Discover 7 essential dating tips for all women! These are the ultimate tips you need to succeed in sex and relationships post-teens without losing your sanity!
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This blog is for you if you’re attempting to date at any point past the ideals of young love, heart-wrenching crushes and high school romances…
Basically, if you haven’t got a Popstar's poster on your wall and you’re trying to get serious about this “life” thing you’ll understand what I’m about to write about.
How To Navigate the Dating Scene as an Adult Woman
I’m back on the dating scene at 26 years old, and I’ve realised that dating as a twenty-something is extremely different to how, who and why I dated when I was younger.
I’m in a completely different place with my life and as I’ve- sort of- matured dating has also progressed.
And, to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it so I thought I’d share with you a few things I’ve noticed since re-entering the dating pool.
Hopefully you’ll recognise something and we'll both feel less alone!
1. Remind yourself the experience is totally different now
Firstly dating in your twenties is a new feat because you've undoubtedly got a lot more "baggage" than when you dated in your teens.
When I was 17 and dating Billy from down the road I was basically just focussed on the new Blink 182 CD and what I could afford to buy in Primark that week.
But, now at 26 I've had 3 failed relationships, multiple family drama’s, a handful of personal trauma and I’ve picked myself up each and every time.
There's A LOT and when you date you're coming to the plate with all of these experiences.
They’re experiences that make you who you are, and you’re looking to share this with your potential suitors.
BUT, that said, you start to know your worth and that’s much more valuable than a clean slate.
2. Recognise the Fear you have already
You recognise you haven’t got to this point of your life unscathed, but you might not realise how hurt you’ve been or how much it’s actually affected you.
That is until someone else tries to win your heart; some nice, unsuspecting person attempts to sweep you off your feet and tells you they actually want you.
Suddenly your alarm bells go off and you start making excuses for why this can’t work and why you need to walk away instead.
You’re scared because you’re scarred.
The idea of taking a chance on someone new is frightening; you’re scared of failing another relationship, of someone else making you feel like you’re not good enough, of having to pick yourself up again if it doesn't work out.
You might not be the fearful, paranoid or jealous type but old scars fade slowly, and any new love interests are going to have to deal with your fear-fuelled questions.
If you’re anything like me you ask every obvious and prying question there is within the first three dates because you want to avoid any nasty surprises, possible let downs or conflicting deal breakers if possible.
3. Keep hold of your zero tolerance
With more experience in dating, love and life you become attuned to what is and is not good for you.
This tends to result in a zero tolerance attitude to many things including being messed around.
If you can’t tell me what you want from me, if you don’t have any idea of what you want to do with your life, if you can’t tell me when you last got a sexual health check and if you’re still asking your mom for money for the weekend rave- boy, bye.
The younger more accepting and excitable me might have taken a chance on you but my life is pretty full now so no one else is getting a space in my spotlight without good reasons.
4. Be aware of everyone else and their opinions
In contrast with the above, which is you prioritising your needs, in your twenties every man and his dog seems to have an opinion on who you should be dating.
In your teens it tends to be people relaying their opinions about avoiding the bad boys and steering clear of anyone labelled a “hoe.”
Yet, just as you thought you had this sussed everyone in your twenties seems to do a 180 and start warning you off being picky.
Suddenly you’re told you need to loosen the reins and start looking outside your pool of comfort for possible partners.
For women, by the way, the continuous reminder of your age is a not-so-gentle reminder that eggs don’t last forever and that motherhood must and should be your number one priority- even if it isn’t.
5. Assess how much space you have for a relationship...realistically
When you start dating you know you actually have to make time for them?
I didn’t until I suddenly had someone asking me when I was free and my answer began “I could maybe squeeze you in on…”
Your life in your twenties is pretty full- working full time to pay rent and bills and live, volunteering, seeing family and friends, a creative side hustle that you’re praying will eventually take off and amongst all of that you're supposed to fit someone else into the game.
Your twenties is all about making a life for yourself; living your best life isn’t that what the magazines say?
You just don’t realise how much time someone else needs until they’re on your doorstep and you’re in the middle of writing an assignment.
6. Remember to love yourself first, always
On the note of living your best life, your twenties can be the time where you realise how important your relationship with yourself is.
You realise that you can be a bit selfish, you learn the definition of self care and how to love yourself.
Then to allow someone into that bubble, it can be quite daunting.
What if you suddenly start giving all the time and they don’t give back? How do you balance time with a new partner with all the glorious “me time” you’ve been loving of late?
It can feel like someone coming into your life is a threat to what you’ve built, but the key is to find someone that doesn’t make you feel like you’re giving anything up to be with them.
Someone who knows that you are still a priority and someone who adds to your life rather than taking away.
Related: Fancy a bit more support with the whole LOVING YOURSELF stuff? I wrote this lovely blog 8 Self- Care Tips for an Awesome Sex Life which is jam-packed full of strategies to support you and your sex and relationships! Click here!
7. Finally, it's okay to find all of this difficult
I don’t think I’m alone in feeling the weight of dating as I get older, and unfortunately I think the weight is a bit heavier for women.
If I’ve realised anything in my pursuits, it’s that we all have a lot to consider when picking a potential partner and yet recognising that it’s difficult can be freeing in itself.
Like everything else in life, love and sex are complex and we don’t have to be perfect at either of them.
And, side note ladies, we definitely don’t need to lose ourselves in a bid to find someone else.