– dating columnist
Dating can leave you with a rollercoaster of emotions.
Is Tinder the right app for me? What if I stuff it up? Do I shave absolutely everything down there for the first time we do it? With the right mindset, it can actually be a very healthy Saturday night activity. Some people are lucky to marry their high school sweetheart or meet the love of their lives at a young age, but there are so many more of us who experience a series of dates in their 20s or 30s to meet the right person. And it’s actually healthy AF. Here’s why:
Each person you meet is a lesson
The reality of dating is that with each person you meet, you’ll either break up or marry them. Some may think it’s a ‘waste of time’ investing time into people who aren’t going to be in their future. However, each person you meet can teach you something new.
Maybe it’s an introduction to new friends, a new and unique hobby, or a different outlook on life. If you take the time to find the lesson, you can turn ‘mediocre’ dates into something quite sensational. One of the greatest gifts I received from someone I dated was an introduction to self-development. Even though there was no romantic spark, he opened my eyes to a whole new world of learning.
It’s great for self-discovery
Dating is a great way to understand what kind of partner you are and the type of partner that is right for you. It can also help you uncover what you need from your partner.
The key takeaway is: If you know what you need from your partner, you can communicate it. This is the foundation of healthy love, and yet this is something many singles struggle with. It comes with dating experience. The more you date, the sooner you can figure out what you need.
If you’re doing some self-discovery, take the time to reflect after each date.
Here are some questions to help you get started:
What are you like when you first get into a relationship?
What are you like when you leave a relationship?
When do you feel the most secure in a relationship?
When do you feel the most vulnerable?
What triggers your insecurity?
What can someone do to help you manage your insecurities?
What makes you feel ‘at home’ with someone?
How would your dates describe you?
I’m a strong believer that you learn the quickest when things don’t go your way. And in dating, this could mean a breakup, a guy ‘ghosting’ you, or a great relationship fizzling out. Going through the highs and lows of dating gives you the life experience you wouldn’t get anywhere else. It makes you a better dater, and with the right mindset it can shape you into a better person. Every setback is life experience and if you can embrace it, you will come out so much stronger.
And besides, you are never alone. In a seminar I attended, a man called Dr. Demartini said something that resonated with me: “Where there’s a challenge in your life, there will always be people to support you.” Next time you hit a snag in your love life, look for support. It’s always there.
You learn that rejection can be a friend
Healthy dating comes with rejection. It’s almost inevitable if you are serious about making yourself open to love. The first few blows can be daunting, but it depends on how you receive it. As I mentioned before, you’re either going to break up or marry them. Almost everyone you meet is not going to be right for you, and that’s the idea of dating. You meet a tonne of people so that you can meet that one person to share your life with. Rejection is just a part of the journey. If you learn not to take it so personally, rejection can be a friend. Every relationship that doesn’t work out just brings you closer to the one that will.
It helps you build a growth mindset
I’ve coached many single women, but the ones who have found success in love are those who worked on building a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset means seeing every set-back as an opportunity. Instead of thinking that all men are taken, someone with a growth mindset will see that good men are everywhere. And they will actively seek evidence to support those ideas.
While someone will say that she will never find her ‘one’, someone with a growth mindset will say that the love of her life is on his way. The benefits of a growth mindset can flow into other areas of your life. If you can create a growth mindset in your love life, you’ll be able to apply the same principles to your career, family and social life.
We are, at heart, social beings. Dating brings us connections we may not have in our day-to-day lives, but you can only reap the benefits of dating with the right mindset. Your thoughts create your reality. If you’re thinking that dating is pointless or that all the good ones are taken, you will constantly be looking for situations and men that fulfil those ideas. Download the free Attraction Mindset course to help you build a mindset ready to attract love.