Hey! After browsing through GAG for a long time (even when I wasn't a user), I figured I'd share some thoughts on dating. These are different rules, thoughts and anything in between that I take into account when I date. This is obviously not a 100% comprehensive list, and if you want to add something, feel free to do so.
1. Anything but a hell yes is a no
Have you ever asked someone out just to have them answer "Maybe" or "I'll think about it" or "I'll check my schedule and get back to you"? Well, in most cases, when someone you're interested in gives you anything but a "hell yes", it's a no. I see so many young people struggling to understand this, because "What if" and "But Jonn, she's special, she's not like the others!". Well, I hate to break it to you, but 9/10 times, she or he is just like the others. And if you think long and hard about it, you aren't very different. When you don't want to do something, you subtly tell people off in a number of ways, one of which being a confusing response. And in the 1/10 cases where the person is just shy, socially awkward etc. Then really think about whether you want to take things further with someone who's already struggling with answering a "Do you wanna go out" question.
2. Don't take rejection personally
Mostly a follow up question to my first point, but do not take rejection personally. If a relationship fails, take it as an experience and move on. Do not get stuck in the "Was I not good enough" circle or any other circle for that matter. If you had a bad ex and a bad relationship, doing this will also just make them "win" and have that mental leverage over you for a longer period of time.
3. Lower your god damn standards
Listen, it's okay to have standards. But at one point, you have to lower them if you want to find and date someone. Sure you can get with people who are better than you, and that's fine. But more often than not, a lot of people go through a lot of failed dating attempts, before they learn to lower their standards. And listen, I'm not talking about lowering them to the ground, I'm talking about having realistic expectations and standards depending on your own life. If you have a job in a supermarket earning 40k$ a year, don't expect some hot model lawyer that earns 500k$ a year to just drop into your life and fall for you.
4. Do not overthink or put them up on a pedestal
It's easier said than done, but at the end of the day, overthinking rarely gets you anywhere. If anything, overthinking makes you even more confused, and the cycle continues. If you're overthinking whether to do something like asking someone out, instead of thinking about it for 2 weeks, ask the person out and get your damn answer. Take some risks, rather be sorry than safe. And DO NOT put someone up on a pedestal. It's really easy to do when you're overthinking, like "Oh what if she's just busy with this and she's normally such a great person that she does this and bla bla bla" Do not put someone up on a pedestal or you will be treated as a peasant.
5.Do not have "unrealistic" expectations
I see a lot of people say that "She should've done that" or "He should've done this, right?" thinking that people essentially owe them some sort of reply or action. Whilst people might owe you something, they often don't follow through on your expectation of what you think they owe you. For example, if you've been dating someone and you expect them to show some level of interest through texting x amount of messages. That's not necessarily unfair, but often times it's unrealistic, and it's just setting yourself up for failure. Do not have unrealistic expectations because most times you will be twice as disappointed had you not. If you lower your expectations or actually just get rid of them, you'll find yourself much more surprised, happy and generally much less worried and less in the overthinking mindset.
6. Be careful with your words, but not too careful
I dealt with this a lot myself. I was overthinking a lot, trying to avoid saying things that were presumably not socially acceptable by today's dating standards. But the truth is, as long as you aren't directly rude, you shouldn't watch your every word. I see this so often on reddit forums and the like, where people are like "Should I have said that" and the phrase in question literally did not matter. Do not filter yourself to the point of you not having anything to say because you're afraid the other person won't interpret it well. Be okay with standing up for yourself, be okay with disagreeing with your date on issues, and be okay with saying what's on your mind. Essentially do not walk on eggshells.
7. Be yourself, but don't be yourself too much
Listen, being yourself is good. It means you're content and confident with yourself. But being yourself too much can scare people off. I often hear about boys and girls revealing their deepest darkest secrets on a first date or a second date and then wondering why they never heard back from the person. Well, probably because it was too much to take at one time. Be yourself, but don't be yourself too much to the point where it objectively speaking isn't comfortable for the other person.
8. Realize when to hold em and when to fold em
Don't mind the gambling terminology, the meaning should be clear as day: Realize when to give someone another chance and when to let them go. Have some self respect. I see a lot of young people who go around saying things like "She cheated and I forgave her but now she's acting weird again and I don't know if she's cheating again". Situations like those where someone gives the other part way too many chances. Realize when you're being walked on, when the other person isn't respecting you or your time, and walk out.
9. Be honest about your intentions from the start
This is such an easy one to do, but not a lot of people exercise it. If you ever happen to get into the dating stage, be HONEST about what you want. Don't beat around the bush, don't expect the other person to know what you want. Let them know. It's much easier saying "Hey I'm searching for something on the serious side, I just wanna let you know". That way, you know if your intentions align, and that way you won't be severely disappointed if it turns out they aren't actually searching for the same thing.
10. Do not go around asking strangers on the internet for answers to all your dating related issues
I see a lot of these. A lot of, especially young people, who ask question upon question about dating. If I had sum dating up, I would literally say something like: Be honest, make your intentions clear, treat someone the way you want them to treat you, and have self respect and know when to walk out. It is as easy as that. If someone's being complicated or difficult, realize that spending your valuable time on that is a waste of your valuable time. Make up with yourself whether you wanna be confused and miserable for the next few months, or if you'd rather get out of that before you get too involved. I see so many people asking for help in situations that they clearly shouldn't be in, in the first place. Or situations that are so easy to solve that they should've solved them yesterday. But instead they go around asking for advice online, beating around the bush, wanting to be "better safe than sorry". Do not do this for every single scenario that has a straight forward solution. You live and you learn, and a part of that is being able to make decisions that haven't been fueled by 10 days of asking strangers on reddit and GAG. PS: Using the internet is fine, and asking dating questions on sites like this is also okay! I'm talking about the people who come back 3 times a day asking for advice on the same thing on different sites.
I hope this helped. I know I've probably written something that someone agrees with, and I'd like to say that this is very vaguely written and not very specific. There are only a handful of specific examples that I included, and there are always exceptions to rules and thoughts. Nevertheless, I hope this was usefull.