21st-century dating tips for 21st-century singletons

Is the world of dating getting you down? Can’t seem to stop finding trash people yet all your friends are coupled up? Here’s how to not get hurt in the crazy world of 21st-century dating.

1. DO NOT ignore red flags!!!

It can be so tempting if things are otherwise going well to ignore the red flags that pop up – but DO NOT IGNORE THEM! Red flags will always, always be a hint of a person’s unpleasant side and cannot be ignored. Red flags can potentially be suggestions of seriously emotionally manipulative behaviour and it is so much easier to disentangle yourself from someone three dates in than it will be months down the line.

2. Don’t compromise

Don’t get me wrong – being in a relationship is all about compromise. But when you’re playing the field, I think it’s fair to be pretty firm in your standards and not be afraid to dump them. For example, if you’re looking for someone who lives near you, don’t waste your time on someone who lives miles away, even if they seem perfect. Though I’m sure for one case in a million this kind of thing does work out, trust me when I say that there are PLENTY of people who are just as ‘perfect’ who will live near you. And anyway, if there’s a large problem with the situation, they aren’t perfect in any case!

3. Set boundaries for yourself

I’m not saying go all Miss Havisham and let your heart freeze up, but if you’ve been hurt before, it is good to be a little more guarded. That’s not to say you can’t relax and listen to your feelings when dating, but try to always stay rational and not get overly-attached. A lot of people often get excited and fantasise about where a relationship COULD go, but try not to give in to these kinds of thoughts – focus on what the relationship actually is at present, and that way, if things go wrong, you won’t have to mourn the loss of ‘what could have been’. ‘What could have been’ ultimately never was and is not worth thinking about!

Serena Smith

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