Whether you’ve just gotten out of a long-term relationship, been single for a while, or want to revamp your approach to finding romance, jumping into the dating scene is daunting. With so many options and so little time, it’s never been easier to meet new people or harder to find something that lasts. No matter what your goals are, here is some of the best relationship advice for women that all of us could do with following.
- Put yourself out there. The only way to meet new people and figure out if you have chemistry is to get outside your normal routine. Broadcast your availability wherever you can. Join a dating app, ask your friends if they know anyone they can set you up with, and initiate conversations with people you meet. You can’t sit around at home waiting for the perfect partner to fall into your lap. You have to be proactive, no matter how awkward it feels at first.
- Don’t wait around for anyone’s games. If a person ghosts you or plays it hot and cold, do not waste your time. Giving someone second and third chances after they string you along or say they want to see other people when you’ve been clear that you want to be exclusive is setting you up for constant disappointment. If they want to be with you, they’ll have to prove it with consistent, meaningful action. When it comes to the best relationship advice for women, this is at the top of the list.
- Know your dealbreakers. There are some traits that you cannot accept in a partner. These are different for everyone, but knowing yours will give you a convenient checklist by which to evaluate a new match. Whether it’s smoking, rudeness to restaurant staff, or bragging, your dealbreakers will be an easily-identifiable reason to walk away. In the end, having them will save you a lot of time.
- Know your green flags. Knowing what you are looking for is a crucial yet underrated factor in finding the right person. There is no one-size-fits-all partner. You may care about a person’s compassion more than their ambition, or humor over looks. Your green flags may be practical as well, such as someone who has a similarly flexible work schedule to yours so that you can go on vacation at a moment’s notice. Your green flags will give you specific things to look for when you meet someone.
- Keep an open mind. While it’s important to know what you do and don’t want, you should also be open to surprises. Refusing to date anyone who isn’t your type limits your pool of potential partners. You should be especially open to dating people who don’t fit your criteria if you’ve had a string of unsatisfying relationships because you may not know what your type is. The love of your life may be beyond the scope of your imagination.
- Give it time. No one wants to be patient when they’re desperate to find love. This is particularly true if you feel your biological clock ticking. But love can’t be rushed. Holding yourself to a timeline will only make you hasty, unfocused, and prone to bad decisions. Follow the advice outlined here, take a deep breath, and let go of the carefully-constructed plan you had for yourself.
- Keep first dates casual. Going out to dinner for a first date is way too much pressure. Expectations will be impossibly high, you won’t feel relaxed in such a formal setting, and you’ll struggle to find a quick exit if things aren’t feeling right. Limiting first dates to a coffee in the middle of the day or a quick drink after work ensures that you will be able to leave at any time and that you won’t waste too much energy on one date.
- Don’t waste your time chasing dead ends. Perhaps the best piece of relationship advice for women out there. If you ask anyone what their biggest regret is, they will likely reference a relationship that they stayed in for too long. They thought they could change or fix their partner, or become the person they wanted them to be. But none of those things are achievable. Do not waste your time trying to repair a relationship that has never been whole. It will fill you with regret.
- You should never question whether someone likes you. If they don’t make it abundantly clear that they like you, assume they don’t. Do not waste your time trying to figure out if a person is into you. Their actions will tell you everything you need to know. When someone is in love, they can’t hide it. You should never settle for someone who does not make you feel loved and wanted every single day.
- Follow your own standards. You can end up in a very unhappy place if you try to make other people happy. You have no obligation to date the person your parents or your friends or your boss or society thinks you should date. Only you can determine who is right for you. Take advice from people whose opinions you trust, but never ignore your instincts to make other people happy.
While relationship advice, whether for women or men, is never one size fits all, there are some principles we can all stand to follow and the above is a good place to start. Dating is tough for all of us, but it can be slightly less complicated if we learn to act in our own best interests.