Five pieces of advice I wish I knew about dating in my 20s
If you’ve been single at any point in your 20s, chances are you’ve had your fair share of awkward, cringe-worthy or disappointing moments. If you’ve found yourself regretting your dating decisions one too many times, the following is some pieces of advice that you probably wish you knew earlier.
Date multiple people at once
Hear me out. In the age of online dating, most people are keeping their options open and dating more than one person. It gives you more chances to find the right person and weed out the duds. However there should be a line drawn – if the other person thinks you’re exclusively dating, I'd advise against leading them on or lying about that.
Also do what makes sense for you. If multiple dates means a new date every single night of the week, you’ll be so exhausted you won’t have the energy if the perfect date does come along.
Always organise the first date at a bar
If you’ve ever been stuck on an awkward dinner date with no means of escape, I feel you. Organising a date at a bar is casual, low-committal and means you can bail early if it’s going terribly wrong. Plus, there will be lot of people around in case you feel like you’re in an unsafe situation. If someone asks you to come over straight away for Netflix and chill, let that be a warning sign.
…but don’t get too wasted
It can be tempting when you’re feeling nervous, but getting super drunk on the first date is often a bad idea. If you’re actually going out on a date to find out if you’d like to continue seeing this person, you can’t really make an accurate assessment if you can’t even remember the date. A few drinks are fine to take the edge off, but make sure food is involved or things could get messy.
Don’t force something if there are red flags in the early stages
If you’ve only just started dating someone and you’re already making excuses for them, tread cautiously. Finding someone who you share chemistry with who is an overall charming person can be quite rare, so you’ll probs be keen to keep dating. But watch out for the red flags – they might constantly want to talk about their recent ex or they might have temper issues and already be snapping at you. You’re worth more than anyone who doesn’t treat you well, so don’t ignore these warning signs.
Don’t take rejection personally
Not everyone will want to date you and that’s totally fine. If someone starts ghosting you or breaks up with you, don’t let the first thought be “What’s wrong with me?” Not everyone will be your cup of tea either and if either of you aren’t feeling it, it probably means you’re just not compatible and it's not worth forcing it. Breakups can be tough, but each wrong person you date will eventually lead you to someone who is so much more right for you.