21st-century dating is a minefield. No matter how successful we are at work or how talented and confident we might be, there’s something about those early days of seeing someone that leaves us in a perpetual feeling of confusion.
While a big part of us wishes we didn’t care at all, we can’t help but wonder what’s going on in the other person’s head. We continually tell ourselves that our lives are full either way, but as great as being single can be – and it really can be – a healthy relationship can still bring us a lot of happiness.
So, how can you know whether you’re wasting your time or with exactly the right person before you invest too much of your precious energy? Here are three tips from the experts.
You don’t have eyes for anyone else
In the world of modern dating, there is a Love Island phrase that’s often repeated: ‘keeping your options open’. While we’re not saying you should commit to the first person you meet, there does come a point when you need to decide whether the person you’re with is the one you want, and interestingly, a lot of us reach it long before we realize.
Dating coach, Erika Ettin, says one way to work out whether or not you’re there is to use the ‘bar test’ – essentially, when you go out, are you looking around to see who else is available or are you content in giving your sole attention to the person you’re with? This same rule can be applied to online dating: once you stop searching, you’ve most likely concluded that you’re onto something good.
They find happiness in your success
As 21st-century women, we can find dating difficult. Aside from the fact it’s nigh-on-impossible to meet people organically, it can almost feel like admitting you want somebody in your life suggests that you’re less than okay on your own. But this isn’t the case. In fact, a healthy relationship can make you feel more empowered rather than less so – so long as you find the right person.
By that, we mean someone who cares about you enough to celebrate your successes and empower you to achieve them. If you can find someone who makes you feel invincible and who fully understands your passion and drive, it might just be that they’re the perfect match for you. If instead, you feel like they resent your success or the time you spend on the things that matter to you, you can almost certainly do better.
They don’t want you to changeOne plus point of modern dating is that it gives you a sense of how big the world really is – and how many other people are in it. With around 40 percent of couples now meeting online, platforms like Badoo offer a wonderful chance to meet compatible singles in your local area and to work out whether you complement each other before you even meet.
It’s this latest point that should provide a vital clue as to whether the relationship has legs once it progresses because if you’re really meant to be, the person you’re with should want you just the way you are. If they don’t, and you feel like they’re trying to change you or mold you into someone you’re not, walk away – you can do so much better.
When it comes to dating, you should never feel like you need to be in a relationship with someone; rather, you should be together because your life is better when they’re in it. That’s why these three points are so important, and why you deserve to be with someone who ticks each of these all-important boxes. You’re brilliant and powerful and successful, so be with someone who appreciates that.