Whether you’re dating online, have given it up completely, or you’re crushing on someone who may or may not know you exist, the first part of a relationship can be tricky territory. You don’t know if he’s seeing someone else and you’re not sure if you should be, too. Maybe you’ve been single for a long time and you’re not sure if you want to throw yourself into anything again. If you’re worried about falling too hard, too fast (because you always do with a new boo), here’s how to get away without feelings. It’s a foolproof guide to avoiding heartbreak when you’re not even in a real relationship.
Pretend you’re immune to everything. It’s easy enough, since compliments creep you and PDA makes you squeamish. Much like an STD, feelings are easy enough to avoid if you’re abstinent. It’s a fake it ’til you make it mentality and eventually you’ll start to not care.
Actively avoid dating. Your mother will call and ask if you’ve met anyone and threaten to set you up with strangers. Your ex will loom in the distance, carefully noting how single you look on Instagram. Disregard. Keep Tinder for the lolz, but do not engage.
Don’t take app dating so seriously. At the end of the day, while apps have led to long lasting relationships, using your phone to find love is about as romantic as using it to find food. While plenty of guys and girls are on there looking for something real, an equal amount are hoping for human delivery.
Realize that love doesn’t always happen when you least expect it. Unfortunately, all of the movies have led us to believe that the second you stop looking for *the one* he’ll magically appear in front of you. IRL, if you spend your days in the office and your nights with Netflix, you’re never going to meet anyone. Yes, this is a foolproof way to avoid falling for someone, but it also means that you’re never going to meet anyone except your food delivery dude.
Don’t get ahead of yourself. Even if you truly avoid dating, eventually you’re going to have to go out with someone. This will either happen when A. a boy in a bar breaks down your defenses (said someone is sponsored by Jack Daniels, the key to all your bad decisions) or B. When you finally break down and go on some kind of app date because you saw way too many engagement announcements on your Facebook feed. Pick your poison–Hinge, Happn, or there’s always good old fashioned Tinder if you’re truly looking for your Prince Charming.
Understand that he’s probably seeing other people. Even if you’re spending so much time together you’re sure he doesn’t even have time to look at someone else, unless you’ve specifically talked about being exclusive, you’re not. Maybe he’s still texting an ex or maybe he’s swiping away. Whatever it is, you have to be aware that it’s probably happening. That doesn’t mean you have no future, but it does mean that he hasn’t committed to you yet.
Take a step back when you feel yourself catching a case of the feels. There’s no way to be completely numb, and that negates the whole falling in love thing, but if you prevent yourself from picturing your perfect babies and avoid telling everyone you’ve ever met about your new BF, you’ll be a lot less devastated if things fall apart.
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