We all want to find love, but in order to get there we have to contend with the messy world of dating. For some, dating can be a joyous adventure but, for many, it is fraught with awkward situations, incompatible suitors and trawling through the quagmire that is online dating. But, before you go and hire one of the many dating coaches for women out there just to avoid the horrors of another bad date, let’s take a moment to look at few ideas that might help you find that special someone. Here are our top 10 online dating tips for women on the lookout for their soulmate.
1. Take your time
The desire to be in a relationship is one that many people struggle with while dating, which can lead to getting involved with partners who simply aren’t the right fit. Whether you’re just feeling lonely or are suffering outside pressure to find ‘The One’, try to take a moment and remember that you do not need a significant other to be the best version of yourself. Though the rise in online dating makes it seem like love will just appear as soon as you start swiping, finding a true partner for life takes time, so there’s no need to rush. Good things are worth the wait.
2. Be yourself
We all want to put our best foot forward when we’re dating, and there’s nothing wrong with throwing on your most flattering outfit and doing your best to avoid embarrassing topics when in the early stages of a relationship. However, make sure not to hide your authentic self from your partner, as this can lead to problems down the line. Be transparent about your character, your likes and dislikes, and your views on the world. You don’t have to give them a 30 minute TED talk on the very first date, but make sure you don’t hide from them either.
3. Know what you want and trust your instincts
Going into the dating world without a clear idea of what you are looking for can be a dangerous game to play. While there is nothing wrong with just seeing who comes along, it’s worth figuring out what you actually want and need from a relationship ahead of time. Armed with this information, don’t be afraid to break things off with someone if they don’t fit your criteria, or even if you just don’t feel ‘it’. A partner should not completely change your life, but rather add to the life that you already have.
4. Show that you care
We all like to feel loved, and even those with the most tough exteriors need a bit of TLC every once in a while. One of the most important aspects of any relationship, regardless of what stage it’s at, is showing your partner that you appreciate them and that their presence in your life matters. Especially after a long time together, it can be easy to take your partner for granted, so make sure you let them know you care, and expect the same in return from them.
5. Take Time for yourself
One of the most important dating rules for women, and actually for everybody, is to take time for yourself when you are in a relationship. There is nothing wrong with having some time away from your partner in order to focus on yourself and your needs. In fact, spending every waking second with your significant other will likely put unnecessary strain on the partnership, so don’t ever feel guilty about taking some well-deserved ‘me time’.
6. Be open and honest
It may seem obvious, but transparency and trust are the most important foundational aspects to any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Though online dating has made it easier for people to hide behind profile pictures and edited bios, it’s really important that you remain truthful and authentic with your partner from the very beginning. Be clear about how you feel, what you want and where you think things are going, and expect your partner to do the same, even when the conversations might not be easy. It will be worth it in the end.
7. Don’t let dating get you down
Dating is complicated and, after a string of bad dates, it can be easy to start feeling somewhat defeated by the whole thing. Loneliness and feeling like you might never find someone are perfectly normal, but try to keep your head held high as you continue on your dating adventure. Remember that you are perfect as you are and those partners who failed to see that just weren’t worth your time. Keep trying and the right person will come along and, when they do, you will be happy that you didn’t give up.
8. Let go of the stress
Easier said than done, we know, but taking the stress out of dating is one of the best ways to actually get the most out of it. Nerves are perfectly natural, but when taken to the extreme they can make it difficult to really connect with other people, hampering the process of getting to know your date. Try to remember that dates and relationships are not the most important thing in life and that your happiness is not dependant on another person. You are independent and you are dating because you want to, not because you have to. If you are happy and comfortable in yourself while dating, then you have plenty to gain but, crucially, nothing to lose, so what is there to be stressed about?
9. Reject Expectations
As dating rules for women go, there are few more important than this one – Do what you want and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t. The role of women in our society has changed dramatically over the years, though there is still plenty of work to do in achieving gender equality. If you want a relationship where you are a stay-at-home mum, that is absolutely fine and a great life to live. If you want to have a career and be the very top of your field, that’s totally awesome too. If you want any variation of these or any situation in between, then that’s precisely what you should aim for. A challenge unique to women is the sheer pressure and expectations of some parts of society as to how they should behave, work and live, especially once they are in a relationship or have a family. Try to remember that you are free to reject those expectations and live the life that you want to live, and anyone who tells you otherwise, dates especially, is simply not worth your time.
10. Strive for happiness above all else
The whole point of relationships is to be happy, and yet we sometimes forget that when the messiness of life gets in the way. Relationships should not change you or become the sole focus of your life, but instead they should add to the richness of an already rich existence. In short, a loving relationship should make a good life better, not make a bad life good. If you are unhappy in a relationship, don’t be scared to break things off and search for something better. You don’t need a reason, feelings often are not based in rationality and logic, the way you feel is reason enough.