10 Rules to Dating When You’re Looking for a Serious Relationship

Trying to find a good, healthy and serious relationship is not easy. Read our guide and find out about 10 rules to dating when you are looking for a true long-term partnership with someone you love! It’s important to know what you’re looking for when embarking on a journey into the dating world. You should sit yourself down and think about where you are in life. You should also be aware of the signs that define a healthy relationship as this will help you recognize whether the other person is right for you or not.

So, let’s analyze your situation and think how you should proceed:

Have you gotten out of a committed relationship recently and you’re simply not ready to date yet? This is perfectly normal! You can distance yourself from meeting potential partners and focus on yourself. It might be healthier for you as well. You will not hurt yourself further and will spare the feelings of the other person who could become invested in you and thus heartbroken if you find that you are unable to be with anyone now.

Are you desperately looking for any kind of partner, hookup or just person to be around to help your loneliness? You might want to rethink if this is really the healthiest approach for you.

Have you been focusing on fun, sleeping with many people, going on hundreds of dates, collecting experiences? Keep in mind that you should make this clear to your date, in case they are hoping to find love. But there is nothing wrong about this, as long as you are comfortable with it! Flings are great for exploring who you are, making memories and living a life full of adventure. If done for the right reasons, this may be a period that you will later think back to with a small tear in your eye!

Have you never been in a real relationship so you’re looking for anyone who will give you time and attention? Be aware of your worth – not everyone will find their soulmate so quickly! Some will need to be more patient but it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. And you want to find the right person, correct? Sometimes, good things take time. And other times, what you want the most will come to you when you’re least expecting it!

The 10 rules to dating presented in this article are for you if you are serious about looking for a committed relationship!

Finally, have you been trying to find a serious relationship but can’t find the right person that you would want to spend your life with? Perhaps your dates are looking for different things that are not compatible with your expectations. Maybe you have nothing in common or you find them dull, unattractive or inappropriate. Maybe they are not your type, they’re pushy, irritable or you don’t click. It’s possible that they don’t meet your sexual needs, or they come across as creepy, or clingy. The list of traits or behaviors that could be not working is basically endless. Some things could indicate that your standards are too high and you’re dismissing everyone.

This may be due to a number of reasons – you might be in love with someone else, comparing your dates to them or you’re afraid of getting close to someone. But, at the same time, the goal is to find a person that makes you feel good so you shouldn’t force yourself to continue if they put you off. Your feelings and comfort are key.

10 Rules to Dating

crop couple with longboard in park posing for 10 rules to dating
Photo by Tim Samuel on Pexels.com

Dating Rule #1: Know your boundaries and don’t be afraid to set them!

This will come in handy on many occasions as you go on various dates and its importance can’t be underestimated. You can avoid a lot of disappointment, hurt and misunderstandings in the future. What exactly is hiding behind the term ‘setting boundaries’? It means voicing your opinions, preferences, likes/dislikes, beliefs, behavior, privacy and so on. You should be upfront about what is comfortable for you and what crosses some lines. Of course, you shouldn’t be mad if someone doesn’t know these beforehand and doesn’t predict that something could be hurtful, offensive or inappropriate in your mind. It’s best to approach it with an open mind and open MOUTH – speak up and make these things clear.

However, as Leslie Malchy advises, you should not be overly rigid about some of your likes, dislikes, stuff you will or won’t ever do, as it may cause you to miss out on opportunities, chances and experiences. If a conflict or disagreement arises, it can also be valuable, since it lets you see how your date responds to having someone else say ‘no’ to them, whether they listen, try to argue or dispute you, or ignore your words, maybe even dismissing them as stupid or irrelevant.

Dating Rule #2: If they are looking for something else, do not drag it on or mislead them.

You may find out, at different points when you’re going out and getting to know each other, that the stage they are on in life does not correspond to yours. Or, their beliefs are totally opposite to yours and you disagree on, for example, religion, social issues, how you view marriage, having children, what being faithful means to you. If the disagreement concerns critical issues like these and this is something that you believe in firmly, leaving no room for negotiation or giving it time, it will simply be better to call it off until either of you gets too attached.

If you feel like, for whichever reason, the relationship is going nowhere and has no chance of fulfilling you completely, do not waste your or their time. Be clear about why you’re ending it between you two – don’t just go MIA, hoping they will leave you alone and get over it eventually.

Dating Rule #3: It may not be the right time to date; give yourself some space!

