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Mastering the Dating Game: Tips and Tricks for Successful Dating

Dating can often feel like a game, and one that is rigged against you. In a world where we are more connected than ever through the internet, social media, 24-hr news outlets, we often feel more disconnected than ever. This disconnection has impacted dating culture leaving some feeling discouraged at finding their person. However, dating can be a positive experience, despite its challenges. In this blog, we will discuss a few tips that can lead to a more successful dating experience.


         What are your values? Taking time to think about what your values are before entering the dating world can help bring you clarity as you look for a potential partner. Values play a very important role in relationships. They help guide our decision-making when life throws us obstacles and challenges. Values help steer us back on path when life feels directionless. Our values also give potential partners an inside look as to what we cherish in life and what means the most to us. Take some time to reflect on your values and see what comes to mind. Perhaps it is trust, being family-oriented, the desire to have children, honesty, growth, or being goal-oriented. Discover your values and let them help guide you in your search for your future partner.


         Dating apps. There may be no other greater impact on dating culture than dating apps. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Bagel meets Coffee, Plenty of Fish…the list goes on and on. Swipe left, swipe right. Like, no like…SUPER LIKE! Dating apps are not inherently bad. Many people are on dating apps and there are plenty of success stories. The experience of dating apps is heavily dependent on how they are used (though, not always). With the click of a button, you can swipe through dozens of “candidates” and connect with multiple matches. Before you know it, you are having conversations with multiple people simultaneously. However, most people have better success when the focus is on quality rather than quantity. When you connect with someone on the app, focus on getting to know them and only them. Spreading yourself thin and talking and dating to multiple people at one time can sometimes create more confusion and stress for yourself. Dating with the intent of getting to know one person at a time and not being distracted by the next match that pops up can provide a better quality in the dating experience of using apps.


         Communicate. Like the title of this blog, dating can often feel like a game. Questions like “What do I want?”, “What do they want?”, “Are they into me?”, “What did they mean by that?” can pop up as you start to date someone. The dating game becomes confusing and stressful leaving some to wonder what to do. Let your date know your intentions, whether that is something serious or more casual. Letting them know your boundaries sets the stage for what to expect as you both get to know each other. If you are genuinely interested in what they are saying, let them know through non-verbal cues or asking further questions. Playing it cool is fine, but not letting the other person have any idea what you are feeling can create some confusion. The more communication there is in dating, the less stressed and confused you are likely to feel. 

         As you enter the dating world, remember to know your values. They’re like a map that can help direct and steer where you go and who you go with. If you are on dating apps, awesome! Most everyone else is too. But keeping your focus on one potential match at a time can create a much better dating experience with more connection. Communicate with your date. Don’t be afraid to let them know your intentions, boundaries, and desires in a future relationship. Being honest upfront can save you from potential problems in the future.

Written by: Dr. Austin Shugart, LPC

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