For an enjoyable dating experience that leads to love, be honest with yourself, single out your dealbreakers, and learn how to handle rejection.
Dating is a tricky business… and the numbers back it up. According to the 2021 Marriage and Parenthood Survey, 50% of Singaporean singles surveyed aren’t dating. And 38% have never dated before. Their top three reasons? A limited social circle, a lack of opportunities to meet potential partners, and a preference to leave dating to chance. Let’s face it: it’s hard to approach someone you’re interested in. Dating apps and social media make it easier to avoid rejection by texting or swiping right instead of taking a chance on a date. But if you’re looking for a personal way to find love, here’s how to make the most out of your dating life.
Dating tips to help you find long-lasting love
1. What does your perfect match look like?
A clear vision and values are essential for success in dating (and life). When you know what you want and how to get it, it’s easier to be confident and open up to new experiences. Before beginning the search for a partner, define your values and goals. Identify where you’d like to go in life. Do you want to live in a particular place? What are your career goals? How does your future partner fit in?
Consciously identifying these things will help you find someone with similar ambitions and aspirations, as well as compatible values. Knowing where they stand on big issues can give you insight into how they might fit into your life long-term. Asking yourself such questions will help simplify the process of saying yes to the next date.
2. A “situationship” vs a committed relationship
Do you want something short-term for the next few months? Or are you looking for long-term love? If you’re not sure about your feelings or what type of relationship suits you best, ask the other party how they feel. They may be looking for something more serious than what they’ve been experiencing so far with you, or vice versa.
If your dating goal is marriage or family, but you’re currently focused on other areas of your life, perhaps dating isn’t suitable at this stage (unless there’s someone who’s worth your change in focus). Only keen to have casual fun without any long-term commitments? Maybe dating seriously isn’t right for you now (or ever!). It all depends on where you find the kind of happiness and fulfilment you want.
3. Back away from dealbreakers
Be aware of what makes you walk away from a relationship. If having children is important, and a partner is reluctant to commit to marriage and kids, this may be a no-go. A person’s perspective on family often reflects their values and morals.
Other examples of dealbreakers include your conversation style (it’s a red flag if they’re constantly yelling at you or ignoring you), drug use, and sex habits (for example, if they expect sex before marriage and you don’t want that).
4. Read between the lines
The best way to do this? Observe the difference between what they say and what they do. If you sense someone is interested in you but isn’t sure how to communicate it (beyond sending compliments or sporadic texts), ask what they like about your profile and why they think you’d make a good match as potential partners. This will help you identify any chemistry and make a future meet-up less awkward.
5. Learn how to be good company
Being a good listener is one of the best ways to keep a conversation going. Instead of getting distracted by your thoughts or trying to come up with a witty response, focus on what they’re saying. Show your honest interest by asking questions – and listen attentively when they speak.
Keep your tone positive and supportive; avoid criticism or judgmental comments (even if it’s subtle). If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification instead of making assumptions. Tip: never bring up controversial topics with someone who may not agree with your point of view. If there’s something serious you want to talk about, try again later when you’re both feeling more comfortable with each other.
6. Don’t take it personally
Separate the personal from the professional. Don’t take things personally – and don’t be defensive, sensitive, or emotional about it either. You can’t expect someone to truly understand your feelings on a first date. Being too needy will only make them want to avoid commitment even more – so don’t cling to something that’s not working!
7. Watch out for romance scammers
It’s no secret that fraudsters live on the internet. But it’s also full of people looking for love. It’s important to learn the difference between a con artist and a legitimate suitor. Be wary of anyone who claims to be from another country (and keeps putting off your video chats). If someone asks you for money right off the bat, be cautious. A genuine date typically won’t do that to you.
Oh, and don’t get swept up by flattery. If someone seems too good to be true, trust that instinct! Look out for subtle clues like excessive or over-the-top compliments about how “perfect” everything is. Your potential partner may be trying too hard – and they may not actually mean what they’re saying.
8. Be honest about your feelings
Sometimes, you may be unsure how to act or what to say around your date – especially when certain topics come up. That’s just part of being human. What’s important is being truthful about these feelings, so that you both know where you stand.
Honesty might mean saying no, and this can be hard! But even if it doesn’t feel good at first, being genuine about your needs and limits can get you greater understanding and respect. If someone tries to push past your boundaries, express your discomfort or tell them you’re not ready. And if they don’t stop the aggression, that’s an indication you’re not compatible and you need to step away from the situation.
9. If there’s no spark, don’t force it
Not feeling attracted to your date? Be frank and tell them. It’s best to say goodbye now instead of wasting time when one party isn’t interested. Think about whether the chemistry is working – and if this person has traits that excite or interest you enough for another date. If not, turn down their offer politely but firmly – and tell them why. It may sound harsh, but doing so will save you both a lot of time (and heartache).
10. Take rejection the healthy way
Anyone who’s looking for love will know that rejection is part of the process. Don’t let your feelings get hurt by someone who isn’t interested in you. Instead, pay attention to yourself and give your best effort. Rejection can be an opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t, so don’t be afraid to walk away from something that’s broken. You deserve the absolute best!
Try not to beat yourself up over a failed relationship or force one into existence just because of loneliness, jealousy or anger. You shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting something different; just say no politely when it’s appropriate. Dating successfully means enjoying the process and being honest – even when it doesn’t work out.
Ultimately, dating is all about finding someone who fits into your life and makes you feel comfortable. It’s not always a smooth process, but the more you practice active listening, honesty and empathy, the better your chances of finding what you’re looking for. Even if you encounter dates that crash and burn, there’s no shame in trying again. Every date is a chance for adventure, so be open to new experiences!