Hey, Psych2Goers! What kind of dater are you? Online or in-person? How many dates do you go on before deciding to put a label on things? You might have dated in the past, but nothing ever really came of it. Maybe you got out of a long-term relationship and needed to work on yourself for a while. Now that you have, you’re ready to get back on the horse again, as it were.
It’s important to remember that dating and a relationship are not necessarily the same thing. Although, one can certainly lead to the other. Dating can be casual, or it can be serious. That all depends on you!
Here are ‘5 Signs You’re Ready To Date’!
Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes and is based on personal opinions. This post is not a substitute for professional advice, but general guidance. We advise you to always listen to your intuition and always do what is right for you.
#1. You’re A Little Anxious
It’s perfectly natural to be hit with anxiety when going on a date. Especially if you don’t know each other well. And double-especially if it’s a first date. You’re allowed to be nervous. If you’re nervous, chances are they are too. It’s important to remember that. Getting to know someone can be scary. You might have a hundred questions that you want to ask, but which won’t be immediately answered all at once.
If you feel that anxiety, it probably means that you care. It’s not fun for anyone to go on a date with someone who’s not invested in how it goes. Then you’re just wasting each other’s time. If you’re feeling anxious, take that as a good sign. If you want things to go well, that’s a good first step in the right direction. Hopefully the other person cares just as much as you do.
#2. You’re Also Excited
Going on dates should be fun! There’s no point in putting yourself out there, if the idea of dating isn’t exciting to you in the first place. Going out to an arcade or catching a movie together ideally should be fun. Particularly, if you often frequent these spaces alone. Sharing something you both enjoy is a good indicator that the date is going well. Keep it up!
According to clinical psychologist & marriage counselor, Randi Gunther, PHD: “Confidence comes from success, but it can also come from building resilience through continuous honing of your approach.”
Taking a date to one of your favourite spots can be very exciting. This is also a good test to know whether or not you want a second date with them. If dating doesn’t create excitement, then you’ve likely already decided that you won’t have any fun. And you probably won’t. Your date likely won’t either. Your excitable energy can also help balance out your anxious energy.
#3. You’ve Created Time In Your Schedule
Dating can be something that takes up a lot of your time. Especially if you’re someone who likes to date a lot. It’s important in your life that you’re able to balance schoolwork and a job. On top of eating three meals a day, exercising when you can, and spending time with friends as needed.
People who aren’t ready to date will oftentimes say they have no time. There are only so many hours in the day. You make time for what’s important to you. If you’re going out of your way to carve time for dating, that’s a very good sign.
#4. You Can Financially Sustain It
If only grabbing drinks was free. Tis to dream! Dating can cost money. Depends how fancy your tastes are, of course. If you’re someone who likes to go on a lot of dates, you’ll need to be prepared to pay the bill. If you’re lucky, your date may offer to pay! Which is a great feeling! Score! It’s important that you’re prepared to spend money.
Even if your date insists on paying, offering to pay, especially because you’ve budgeted for this, will most likely be appreciated. Fear not however, as you can also go on dates that cost little-to-nothing. It is possible! Sometimes the cheaper and more creative dates are better and more memorable anyway!
#5. You’ve Managed Your Expectations
If you’re a real romantic, you might put all your eggs in this one-date-basket. This could put a lot of undue pressure on yourself. You might even go so far as to sabotage yourself because your expectations are so high. It’s important to keep these expectations calibrated at a medium level that’s manageable.
A lot less pressure is put on dates if you’ve managed your expectations accordingly. If a date unfortunately doesn’t go well, it’s not the end of the world. Even if in that very moment, it feels like it. You’re not the only one. The idea of dating in general is to try relaxing and have fun. Although that might be easier said than done. Cross your fingers that it goes well, but if not, hopefully you can shrug it off and try again!
There’s no real formula for success with dating. Everyone has a different experience. Dating can be a good starter for a relationship, but it doesn’t have to be, and it may not be. Going on a date with someone doesn’t mean you have to go out with them again. Remember that.
Try your best. That’s all you can ask for.
If you’re working your way through dating and are now ready for a relationship, please watch our previous video: ‘7 Signs You Are Ready For A Relationship’.
’15 Questions to Help You Decide You’re Ready To Date Again’ by Randi Gunther (November 30th, 2016) https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/rediscovering-love/201611/15-questions-help-you-decide-youre-ready-date-again
‘Signs You’re Ready To Date Again After A Breakup’ by Julia Naftulin (May 26th, 2021) https://www.insider.com/signs-you-are-ready-to-date-again-after-breakup-advice-2021-5