Marissa Explains It All

8 Tips To Start Dating Smart From A Girl That Used To Be Dumb At Dating

Being in a relationship isn’t essential to happiness by any means, but wasting your time in the dating world is a quick way to make yourself miserable. I can’t remember a time in my life from second grade to the age of twenty-three that I wasn’t chasing after dudes who flat out didn’t dig me. Honestly, I was a pathetic, excuse-making, little ninny who ended up in some truly unhealthy relationships until one day I sat myself down and laid the law down. I knew something had to change, and that change had to begin with me.

I made this list and low & behold, things did change. I got some perspective, some self-respect and eventually, a really great boyfriend. Now I share these tips with my friends on a regular basis and I would like to share them with you, because we’re all friends here and I can’t stand having my friends go through the same dating troubles I did.

1. Have Standards

Look, I’m not saying write out a list that describes Prince Charming down to the freckles in his eyes, but don’t just settle on anyone that happens to be funny with a job. Anyone can crack jokes and although having a job in these times is something to be happy about, that isn’t enough. Hold your ideal partner to the same standards you hold yourself to. The more you know what you want, the more likely you will be able to weed out the ones you don’t.

1.5 The First Standard Needs To Be They Are Interested In You Too

Okay, TOO MANY people spend TOO MUCH TIME on people THEY WILL NEVER BE WITH. Sure, the chase is fun, but get real. If they aren’t interested in dating you, chasing them and pushing your agendas on them is NOT going to change their minds. Spend your time and energy on people who are interested in spending time and energy on you.

2. Prioritize YOU

Remember how I mentioned those standards you hold yourself to? Well make those happen! If you want to go to the gym three times a week, paint more and get a new job, THEN DO IT! You can do anything you want, especially if you make the for time it. Focus on you and people will be drawn to it. The positive energy and happiness you are creating in your own life will attract someone who has the same energy and wants to be a part of that happy little bubble you’ve created. New Agey, much? Sure. But does it work? Yes. You want a motivated partner to support and love you? Get motivated and support and love yourself.

3. Know When To Move Along

It’s great to date and to spend time with someone to see if things could work, but don’t waste your time on people that it obviously isn’t going to work out with. The more time you spend trying to make things work when they aren’t, the less likely you are going to be open to new opportunities.

4. Represent Yourself Truthfully

Keep this in mind: “You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person.” Let it be your mantra because it’s a true story, guys. Think about it! If you’re meant to be with someone, it won’t matter how you phrased that last text message or that you went on a tipsy long winded tangent at the bar the other night. They’ll appreciate it because they appreciate you. And let’s say they got along real well with the version of you you and your friend concocted to appeal to this person, what happens when things get serious and they realize it was all a facade? My best educated guess is “WTF?!” is going to be written all over their face as they head for the door. Besides, pretending to be something you’re not is exhausting.

5. Say No

If you know you’re not interested in someone, just say “No, thanks.” Really. You’re saving yourself and the person you’re denying a lot of time and energy– you know, all the times they are going to call you and all the times you’re going to ignore it and sigh and complain to your friends about this person and their ceaseless pursuit. Well, news flash: if you had just said no, they could be calling someone else and you could be enjoying your burger. I know, it can be hard and sometimes awkward, but honesty really is the best policy.

6. Know The Difference Between The “Right” Kind Of Attention And The “Wrong” Kind Of Attention

We all want attention in one way or another, but make sure you are seeking out the right kind of attention. The “right” kind of attention is the kind of attention that leaves you feeling respected and good about yourself. The “wrong” kind of attention is the kind of attention you find yourself grabbing for after a boy who has ignored you for a month decides he wants to take you out for drinks. Dude, he’s been ignoring you for a month. Don’t think for a second that he wants anything more than to make-out with you, and that is the wrong kind of attention. That is the kind of attention that is going to leave you hung up for another month on some butthead.

7. Patience Is A Virtue

This isn’t magic, you can’t just snap your fingers and have a meaningful relationship. Give yourself some time and just go with the flow. I am the most impatient person in the world and when I devised this list for myself, I promised myself I would follow these tips for six months and see how it worked out. If I didn’t see any changes in six months, then I would reevaluate my life and maybe head to the nunnery. Luckily, that didn’t happen. Instead I wound up in the healthiest relationship of my life, and we’re coming up on a two year anniversary. I’m not guaranteeing you love, but at least give yourself a chance to try something new if your old ways haven’t been working out.

