You may be wondering why you should bother with dating in the first place. There are so many other things you could be doing with your time. Sure, it’s fun and affords you access to a lot of interesting people, but is dating really a necessity? This guide looks at the downsides of dating, and explains why you should still give it a shot. The Short-Term Benefits of Dating The term «dating» implies something that is temporary, or to be done for short-term pleasure. Online dating, like all dating, is based on sexual chemistry. It’s a great way to get a first date, to make new friends, or to even get laid. Yes, you may find a true connection and perhaps even a long-term relationship out of it, but it is usually something you would do for fun, not for a real commitment to anyone. You’re not trying to get married, you’re just out having fun. Of course, there are some long-term benefits that come from dating, too. That first date you ever went on was probably with someone you’ve still got a crush on, or it may have been with a friend of a friend of a friend, or something of the like. So you get to continue a relationship that you wouldn’t have on the street or at a bar or at a party. It’s a bit more mature than hanging out with friends alone, and it helps develop a little more patience and social skills, all while meeting people that may one day become your best friends. The Long-Term Benefits of Dating Some people are convinced that there is always a risk in dating, and that it has to be done to avoid disaster. They believe that the worst could and probably will happen, and that dating is a good way to avoid getting hurt. I disagree. Many of us know at least one person in our lives who has moved on quickly after a bad relationship or two. And we can also think of situations where a dating relationship didn’t go as planned, but ended up successfully. Sometimes it’s just a matter of growing up and making the right decision. Plus, it’s not just online dating—in fact, I usually think online dating is a great way to start a relationship since it’s a less intimidating and more casual way to meet new people. (Check out for ideas on how to meet interesting people in your area.) When you are in a serious relationship, however
As someone in the dating game, most of us tend to put our best self forward when we meet someone we like or at least tolerate. What if you could put the best version of yourself out there, letting your personality shine through? How would the outcome be different? Obviously you want to put your best self forward, but are you putting your best self forward, or are you walking a tightrope while trying to hide your insecurities, fears, and shortcomings? Would you actually end up liking yourself more, or would your personality flaws come through? Just remember: You’re getting more experience at dating, so be prepared to meet a variety of people and learn about yourself. If you can do this, you’ll be able to do it when it comes to falling in love. Becoming Your Best Self First of all, it’s really important to self-actualize. Getting in touch with yourself is a good way to show potential partners that you can do the same. There’s no wrong way to do this—you can make yourself a boo, bake cupcakes, or talk your way into a relationship—as long as you do it in a way that doesn’t come across too cheesy. One of the best ways to get a feel for yourself is to ask yourself a question: «Who do I want to be when I’m looking for a partner? Do I want to be me, or would I rather be somebody else?» It’s important to be honest with yourself here—would you rather be a person that you think is awesome or is actually the best version of yourself? It’s also important to think about what would happen if you were that person you wanted to be. If, for example, you thought you were a cool person and you asked someone out, what if they said no? Think about the situation realistically. Would you be disappointed? Would you be able to deal with it, or would you feel rejected? Also think about yourself in that situation. Would you be willing to put in the effort it takes to be your best self? If you don’t want to be you (for whatever reason) or you think you’re not actually your best self, what are you willing to do to change that? To become your best self? If you don’t want to be you, why not? Of course, we don’t want to be unhappy—is it possible to change your mind? Maybe. Consider this: Would it be easier to accept that you’re not