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6 Pieces of Dating Advice

Dating is hard. Love is precious. Meshing the two together is a rare and fragile process. Here’s some wisdom to make the road less bumpy.

1. Worry less about if they like you. Do you even like them?

You are not for everyone, and not everyone is for you. There are over 7 billion people in the world. Not everyone is going to like you. But even more noteworthy is that you won’t like everyone, either. This is more than okay. This is how you’re able to recognize that pure and special love when it reveals itself to you. Take note of the way others make you feel. Do you feel good when you’re around them? Do you look forward to spending time with them? Or, is there something about them you can’t quite articulate that stresses you out? You don’t have to actively dislike someone to understand that they’re not good for you. 

2. Outline your values. Seek compatibility.

Love and dating can be approached like an equation. Finding someone of equal value creates a balanced solution. You do this by understanding your own expectations and needs first. What are you looking for in a partner? What do you want out of life? Make note of your non-negotiables and flexibilities. List what you treasure most— family, work, adventure, spirituality, perhaps— and tattoo them on your heart so you never forget. Find someone who upholds similar values, seeks comparable goals, and lives their life in a way that compliments your own. Your perfect partner exists. They’re the person you always feel comfortable around, no matter what, who is always on your side, no matter what. 

Man playing guitar for woman on rooftop

3. Choose what also chooses you.

Reciprocated love is wise love. Be with someone who gives you the caliber of love that you give them. You are the prize, not an option. Chasing someone who doesn’t prioritize you is an exhausting and slow upward climb. And someone else’s approval and validation doesn’t make your decisions for you. What should you do when you realize you aren’t being chosen, or even more confusingly, being half-chosen? Uphold your standards. Be thoughtful with your time and energy. Reroute accordingly. You have so much to offer. Be with someone who sees that.

4. When patterns appear, believe them.

The saying is cliche because it’s true: actions speak louder than words. People show you who they are through their behaviors. Sit back and gently observe. See if what they’re doing matches what they’re saying. Loving the right way comes with defined, thoughtful action. Being honest with yourself about what’s really going on in front of you helps to protect your heart and your time. When real love is at play, the games all fade away.

5. Let your guard down. Dating should be fun.

Why go to the trouble of dating if you aren’t going to enjoy yourself a little? Extracting as much joy as you possibly can from every experience is what life is about. Step out of fear. Dare to put yourself out there. Remove your battle shield. Lean into honest transparency. Unclench your jaw and say yes to new experiences. Your flaws and vulnerabilities are just as lovable as the rest of you. Go forward with only the intention of enjoying yourself. Once you start feeling good, everything gets easier. Choosing love is choosing yourself. 

Man and woman playing Jenga

6. Understand that romantic love is not everything.

Dating is an experience. It’s not who you are. It doesn’t determine your worth. Take the pressure off. Romantic love is exciting and important, but it’s not everything. Your happiness does not depend on it. In fact, you flourish and bloom without it. There are so many other beautiful complexities and divine rarities that make up who you are. You are light. You are love itself. Romantic love and dating is just an extra, sweet layer threading through your journey. When you come home you open a door to yourself and no one else.

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