8. Be Brave

All these tips take bravery. You need to be brave to be aware of yourself, be brave to be yourself, be brave to make changes and be brave to have faith. As strange as it is, love really does start inside yourself. Be brave and believe and I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Even if you’re single forever, the self-love and respect you will cultivate for yourself will bring you more happiness than anything else.

Featured Image via Flickr, Colton Davie

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.hayward Ashley Hayward

    ‘“You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person.” Let it be your mantra because it’s a true story, guys. Think about it! If you’re meant to be with someone, it won’t matter how you phrased that last text message or that you went on a tipsy long winded tangent at the bar the other night. They’ll appreciate it because they appreciate you.’

    These are words of genius.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1246213907 Marissa A. Ross

      The funny thing is actually a lame dude I was dating’s roommate told me that! And I was like, “DAMN, THAT’S DEEP DUDE.” It’s truly made my life so much better and helped me become so much more comfortable being myself.

  • molls

    love this + you

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1246213907 Marissa A. Ross

      Thanks girl, love u 4ever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002516672472 Mary Sizelove

    Marissa! Okay. I know we don’t know each other, but I’m going to be real with you for a second girl. Through hellogiggles I have got to laugh and laugh and really enjoy your pieces. But sincerely, thanks for advocating self respect to all the ladies out there. You rock. I support you for supporting that :) keep doin watchu do girl.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1246213907 Marissa A. Ross

      Aw, thank you so much. That truly means a lot to me. I really love this site and I am so happy to hear you are too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennylonussen Jenny Lonussen

    Great list. I think that a lot of your tips can actually be applied to both dating and friendships.
    I enjoyed reading this very much :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1246213907 Marissa A. Ross

      MAD TRUTHS! It can be applied to nearly everything if you just replace some nouns. :)

  • http://www.stilljennifer.com Jennifer Still

    Girl, this is crazy good/right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jday18 Jessica Day

    Love it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=65800494 Meredith Bagdazian

    Oh wow, after the year I’ve had, I really need this list! Preach it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennyschlatter Jen Schlatter

    Love being brave! Changes everything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=644085648 Jillian Rose Keenist

    You rock. thank you lady!

  • http://www.facebook.com/haintso Haintso Rakouth

    I love this list, it took me a while for #7 and #8 to hit. Def go with the flow and be patient!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/PunkRockPam Pam Newman

    Great article, and I’d love to see more like it on HG. The reality checks and supportive texts from one female to another are what lady-blogging seriously needs. IMO: We as ladies need to support each other more and spend less time picking each other apart. Also, it’s great (factual/functional) advice. In short: YAY!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharilyn.neidhardt Sharilyn Neidhardt

    o man, I could have used these tips 20 years ago! but I’m going because I’m still dating. Solid advice. Huge win!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tinabacasgibson Tina Bacas Gibson

    As a mom, I love these words of advice. I couldn’t have said them better myself and hope I’ve been conveying these exact things to my son and especially my teenage daughter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dianasof Diana Zapata

    “Spend your time and energy on people who are interested in spending time and energy on you.” This is what I’ve been realizing lately. Usually I feel like it’s my fault that a guy doesn’t like me, like I shouldn’t say certain things or do certain things, even if I’m being myself. But now, I remind myself: If he doesn’t make an effort, if he doesn’t like you back don’t wait around or beat yourself up about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/drewzandonellastannard Drew Zandonella-Stannard

    “You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person.” I didn’t realize how true this was until it was true within my own relationship. If we expect this of our friends I have no idea why we don’t expect this from the people we date. Loved all this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tracyleeeee Tracy Le

    “You want a motivated partner to support and love you? Get motivated and support and love yourself.”

    That was my favorite point M (are we there yet?)–way to display a discreet vulnerability in such a simple, honest, anecdotal manner.

    -t

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1246213907 Marissa A. Ross

    Wow, thank you all so much for sharing this article and loving it. These tips have worked so well for me and I hope they work for ladies everywhere! xoxo

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1573380022 Stephanie Shriver

    oh you’re good, girl

  • http://www.facebook.com/nanabeth87 Riana Oppegard

    Love this and am soooooo passing this on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/annedekleine Anne de Kleine

    also, I love that photo, who took it?

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