Daring To Date?

Daring To Date?

The dating game can be a scary one, especially if you’re relatively new to it. Courtship is what dating used to be called, and back in the days before online dating sites and dating apps, the chances are that you would probably have at least a fleeting idea of who your intended beau was. Especially before bicycles were invented because it’s entirely possible that there were only fifty people in your village. But those days have gone and we mustn’t yearn for them. Now we have the power of the internet which allows us to cast our nets far and wide when searching for a soulmate.

But despite the fact that because of improved access to the opposite sex (or the same) it doesn’t automatically follow that dating is ‘easier’ for us these days. We might be meeting a lot of others, but if we can’t relate, or our insecurities get the better of us, then there’s no advantage. To this end, we have compiled a list of the most common questions about dating – and we’ve provided the answers. Read on to find out how to unlock your successful dating self.

  • 1.Will I ever find someone? (Cried everywhere by everyone at some point).
    Yes, but you have to put the effort in and help yourself here. Ultimately, dating is a numbers game and lots of people need multiple dates to find a good match for them; there are so many variables. The bottom line is don’t give up and you will find a partner.
  • 2.What if people think I’m not attractive? That I’m too fat/short/tall, etc.?
    Almost everyone has some hang-up or other that has affected their confidence at one point or another, you won’t be alone. But regardless of your insecurities, there are men and women out there who are perfectly happy to date short/fat/thin/tall people because – guess what – it’s the personality that matters. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. Prospective partners are there for the reality, not the fantasy. Even if a man has a fantasy woman, it’s more than likely that he wouldn’t be interested in dating her in real life. It’s about the person, not the figure.
  • 3.My relationships never last, so what’s the point?
    Ah, now here are some tricky threads to unpick. There’s a reason why your previous relationships have failed and it depends whether you can be honest with yourself about why, as to how quickly you can start to buck the trend. From an outsider’s perspective, there are two possible main reasons why relationships don’t last: you’re choosing and getting involved with the wrong type of man for you. You’re going for people who don’t make you happy and you never know, maybe they feel the same. The second reason is that you’re actually being self-destructive because you’re not ready for the commitment.
  • 4.My friends are all married but I’m still single – is there any hope for me?
    Much like number 3, if you haven’t found The One, the reason is likely to be that you’re making a beeline for the wrong men, or you’re actually unconsciously swerving the settling down dilemma.
  • 5.I get bored easily.
    Do you need lots of attention and/or stimulation in a relationship? The people who get bored easily tend to be those with the highest demands, and when they aren’t fulfilled, the person declares themselves bored. This is smoke and mirrors. If this sounds like you then you have to realise that you’re the one to take responsibility for making sure that you have enough stimulation. The answer here is to have a more realistic idea of how relationships go – and grow up a bit, emotionally. Although of course you might be picking really boring people!
  • 6.I don’t think I’m sexy enough.
    If there’s one thing that we can be certain of, nowhere exists the person who finds absolutely everyone attractive. We all have different things that we find attractive – and those that we really don’t, it’s human nature. So you can be certain that someone is definitely going to find you attractive, don’t get hung up on things that you don’t need to. Seriously, life is too short for things like that, so get out there, start dating and wait for the compliments to roll in.
  • 7.I always end up feeling annoyed.
    This is quite a broad statement, you need to break it down into what it means for you. Do you get annoyed purely by the person? Or is it the situation? Or a combination? Are there certain situations or events that trigger the annoyance? Look hard at yourself for the answers. It’s possible that you just aren’t ready to settle down and it’s manifesting itself as annoyance. Maybe you’re succumbing to peer/family/societal pressure to be in a committed relationship, whereas actually you’re not ready yet. Or maybe you just have a straightforward confliction about being with one person for the foreseeable future. Be honest and answer the most difficult questions – the ones that come from within.

So we’ve established here that in all likelihood you’re going to be on a date one day with someone you find attractive and who thinks you’re attractive. What is one of the most important things to bear in mind? Contraception! Don’t leave it until the last minute, don’t rely on some old condoms you’ve found at the back of a drawer, be proactive and buy them before you need them. You can take your time and browse online to pick out the ones that you really like the sound of. There’s enough choice out there!

Stuart Brown
Doctor of Sexual Health at the NHS Royal London Hospital & Relationship Expert. Columnist at An advocate of safe sex. Avid Arsenal fan.

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