Dating in your twenties is probably one of the most fun and yet, heartbreaking times of your life. It can be a whirlwind of emotion when you have no guidelines on how to go about your early dating life but things can be made easier when you know how to see the red flags. Most times when we date, we don’t really acknowledge just how far a relationship can go and the impact that one person could have on the rest of our lives, especially if we end up in a serious commitment with them that’s long term. This is why its important to be able to know how to date and choose the right people, and yes! There is a right and wrong way, we’re just not taught these things growing up.
The point of it all is that you do not want to look back at your twenties and regret that most of it was spent always trying to be apart of someone else instead of building yourself up. Dating in your twenties is a time for you to learn about yourself, what you like, don’t like and what you want and desire in a relationship. It’s not a time for you to settle or even feel like you constantly need to be with someone to be happy. If you want to date effectively in your twenties you have to be willing to follow a few dating rules that will lead you to love and relationship success.
1. Be Confident In Who You Are
In order to date the right way in your twenties, you have to remember that it all begins with you. You need to love yourself first, before you can expect to be loved by others. Loving yourself just the way you are makes you confident in the person you are. When you’re confident in who you are and what you believe in, others will be too. Confidence brings surety and that is what attracts people. It’s not about them liking you, it’s about whether you like you. You have to realize that you need to be whole on your own first, as does the partner you’re seeking. Two halves make a whole but two wholes make a great team in the long run.
2. You Do Not Need To Be Perfect To Be Loved
In saying the above, remember that you are only human. We all have flaws and things we’re constantly going to have to work on in order to improve ourselves. There are times where we all take a good look at ourselves and wonder how anyone could love us. However, this is the beauty of love. You do not have to be perfect in order to receive love. Let go of the mindset that you always have to be perfect in order to be with someone, you don’t. Your partner should be able to clearly see your flaws and accept you for who you are.
Remember, for a relationship to be successful, you have to be willing to work on yourself. That is how you remain your own person, stay whole and be a great partner to your significant other. There is no one on this planet that is perfect so drop that expectation.
3. Ask Yourself If You’re Ready For Dating
Start paying more attention to how you talk, your tone of voice, attitude, how you approach situations and whether you can confidently communicate what you have to say and want in a relationship without being afraid of saying it. If you aren’t able to be aware of these basic things in dating, then learn how to become more sensitive to the other persons needs and wants. Dating takes two and it isn’t easy. We all come from different backgrounds and upbringings. Therefore, being able to communicate effectively and shamelessly in a relationship is very important.
4. Worry More About Whether You Actually Like Them
When it comes to dating in your twenties, you’re at an age where you’re only now starting to learn about yourself. You’re still building your identity and also getting to know who you want to be. This can be a very insecure time for most. We’re constantly being sold by the media that we should be more likable. This is why it’s common for us to go into dating with the mindset of, “I really hope this person likes me!” Instead of, “do I actually like this person?” We’re taught to stress ourselves out over whether a person likes us, how we can make ourselves more likable and appeal to them. We don’t realize that by already putting on a front and not being ourselves, we’re already dooming our relationship for failure.
Start asking yourself, “do I really like this person or am I just attaching myself to the most available person?” Ask yourself if you had a ton of other options right now, would you still choose the person you’re with? Or are you just going off about it because you’re lonely? Be honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions.
5. Believe Their Behaviour
Whenever someone shows who they are with their actions, always believe them. Dating in your twenties the ‘right’ way can really set you up for success. However, if you’re gonna ignore all the qualities of a person that you know you aren’t going to be okay with in the long run, you’re only going to set your relationship and more importantly, yourself up for failure. You have to be honest and outspoken with what you will not tolerate in a relationship.
If a person shows you that they don’t text back on time, don’t care about what you think, feel or they have violent or aggressive tendencies and so on and forth, learn to believe them. Take what they do at face value and accept that those are not the qualities you want in a partner. The more you say no to bad relationships, the more you invite the good ones in.
6. If It Isn’t Mutual, Don’t Pursue It
If the relationship is one sided, and you feel like you’re always the one reaching out, making the effort and trying to keep things going, it is not a relationship. A relationship takes two people and if you feel like you’re the only one who’s constantly giving without receiving then its time to reconsider who you’re choosing to be with. Talking to a person like this is usually like talking to a brick wall because they are clearly not interested in pursuing anything further with you. This may be a hard pill to swallow but think of it as a form of weeding out the bad ones from your life. There are plenty of people out there who will be attentive to you so don’t settle for being taken for granted.
7. Do Not Settle For Anything Less
Actually, while we’re on that topic, let’s talk about it more. Don’t ever settle for anything less than what you know you want and deserve. Many people when dating in their twenties make the mistake of rushing into serious relationships when they’re still immature. We tend to forget that as we grow, we are very likely to grow apart from the person our younger selves thought was right for us. The reason being is because often at that age we’re too immature to even begin to know or understand the importance of growing together as a couple. This is why we often see with our parents generation that they marry early on out and have now set the standard for the highest divorce rates in history.
When you settle, you only hurt yourself and the relationship as well. The biggest issue that comes from settling, is we often realize that we have settled and then remain stuck because we don’t want to deal with the aftermath of what may happen once things end. Heartbreak is inevitable. However, you can overcome it and you will be surprised by what the future may have in store for you after. There are tons of people out there that will date and treat you the way you want to be treated. Stop settling.
8. Do Not Date People Who Are Emotionally Unavailable
If they cannot take care of themselves, they cannot take care of you. Yes, it may sound selfish, however another persons issues is not your responsibility. As adults we are responsible for the decisions and actions that we make. Emotional unavailability is a very serious thing. Someone who is emotionally unstable can really effect your relationship and your state in a negative very way. You are also not responsible for fixing another human being. When you date people with these issues in hopes that they will change once they have you in their lives, you are giving that person and yourself false hopes and naive expectations.
9. Don’t Ignore The Red Flags
When you date someone and things are already bad in the dating stages, do not expect them get better long term. The issues you face dating a person either become worse or ignored completely when married to them. This is why it is important not to ignore red flags. When dating in your twenties you have to remember to put yourself first and know exactly what you want. Know what you will accept and what you won’t. Date people that actually make an effort to reciprocate, keep you happy and give you peace, not problems.
10. Stop Being Surprised By Repeated Bad Behavior
If you find yourself often repeating your wants, needs or dislikes to your partner when dating in your twenties or feel like you’re talking to a brick wall or perhaps you’re constantly being mistreated by them, then stop being surprised by repeated bad behavior. Learn to accept that some people will never change and move on from them. When people constantly do things that hurt you and you constantly accept it, you are showing them that it is okay for them to continue mistreating you. People don’t change unless they want to change.
11. Dating Is Only One Area Of Your Life
There is so much more to your life than being in a relationship. Don’t allow that to be your only focus. You’re not missing anything, nor are you in lack of anything if you’re not in one. Remember that a person should only be a part of your life, not your whole life. This is a surefire way to not only lose yourself, but them too. When you date or get into a new relationship, it can be really exciting. Yes, you may want to spend all your free time together but remember to be your own individual too. Maintain your hobbies, work, health, friends and family and everything you were committed to before them. Your life should not revolve around someone else’s 24/7.
It can be really easy once you get into a relationship, to adopt the other persons views and lifestyle. This is why a lot of people tend to lose themselves in a relationship. They forget to be their own individual. If you want to make a relationship last, remember to priorities yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
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Alana – Mae