Whenever you feel nervous or stressed about something, like your behavior or appearance, even if it’s just done subconsciously, it might not be the best time to meet people. You may need to get more relaxed and confident with yourself. Maybe you need to work on yourself, your hobbies, straighten out your life, work or family relations. Whatever you do, before you are prepared to dedicate yourself to someone else, it might be necessary to take a break and fix your problems first. This is one of our 10 rules to dating that might be difficult to follow. After all, you could think that this advice is not helping you in dating. But following this tip enables you to find the right person to date.

Dating Rule #4: Try to figure out how they make you feel

When you’re with them, do you feel lighter, at ease and able to share your thoughts freely? While sometimes you may encounter them when they are at their worst or you might fight or disagree, you should generally feel good when you’re around them? It is key for you to not be intimidated or afraid of them but also should not let small things interfere or discourage you from spending more time with them. If you are feeling happy around them, it is an indicator that you develop a real sense of faith and love for them.

Dating Rule #5: Understand that getting in a real relationship might take time

Put in the time and effort to truly get to know someone. The more you know about them, the easier it will be for you to choose if they are your dream partner or just one of many dates. Don’t rush anything if you are not ready for it. You do not need to have sex on the first date if it doesn’t feel right. You do not need to meet their parents or friends if it’s too soon for you. There is no need to invite them to your house or go on a weekend trip after just a few days of knowing each other. And it’s perfectly fine if these things seem too rushed for you.

Take the time that you need and, if they are not ready for something, also let them take the relationship forward one step at a time. Don’t forget that trying to rush anything might break the thing that is between you. You may end up in a vicious circle of endless first, second and third dates, without additional progress.

Dating Rule #6: Keep a positive attitude and an open mind

Here we are, halfway through our list of 10 rules to dating! This one is something you should keep in mind beyond dating as it can give your life more variety and happiness! Don’t get discouraged by rejection or having to wait and search for a long time before you find the person you click with. Go on dates and don’t refuse them because it feels like you will not get along. There are so many surprises waiting for you around every corner, why not give it a try and see how it goes?

Dating Rule #7: Don’t dwell on the past

It’s probably not a good idea to go on a date with a new person if you just broke up with someone and are feeling hurt or vulnerable. You might want to start dating someone else for the sake of getting your ex angry or making them jealous. You may be hoping that getting hooked on a new love interest is the way to go. That somehow you will get over your ex by falling in love again. Unfortunately, probably to your great dismay, it rarely works out like this.

The most long-lasting solution is time. You need to allow yourself to have space to fall out of love and make peace with your past experiences. Another person will not be your medicine. Also, refrain from telling elaborate stories about your ex while on a date, be it stuff that was painful and unfair or stories filled with intimacy, closeness and feeling ecstatic.

Dating Rule #8: Venture into the world of dating!

Depending on your personality type, you could be unsure as to the right path to take when trying to meet strangers. For instance, extroverts and introverts will have different needs and capabilities. Someone who is rather shy and struggles when having to talk to people they don’t know is less likely to attend a party and be easy-going and affectionate in such an environment. A viable alternative to this are online dating apps where the pool of possible dates and encounters is much broader. It also doesn’t require users to speak to others face to face.

We know that meetings can be overwhelming and often nerve-racking but aim to conquer whatever negative feelings you have. The more you calm down, the greater your odds of meeting someone are. If you are not into dating online, consider ways like making connections among your friends or friends of friends. You might also expand the scene to your favorite activities or hobbies, which enhances the chance to meet someone with similar interests. If you enjoy yoga, then see if you find someone you like in the class and then speak to them. You do not need to be limited to the classics, like school, college or work.

Dating Rule #9: Never compromise your safety

Trust your emotions – if something doesn’t feel right, don’t go through with it. If you get a disturbing vibe from your date, politely excuse them and leave. Do not invite people home if you don’t know them. Let one of your friends know who you’re meeting and where you’re going. You can find detailed information in our article on staying safe when dating.

Dating Rule #10: Above all, trust yourself!

You should rely on your gut and making decisions that suit no one else but you. Maybe your friend doesn’t like your new boyfriend but it is you who is dating him, not that friend. Someone else can disapprove of your relationship, try to give you advice or convince you to end it. Only do it if you think the advice is right. You would be beating yourself up about it if you decided to break up with someone because you trusted a friend, then found out the friend was only doing it because they wanted to have a chance with your now-ex.

Make your own mistakes and learn your own lessons!

We hope these 10 rules to dating will help you rearrange your dating life and find exactly who you are looking for!

Is there anything else that you would add to these 10 rules to dating, something that truly turned your mindset around? Tell us!

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