Author: Todd Baratz
Just started dating? Or thinking about starting? Here are my top bits of advice for people wanting to enter into dating successfully!
First and foremost… Be Yourself. Be real. Be vulnerable. Be open. Don’t share highlight reels – no one wants that. Share the entire spectrum of your experience. If, for any reason, you are judged on your honesty… that person isn’t worth your time.
The perfect match is a fantasy; it doesn’t exist.
Stop looking for the one, your soul mate, or the perfect match. This is science fiction – it doesn’t exist. Find someone who is good enough, and no that isn’t settling. Stop living in a Disney fairytale. Be brave and pursue mature relationships.
Discuss relationship goals and intimacy at the beginning
Don’t waste your time with someone who doesn’t want the same things you do. Simply ask, right at the beginning. “What are you looking for?” This is a wonderfully appropriate and necessary prompt.
Talk about sex at the beginning
If you’re dating that means you will be likely be having sex. Considering that sex is one of the most vulnerable yet important parts of a relationship, it’s necessary to start having conversations right at the beginning. “What are you into sexually?” is a great conversation starter to get the juices flowing (literally). Push yourself outside your comfort zone. And no, mystery isn’t helpful.
If you’re not comfortable don’t, but after you’ve talked about it start exploring what the sexual connection feels like. You don’t need to have Olympic porn star sex for 4 hours to do so. Kissing, cuddling, and humping will do just fine. Trade massages. Get physical. See what it feels like to touch and be touched.
Stop chasing people
Pursuing someone when interested is a must but when it’s not mutual something is definitely up. You should most definitely NOT have to convince someone to like or spend time with you, nor should you be putting in effort to build intimacy that isn’t reciprocated and mutual. And definitely do not chase or pursue anyone who is unavailable. They’re not bad or avoidant, they’re just literally not available to fulfil your needs.
Don’t idealize people.
Yes, idealization can be a big part of what it means to fall in love. However, keep in mind that people are basic, they are not some mythical unicorn creature sent to earth as your only potential partner.
Spend time but don’t waste time.
If you’re dating for a relationship, you must spend time with the other person. Shocker right? Many people don’t make the time or room in their life for intimacy to develop. Instead, they wait for an explosion or for something to hit them over the head. Again, another fairytale. Make time, spend time, explore time, and foster a connection if it’s present. Otherwise, don’t waste anyone’s time.
BE FU*KING NICE
Don’t ghost, leave a trail of crumbs, or any of those other fun millennial sayings. Be a mature adult, open and honest. Use your words. If you’re worried about hurting someone, feeling uncomfortable, or awkward, don’t date.
For more from Todd check him out on Instagram!
Todd Baratz is a licensed personal and couples psychotherapist, podcast host, and writer who specializes in relationships and sex.
D’bunked strips down the myths surrounding gay sex, intimacy, relationships and love – and is brought to you by GLUE.