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How to develop the courage you need for today’s dating scene

NEW,RELATIONSHIP,DATING
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There aren't many ground rules today, but these ideas will help you succeed.

Have you been on a date recently? If you have, kudos! If you haven’t, you’re not alone. It’s a tough world out there. Dating has always required courage, and dating today is no exception. While there are now more ways to meet people than ever (I’m looking at you, dating apps), going on an actual date in person presents many challenges. For instance, there isn’t any established etiquette for a date. How do you set one up? How long should it last? Where should it be?

Plus, a large part of dating is texting, and there aren’t any rules for that either. We’ve been texting a ton, are we close to dating? Is she just passing the time with these texts, or does she actually like me? If he’s not texting back quickly, is he not interested?

There are a couple of ways to develop the courage and resilience needed to participate in the dating scene today. Neither is easy, but both are guaranteed to make you a better dater if you’re willing to learn and change as you go.

The first key step to gaining courage and resiliency for dating is … to go on dates! You can read all the self-help books while working out and volunteering but you won’t find a relationship without actually going on dates. Every person you meet for coffee helps you learn more about what you’re looking for in a relationship. Every bowling and burger date helps you learn how to navigate awkward getting-to-know you conversations better (and helps your bowling game to boot!). And if you’re giving decent first dates a second one, you might even be on the road to an exclusive relationship.

Sure, saying “go on more dates” is much, much easier said than done. But, it is possible. Getting it done requires spending a whole lot of time finding dates. In that arena, you need courage and thick skin in order to show people you’re interested in them enough to go on a date with them. When someone says, “no, I’m not interested” (be it a direct way, or an oh-so-subtle way like not replying to your texts), it stings. But, if you can avoid taking rejection personally and you’re willing to try, try again, then you’re on the road to actually going on dates.

The second step to cultivating courage and resiliency in the dating scene is to practice little bit of honesty when it comes to your feelings. Do you know how refreshing it is when someone tells you outright that they like you? In a world of perfectly planned presets and carefully curated captions, having someone nervously reveal that they “see this going somewhere” is the bedrock of moving a possible relationship forward. And if you’re not sure how you feel, be honest about that, too. In conversation, you might be able to pinpoint what you’re uncertain about. Maybe you’ve never been in a relationship before, or maybe you were expecting to feel different while dating. Whatever it is, if you can start communicating honestly from the beginning, it will only help you both realize whether you should continue moving forward.

It’s scary to reveal what you’re feeling when you have no idea how the other person will respond. Are they feeling the same way? Do they actually not like you at all? Whether you’re asking someone on a date, or trying to take a relationship to the next level, the struggle to be vulnerable remains. But by slowly building your courage and resiliency, you’ll be able t step up and out of your comfort zone.

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