Dating is a strange and tedious process.
You’ve probably noticed that we live in a digital age, with more people than ever living up the “single lifestyle”: friends with benefits and relationships with no-strings attached (NSA). Furthermore, people in both rural and metropolitan areas are increasingly turning to non-traditional relationships of other varieties.
With the cultural shift we’re observing comes a wealth of options and sexual-relational opportunities. Given all of the choices, it can sometimes be hard to discern whether or not you’re actually ready for dating, and ultimately a committed relationship.
These decisions are often complicated by the numerous dating apps and sites available at your fingertips. While these resources do us a great service by helping us connect with people all over the world, now – more than ever – relationships are forming online and are no longer defined by the boundaries of location.
With the variety of available options, there are great benefits and disadvantages to think about. The ease of contacting potential partners for either romantic or sexual relations can complicate things if you aren’t sure what you’re actually looking for.
Should you just hook up? What about friends with benefits? Are you ready for a relationship? How can you really know?!
In his book, Sex Outside the Lines, sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Chris Donaghue addresses many of the issues we face in the modern sexual-relational world. This includes how we define relationships and the impact of cultural and societal norms on dating.
Tackling the issue of “dating readiness” head on, Dr. Donaghue outlines a “3 Point Rule of Dating Readiness” which is as follows:
1) Date once you have a solid group of friends,
2) You have a career you love,
3) And you are happy.
Do you meet these conditions at this time? Do you think you will at some point soon? When you last decided to date, did you meet these conditions?
Take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. Thing about whether or not you can say that at this time you have an great career, sustainable friendships, and are genuinely happy overall. If not, then you may have more solo exploration to do. Something, or someone from your past, may be holding you back from achieving that ideal relationship you’ve been looking for.
Why do you need to meet these conditions?
If you don’t meet each of these conditions, whatever you are unsatisfied or unfulfilled with in life will seep into your burgeoning relationship with insidious intentions.
Without tackling those areas, you may find yourself looking for all of your happiness and fulfillment in the person you are dating. This will create inevitable complications where you least expect them. But, if you make sure that you are the healthiest person you can be before you enter the dating scene, then you can rest assured that you will be bringing your best self to the table.
And with that, you will be fully able to build the partnership that you want, giving yourself the best chance at having a happy and fulfilling relationship.
But before you start dating, make sure you follow this guide.
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