When it comes to dating, too many people try to jump into things not knowing what they are doing. Even as adults, I come across a range of individuals wishing to start dating and use dating apps but are clearly not ready to date quite yet.
Dating means being able to give of yourself to others. This means sharing your thoughts, opinions, fears, aspirations and talking about yourself, your upbringing, your family, your past relationships possibly and your friends. Being closed off or dodging questions is a definite red flag and likely will prevent you from advancing beyond initial conversations or subsequent dates.
What Being Ready To Date Doesn’t Mean
Being ready to date doesn’t mean your life is perfect and everything is the way you want it. Being ready to date means having self-awareness, having realistic expectations, being patient, knowing how to interact with others and being physically and emotionally ready to let someone in your life. Everyone has some sort of baggage that they carry from their lives, past relationships. It’s more important to discuss these things if/when they come up when dating someone new.
Hiding things about your life or lying about your past signals that you don’t trust the person you just met to understand your situation. It’s not fair for you to make assumptions, despite how past dates might have reacted. Being ready to date means you are able to give each new person the benefit of the doubt and a clean slate to explore, talk and discover things about each other.
Being Ready To Date Yourself
Being date ready means you are ready to not only be present but give your entire self to someone rather than just bits of pieces, fun sides or best sides of you. It requires you to take a leap of faith and hope the other person is ready to accept all of you. In order to date, one has to be prepared to make other people a priority and make time for others. Time is valuable. If you are not ready to prioritize others, you are not ready to date.
Being separated, divorced or recently single doesn’t mean you are ready to date. Seeking a rebound or distraction or validation or attention doesn’t mean you are ready to date. Talking bad about your ex or thinking about your ex 24/7 means you are not ready to date. Before you can date someone new, one must be able to process grief, pain and begin acceptance for someone new.
In order to be ready to date, one must be in a good place in life. It means they are ready to share their life with someone and not seeking someone to make their lives complete, whole. It also means not putting too much pressure on someone to be everything for them including a mentor, therapist, best friend, financial advisor, motivational coach etc. It’s important to have some sort of balance and momentum as well as social circles so you don’t dump everything in your life on someone and expect them to fix it all for you.
Online Dating: Is Online Dating For Me?
Online dating is not a shortcut to dating. Dating apps are another channel for meeting others similar to meeting through work, friends, clubs, teams etc. Dating apps are not food ordering apps, despite the design, buzz. Dating apps are merely introduction tools. They can’t make up for poor judgment, lack of self-awareness, bad expectations or inability to screen profiles and read people. Just because you create a dating profile doesn’t mean you are ready to date.
Being ready to date means you are ready to accept the bad with the good. It means being there is a strong chance you will likely go on some crappy dates sometimes. Dating is defined as getting to know someone. It doesn’t mean pre-qualifying them because of a dating profile. It doesn’t mean you are sold on the person after 1-2 dates. It doesn’t mean you listen to words only and disregard actions. Being ready to date means you put in effort and are present and not treating dates like auditions.
What Is Date Ready Mean? Are You Ready To Start Dating?
Dating yourself means you are respect yourself. It means you don’t go into dates expecting failure. It means you are ready to be presentable and approachable. It means you are ready to be vulnerable and yet unsure about outcomes. Being ready to date means you are ready for compromise.
It means being ready to adjust parts of your life to make time and space to accommodate someone else and their lifestyle, hobbies and interests. If you are expecting someone to do all the work and seamlessly fit into your life, routines, schedules and social circles, you are not ready to date.
Dating is not a one-sided street. It’s not a perfect, predictable balance. It’s a back and forth with each person giving and taking different amounts at different times and striving to balance each other out. With that said, it takes two people to build a relationship yet takes one 1 person to end it.
Being Ready For A Relationship
Being ready to date is one thing. Dating is an exploration where you learn about one another. It means being honest with yourself. That often means seeing if your needs are being met, and you are truly in love with someone, rather than settling because you don’t want to be lonely. It means not surrounding yourself with cheerleaders who will only tell you what you want to hear.
Being in a relationship means making progress and taking steps to get towards where both of you want to be and not hoping things will change on their own. You can’t force people to change. Change has to be voluntary. If you are not changing, growing then you are staying still and that is not what being in a relationship is about. Relationships are full-time endeavors and not something that can exist part-time, out of convenience only and on one person’t terms.
Being ready for a relationship means knowing when to end things and being strong enough to prefer being alone rather than an unhealthy relationship with someone.
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First date ideas, wardrobe styling, places to meet singles, where to sit at bars and restaurants, body language, vocal intonation, eye contact, conversation skills, how to flirt over text, how to be more approachable and get people to start conversations with you, mock dates and more.
Related Reading: Becoming Date Ready, Are You Ready To Start Dating
How To Meet People In Real Life: https://eddie-hernandez.com/how-to-meet-people-irl/
Never Stop Meeting People Offline: https://eddie-hernandez.com/never-stop-meeting-people-offline/
Online Dating Safety, Verification: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-profile-background-checks/
Dating Apps That Are Better Than Tinder: https://eddie-hernandez.com/best-dating-apps/
Online Dating Doesn’t Work For Me: How To Be Successful With Online Dating
For those that are seeking specific places, opportunities for meeting people offline, I offer tips during online dating photo shoots. These shoots are natural, relaxed and taken like a friend would if he/she was good with a camera. Based in San Francisco but travel regularly to NYC, LA, Chicago and overseas.
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond as featured in the NYTimes, SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle.
In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, offline techniques for meeting people organically, naturally.
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