Dating can be complicated, tedious and exhausting. Maybe that's why so many people hate it. If your #RelationshipGoals are similar to Liz Lemon's, these eight tips can help:
1. Cut yourself some slack.
If you're nervous before a first date, that can actually be a good thing. It means you care enough to make a good first impression. Luckily, you don't have to be perfect. One date won't make or break your love life. So take a deep breath, give yourself a pep talk and get out there.
2. Don't mistake textual chemistry for emotional intimacy.
Relationship expert Dr. Monica O'Neal told A Plus, "Dating apps and texting can create the illusion of intimacy," which may make it seem "only the good relationships come from an immediate, witty, written banter." That's often not true because real "compatibility reveals itself over time."
So wait until you've gone on an actual date with your pen pal before planning your wedding.
3. Be selective, not picky.
April Beyer, CEO of a personal matchmaking and relationship consulting firm called Beyer & Company, told A Plus, "Selective is knowing how you'd like to be treated and being picky is having a list of superficial wants that have nothing to do with how a [person] might add to your life and happiness."
She encourages daters to lose their list of ideal S.O. qualities, because focusing solely on what you think you want can close you off to unexpected possibilities.
4. Go on more dates ... with the same person.
First dates often don't result in fireworks, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a second or third one. Try Aziz Ansari's Flo Rida Theory of Acquired Likability Through Repetition and go on multiple dates with the same person before deciding whether or not they have long-term potential. In Ansari's experience, each new date was better than the last and his "acquired likability" for the other person grew.
5. Ditch small talk for "The Rundown."
The whole point of dating is trying to discover a genuine connection with another person. That's not going to happen if you spend the entire time talking about the weather. "Be inquisitive about what matters most," Beyer told A Plus. "Dating can be draining when you're asking the typical 20 questions in an effort to qualify someone."
Instead of exchanging resumes, use Starlee Kine's The Rundown to drive your date conversation towards interesting and meaningful topics.
6. Share experiences, not popcorn at the movie theater.
Getting dinner and a movie is a reliable dating standby, but that's why it's boring. While getting coffee or drinks is fine for a first date, your second and third dates should be more tailored to your personalities. Use your common interests to plan something exciting and unconventional.
7. The only way to get what you want is to ask for it.
For people who hate dating, the whole point of dating is (ironically) to stop doing it as quickly as possible. If you're looking for a significant other, don't pretend you're okay with a casual hookup (and vice versa). Relationship expert Dr. Logan Levkoff told A Plus, "Don't play games. Be honest about what you want out of a relationship and a partnership."
8. Don't be afraid to cancel.
If you're suffering from dating burnout or otherwise feel reluctant to meet someone, don't force yourself to go. "You can't find love unless you're willing and actually looking forward to the dating process, Beyer told A Plus. "No way around it, nor should there be."
If you're not into it, your date will sense that, and neither of you will have fun. When you need it, give yourself some alone time to refocus and figure out what you want.
Cover image via Unsplash