Dating Isn’t Working For Me, So Here’s How I’m Changing Things Up

The way I’ve dated all these years clearly isn’t working for me, so it’s time for a change. I have to start from the bottom and redo everything from there. It’s tough to break my habits, but this is how I’m trying:

  1. I’m not giving dating so much weight. I used to obsess about guys and waste hours of my day analyzing their every move, especially at the very beginning. Now I’m thinking of dating as a fun pastime that isn’t an essential part of my life. If it goes well, great. If not, I’ll survive. It should be way more enjoyable than I make it anyway.
  2. I’m making it a bonus part of my life. I’m fine not dating. I have a busy and full routine that requires a lot of time and energy. If I get to go out on a date, that’s awesome and fun and cool, but I am just as content staying in on any given night and enjoying the life I already have. It’s all good either way.
  3. I’m taking it much more slowly. I used to jump into dating like a madwoman. I have a hard time finding a guy I really like, so when I do, I get super excited. The problem is that by the time I realize maybe we aren’t the right match, I’m already in too deep. It’s a very real issue and I have to stop moving so quickly.
  4. I give the rest of my life priority. I simply don’t make guys the main focus anymore. It’s never done anything beneficial for me anyway. I keep living as close to the way I always exist as is possible while still making room for a new relationship. This way I don’t crumble if it doesn’t work out.
  5. I don’t put so much pressure on it. I often kill dating vibes by making it too serious, too soon. I’m intense and that doesn’t go over well. I feel like if I meet a guy I like and it doesn’t work out, I’m never going to meet anyone else I like ever again. To be fair, I don’t meet a lot of guys I like, so it’s hard not to make it super important when I do.
  6. I talk instead of hiding my feelings. The lack of ability to bring up issues like an adult has been one of my most detrimental flaws when it comes to dating. I get so anxious and worried that everything will fall apart every time. I’m forcing myself to quit doing this because it only makes things worse.
  7. I bring up my worries immediately. I used to sit on my thoughts and stew until I blew them out of proportion. By the time I brought them up, I was way angrier than I should’ve been. I have to address things right away now so I don’t lose my mind.
  8. I stay out of my head. Yes, this is much easier said than done, but I’m really trying and I’ve made progress. I’m so used to getting deep inside my head and not being able to claw my way out that retraining myself is, quite frankly, a bitch. It definitely takes constant work.
  9. I remind myself not to take it so seriously. I take a lot of stuff too seriously — it’s always been a problem of mine. I’ve actually lightened up as I’ve gotten older but I still gotta keep my intensity in check. I know I can’t change who I am, but I can have more fun with my life.
  10. I treat a new guy like a new friend. Instead of making him the be-all and end-all reason for my self-esteem to dip or soar, I’m a little more chill now. I treat him like someone I just became friends with, because really, aside from the sexual element, what’s the difference? It should be pretty much the same.
  11. I don’t make every fight a huge deal. I’ve never been very good at discerning which issues are worth breaking up over and which aren’t. As a result, I feel like any conflict might be a deal breaker. Now I try to step back and remember that we’re all human, we’re all different, and I can’t expect perfection.
  12. I speak up for myself. That being said, I now speak my mind instead of hiding and running away. There’s no chance of a relationship surviving if the other person doesn’t know how I honestly feel. If I speak up and he just doesn’t give a damn, that’s when I know it’s time to go.
  13. I try to remember that guys can’t read my mind. I used to assume that the right man would understand me so wholly that I’d never need to speak a word. He would know me through and through already. I wish that was true, but in the real world, that’s not going to happen. I have to explain myself.
  14. I have fun with it — that’s how it should be! If dating is a chore, why am I even bothering? I have plenty of chores in my life without adding any more. That’s just silly. Once I stopped worrying about it so much, it became way more enjoyable. Go figure.
  15. I trust my gut instincts. People always say to trust your gut. What they don’t point out is that it can be really tough to figure out the difference between your gut, your head and your heart speaking. That’s especially true when other elements of life make me emotional for any reason. Now I take the time to decipher what’s going on inside me and what my instincts – rather than my issues — are telling me.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.
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