Choosing to Date With Intention
Will I ever be attracted to a good man? I am quite picky on dating apps before I meet someone and I’m sure to only meet guys I’m really excited about. The dates go really well and at first they are romantic and attentive but it’s soon clear that they are just looking for someone to sleep with and that I’m not the only one. I’m better at boundaries and I leave them in the dust but I feel like I’m going through so many men this way! Why do I keep dating these ‘too good to be true’ guys?? ~Kate
What I am hearing is that you feel like your “picker” is off and that you are also feeling burnt out and hopeless. This is totally NORMAL and I see this happening all the time. As dating apps become more and more popular, more and more single people are experiencing dating burnout. All of the continuous swiping and liking and matching and messaging and then, of course, the (in person) dating makes it hard to stay hopeful. A lot of women have a hard time reconciling their single status when there are pools and pools of prospective partners at their fingertips. I have seen so many women question themselves throughout this process. I get it. It’s like, “How after all of this time that I have devoted to dating and putting myself out there am I still single?” “How is it that I have not met one nice (or good) guy?”
The truth is. When it comes to finding your partner or “the one” it is not about odds or numbers. Trust me, I used to think this way and it wasn’t helpful. Think of dating as a learning process. You are learning about yourself and what you want and definitely don’t want in a partner. Each relationship and dating experience is an opportunity to learn more about what you want and need in a relationship.
Also, dating has become so obsessive and compulsive and something that is rarely done with a lot of thought or intention. And dating with INTENTION is so important. It sounds like you know what you want and what you are looking for. You are not looking for a hookup or something casual and appreciate when guy is attentive and thoughtful. So, with all that being said, your picker isn’t off and you don’t need to lower your expectations or settle. You just need to be extremely mindful during the dating process–especially when using the apps. I’ll break this down below.
Build yourself up!
- What’s important to you: Familiarize yourself with your values and what is most important to you as an individual. Your values may include: work-life balance, health, and wellness, spirituality, political beliefs, family, time alone, friendships. When you know who you are and what you value and believe in, you will be able to express and assert yourself with more confidence. You don’t need to change who you are for anyone.
- Make sure you are giving yourself pep talks. Practice positive self-talk: “I am deserving of a kind and loyal partner,” “I won’t settle for anything less than what I deserve in a relationship.”
Knowing What You Want & Dating With Intention
- Write down or reflect on all of the qualities you want in a partner and relationship. Really spend some time on this and then make sure that these wants/expectations are honored and reflected throughout the entire dating process.
- Pick dating apps/sites that are more geared towards what you are looking for (i.e.some apps are more geared towards hook-ups and others are geared more towards relationships, some are more photo drive and others more content driven)
- Include your wants/needs in your profile. If you are looking for a long term relationship, make it known! This is not you being needy or wanting too much. And if a match/potential partner questions this or makes a big deal about it, then on to the next. That’s their own stuff and it’s not a reflection of you.
- Take your time! You don’t have to rush anything or exchange numbers or go on a date until you are up for it and ready. Are there red flags? Ask about them or just trust your gut. Don’t feel like you have to go on a date or meet a person if it doesn’t feel right. This is also part of dating with intention, each date is intentional and in line with your goals.
- Make your intentions clear while you are messaging/texting/getting to know each other. You can say and share exactly what you are looking for and want. Something like, “I’m looking for something that has the potential to be long-term and serious.” And again, if that scares someone away, that’s on
Set boundaries and leave a situation or dating relationship if it doesn’t feel right
- You can reiterate what you are looking for on dates 1, 2, 3 or 14. If you have no interest in sleeping with them or being intimate with them until you know their intentions and if there is potential for something long term, tell them! Assert yourself. Your needs and wants are valid. When you’re dating with intention keeping your goals in the forefront is key.
- If you want to be exclusive or make your expectations known, YOU can always initiate a conversation. It doesn’t always have to be the serious “what are we” conversation, but more of a “check-in.” Ask them what they want from this new dating relationship. What are their expectations? And then share your expectations which are equally important. If your values and expectations are not in line, then you can end the relationship and it’s on to the next.
I have no doubt in my mind that you will be attracted to and meet a good man that is right for YOU. It just hasn’t happened yet. Dating takes time and patience and is not a linear process. And I can promise you, the more confident and intentional you are, the easier it will be to dodge the assh*les and all the BS. You got this!
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About the Author
Leah Aguirre is a licensed clinical social worker & psychotherapist in San Diego, CA. Leah prioritizes mental health issues because she’s experienced issues with anxiety herself and believes every woman will face their own struggles with mental health at some point in their life. She specializes in helping individuals who experience challenges with relationships, dating, and self-esteem through both individual and group sessions. Visit Leah online at https://leahaguirrelcsw.com/