Hints Before Your Next Hookup – Are you ready to start dating again? Congrats! But before you go on another date, there are some things you should know. While dating is exciting, it can be complicated and maybe even dramatic.
You’ve likely had your fair share of dramatic dating experiences. If these past experiences have left you hesitant to get back out there, don’t worry! There are things you can do to make the dating process easier and less stressful. Here are five tips to prepare for your next hookup.
1. Get Tested
This might not be the sexiest tip, but it’s a necessary one. Believe it or not, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very common. One reason is that they don’t always come with symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get tested for STIs, especially before becoming intimate with a new partner.
While getting tested is crucial, it’s not always a comfortable experience. Some people may feel embarrassed and don’t want to get tested at a doctor’s office. Thankfully, you can opt for at-home STI testing. Your test kit, including everything you need to take a sample, is delivered directly to your front door. Once you have collected your sample, send it back and await your results.
And don’t worry, if your results come back positive, there’s a good chance you can receive treatment virtually. Not only may you consult with a doctor online, but some healthcare companies will send STI treatment to your doorstep.
2. Make Sure You’re Ready
Before entering a new relationship, you want to make sure you’re ready to start dating again. While dating can be exciting, it can also be complicated — especially if you’re still grieving a past relationship.
It takes time to mend a broken heart. But the good news is that you have nothing but time. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to rush into a new relationship after ending an old one. Jumping back into the dating scene is not necessarily the best way to get over your ex. The only way to heal is to let yourself feel all the emotions that come with a break-up.
Do yourself, and your future partner, a favor by taking the time you need to heal from your past relationship. Spend some time focusing on yourself and practice self-love.
3. Know What You Want
Before reentering the dating world, make a list of the qualities you’re looking for in a partner. Then create a list of the characteristics you don’t want in a partner. Knowing what you want — and what you don’t — is an essential step toward getting back out there. It’s OK to get picky, too. The goal is to include everything that pops up in your head.
Now that you have your two lists, spend some time analyzing them. First, make note of the qualities you’d be willing to compromise on. For example, maybe you wrote down that you want to be with someone who comes from a big family. Chances are, you could compromise for someone who comes from a small family but is family-orientated, right? Exactly.
You should also consider re-working your lists, putting each quality in order from most important to not a big deal. While it would be great to find someone that has everything you want, that’s not realistic. No one is perfect. What matters most is that you find someone who has the qualities you aren’t willing to compromise on.
4. Don’t Become Obsessed
Have you heard the saying, “Love finds you when you aren’t looking?” While there’s no science to back this up, there’s something to be said about letting love find you. After all, the last thing you want is to spend all day and night stressing about finding a relationship.
To keep that from happening, do your best to continue living your life even as you try to date. Make time for your hobbies, friends, and family. Instead of spending hours on dating sites, limit yourself to an hour a day (or even less). Don’t let looking for a partner take over your entire life. Doing so could make the process stressful rather than fun.
When it comes to dating, it’s a good idea to experiment with different avenues. While online dating has grown in popularity, it’s not the only way to meet people. Consider using your hobbies and interests to find a partner. For example, maybe you like exercising. Sign up for a gym and strike up a conversation with the person working out next to you.
5. Throw Out the Rules
You might have grown up thinking dating rules existed. Always wait a day before responding to a text. Men should pay for every meal. Don’t call the day after a date. It’s time to stop perpetuating these dating rules, and admit something — there are no rules for dating!
The only way to be successful in love (or with a casual hook-up) is to throw out the rules. Make decisions based on your own feelings, rather than listening to other people. Sure, you might make mistakes but you’ll learn from them; and that’s the whole point of life.
Do your best to let your intuition guide you and try not to overthink everything. Dating only works when you show the person exactly who you are. Be unapologetically yourself and you are certain to find someone who appreciates that.
Putting yourself back on the market can be challenging and maybe even a little scary. Luckily, the tips above will help you along your journey. Just remember to follow your gut, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find love.