Let me start off by saying this post is a long time coming. There have been so many occasions I wanted to jot down my raw feelings towards dating as a late twenty-something year old. Don’t worry, this post isn’t meant to be a pity party or my moment to hate on men. Quite the contrary. This post is for the single gal who is fed up with dating but never stops searching for her person. It’s for the girl who feels like she’s the only single girl in the room. This post is first and foremost a reminder you are not alone. It may seem like it at the moment, but there are so many single gals (and guys!) in their late twenties waiting to meet you. Keep reading to learn how dating trends have shifted in 2018, how to prepare yourself for finding your match and what to do once you’ve got the guy!
Dating As A Millennial Isn’t Easy
Before we get started, it’s important to know what dating looks like in 2018. The term “dating” has evolved over the years. Entering the dating world after a 6-year span of relationships wasn’t exactly easy for me. In reality, it was a complete shock to the system. It’s amazing how the dating culture can change in a matter of years. In 2018, we live in a fast-paced culture desperately seeking instant gratification. We want it, and we want it now. We are the “swipe right” generation. We are image centered, we want what looks great on Instagram. We replace time spent together with texting. Dinner dates are swapped with drinks and a hookup. For someone looking for a real relationship, it can feel extremely defeating. Is there such thing as a real connection anymore? The answer is yes: but you have to do a bit more digging. Finding a true gentleman is a challenge – but don’t give up the search. To make matters more complicated, we are constantly fed images of happy couples getting engaged, buying homes, getting pregnant and all around living “perfect” lives on social media. Or so it would seem. Social media does a great job of giving you a highlight reel. If you’re a single gal, it can feel alienating to see all these happy couples. Remember no couple is perfect and you never know the struggle they went through to find their mate.
Females Are Waiting To Get Married
Females are more career focused than ever before. Let’s give a round of applause to that. The number of female entrepreneurs is on the rise and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. For this reason alone, we’re seeing females waiting to get married. Let me be the first to say I feel extremely honored to be a part of this movement. With more women trying to balance working full time, going to church, extracurricular activities, visiting family and friends and more, it’s a wonder we have any time to date at all! That’s where online dating comes in handy. Would I rather go out to social gatherings every other night or put on a face mask, make some tea, turn on Netflix and swipe through dating profiles? My inner introvert is rejoicing and choosing the latter. Time is the most valuable commodity and online dating speeds up the process of meeting a large group of singles.
Know Your Worth (+Add Tax)
You want to enter into the dating world. Good for you girl! First and foremost, before you begin the search for a partner you need to have a firm grasp on your worth. If you don’t love and value yourself, chances are you won’t attract people who will. If you’re struggling with self-esteem (we all go through this at some stage of life) it’s important you take the time to build it up before you consider dating. Go to church, see a therapist, read self-improvement books, hangout with friends, ask your mom for advice – whatever works for you. You need to be in a positive, healthy mindset. Trust me, your future partner will thank you for it! Once you reach this place, you won’t settle for anyone who treats you less than.
Get To Know Yourself
Once in a healthy mindset, now it’s time to get to know yourself on a more intimate level. Sure, you know what flavor ice cream is your #1 choice and which Office character is your favorite (Jim). But, do you know your preferred expression of affection? Do you know your level of interdependence or your method of conflict resolution? Do you never know what these words mean? The process of dating is also a process of self realization. You need to know how you operate and what you need to sustain a healthy relationship. The easiest and cost effective way to do that? Take a personality test! If you know me personally you’ll know I’m a personality test junkie. I know I’m an INFP (Myers Briggs) type 2w3 (Enneagram). Dating app Plenty of Fish offers several personality tests that explore your inner depths. The great news? Anyone can download the app and get a better understanding of who they are and what they need. Some of the personality tests include Relationship Chemistry Test (measuring self-confidence, self-control, family orientation, openness and easygoingness), Needs Assessment (interdependence, intimacy, self-efficacy, communication, relationship readiness, conflict resolution, preferred expressions of affection, etc.), Psychological Assessment (accomplishment, physical chemistry, drive). These tests will give you a better understanding of what you need and therefore what you should be looking for.
I’m ready to date. What now?
So you’re ready to enter the dating game. Where the heck do you start? Well, if you’ve got a busy schedule or are an introvert like me, you may want to try online dating! In 2018, online dating is a non-issue. We’re on our phones all the time anyways, might as well be looking for new people to meet. There are so many dating websites and apps available to you – the majority are free! If you’re looking for something specific, it may be easier to go with a dating app with a great filtering system such as Plenty Of Fish. Plenty of Fish allows you to place filters on your matches beyond gender, age and distance. With this system you can filter religious beliefs, height (this is crucial for us 5’10 gals!), desire to get married and have children, smoking and drinking habits and more! These filters alone are timesavers. Once you have a match it’s important to feel them out with a few conversations. Remember: grammar is key! Studies have shown grammar is one of the biggest turn-ons, so polish up on that grammar girl! If you don’t know what to say – ask him a question. People love talking about themselves, so get to know a little about each other. Once you’re ready to meet, remember to keep it simple. Studies show 78% of individuals prefer dates, which are conversation centered versus activity-based. Dates such as dinner, coffee, or a walk allow you to get to know one another through conversation. If you’re typically shy on first dates – remember what my brother told me. If you’re nervous on a date, he’s probably 10x as nervous! If you’re looking for date ideas, or want more information on what’s trending in the dating world you can always check out the Plenty Of Fish blog. They’ve got all the dating hacks you’d ever need to make your date a success. At the end of the day – try to have fun with it! Dating can be a fun experience as long as you don’t take yourself too seriously and most importantly not settle!
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Thank you to Plenty of Fish for sponsoring today’s discussion. As always, all opinions are mine alone.