There are so many ways to begin this article. The mainstream way is to go the know-it route like your usual internet blog on ‘dating tips I wish I knew’.
However, I choose to settle for a more personal route. I’ll tell you a little of what dating has been like for me and maybe you can learn from it like I did (or not, I never followed random tips from strangers either).
4 Dating Tips I Wish I Knew
Tip Number 1: Don’t pick a Dick
Seems pretty basic, no? But you know as well as I do sis, that for some of you unavailability is still a turn-on. Don’t get me wrong. If you wish to be mutually unavailable, then by all means go for it. But if you’re expecting roses to bloom in a desert, knowing full well it’s a desert, then you need to reassess.
The 17-year-old me decided to bloom roses in a desert despite knowing it was a desert. Needless to say, it didn’t go well. It took me a while to learn that blooming roses in a desert attracted me because of my attachment issues. Healing from attachment issues has been a work in progress for me.
But what helped me is this: ‘At some point, self-respect has to outweigh feelings.’
Tip Number 2: Communicate
No, talking does not kill the moment. Talking is important. And never let your partner kiss you out of your opinions.
Have that conversation even if you feel the urge to have it in the middle of a moment.
The younger me didn’t know better. Turns out I could have saved myself a heartbreak if I didn’t put off a conversation I needed to have.
It’s very easy.
‘What are we?’
Or if you’re not fond of labels, ‘Where is this going?’
Tip Number 3: Pay your own damn bills
I’m aware that archaic rules set some unspoken precedent of a man always paying. If you’re a woman reading this, think for yourself. We want women’s empowerment, right? We want to be treated as equals. But where do such thoughts lead us if we cannot even foot our own bills?
Girl, we already have enough men blaming us for going after money some of them do not even have. It’s hilarious that patriarchy expects women to sit back at home with men as bread earners but do not let us off the hook for being ‘gold diggers’.
I’m grateful that the younger me did this bit right. I was owed but I never owed a man a penny.
Who pays on the first date?
Well, if both of you don’t offer to pay, none of you was brought up right. If they foot one bill, make sure you foot the other.
Tip Number 4: Invest in guaranteed returns
How do they know if they like you? There is one and only one definite answer to this question. If they like you, they’ll tell you.
Do not delude yourself into falling for ‘hints’ and vice versa. If you like someone, do the other person a favour and let them know the magnitude of your interest.
Do not be scared to make the first move, go for it. However, leave if you do not see the other person returning your investment of effort by making an effort themselves. This is what I mean by investing in guaranteed returns. Go where your energy is reciprocated.
When I was younger, I felt left out because a lot of my classmates were dating and I wasn’t. So I hurried into dating the first person who persistently pursued me for a while without assessing their intentions. I learned from it. I take my time now.
I want you to know that finding a partner is not all there is to life. You’re worth more, and I hope you see it too.
The views expressed are the author’s own.
Suggested Reading: When It Comes To Dating Advice, Why Is It Always Women Who Must Improve?