but that doesn’t mean it can’t be positive.