I’m going to say this up front: I have very little experience dating. When I was younger, I was too stuck in my own head, livin’ it up in fantasy land, to have concrete dating experience in reality. Everything was prettier and more fun in my imagination. When I grew older, I became disinterested, my focus shifting heavily to what I want to do in life. Career and my purpose in life became much more important. Not to mention, I got more cynical and knew I needed to practice self-love before letting others into my life. I am not the type who believes in two halves making a whole, as that suggests both people in a relationship are incomplete–I never want to be incomplete, nor do I want to be with someone who is incomplete.

dating advice

This has definitely left me with a unique and interesting experience since I’m nearing thirty. I can observe relationships around me, watch how people change, and give objective advice. I have also received pieces of dating advice, whether I asked for them or not, and one of them has stuck with me as it’s been repeated to me over and over by older, more experienced women, either directly or through a channel. And I like this one, because it’s a general message to everybody. They don’t know me or my love life; it’s just a piece of universal wisdom to share: date as many people as you can when you’re young.

Well, I’m a bit late on doing this, but I guess it’sย never too late to actually start.

I have heard this from a friend who heard it from her much older sister. I have heard this from my own older sister who have heard it from others. Today, I heard it from an older banker lady I’m chummy with from work, who advised me to date as many men as I could before settling down. She told me, “Don’t just date one person for so long.” This struck me as something I hear a lot, which is what inspired me to write this post. Why do all older women suggest this? You would think long-term relationships rather than many flings would be the proposed recommendation, but this is unexpectedly not the case.

I believe they give this tip quite unanimously because they know that nothing beats experience. You have to experience the greatest range of different people to truly know what you want, what works with you, whom you connect with, whom you could see a future with, and more. Everyone has ideas in their heads of what they would like. However, reality is different from what is pictured in the clueless mind.

I think another reason is that they don’t want you to get stuck in a relationship, which is easy for people to do. People naturally like to stay with what they are used to, what they have invested time in–even though the relationship might be rocky and there are signs that things aren’t working out. All of these omens are ignored from pure stubbornness to stay with what’s known. The unknown, the unfamiliar–all of it is scary. People don’t want to start all over with someone new. People have insecurities, so they worry about what would happen if they went back to being single. They’re scared to approach a bunch of different love interests because that meansย that many more chances of being rejected.

advice about dating

This is admittedly good dating advice.

I think one of my problems is I take love too seriously–which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since a lot of people seem to not take it so seriously these days. People fall in and out of love for the pure fun of it or the need to be wanted, apparently, but this also means I have no experience connecting with people and finding out what I need in a relationship. What kind of man works well with me? I’m also scared that my illusions of the kind of relationship I want would crack at true experience–because another one of my problems is that I’m an idealist.

I can’t imagine myself dating a bunch of men. It just doesn’t seem to match my personality type. But I can see the wisdom behind this dating advice. I’ve learned as I grew into adulthood, that adults really do know what they are talking about. Of course not all the time, but as I deal with more children, I want to say to them what I’ve been told when I was their age, despite knowing the futility. This is the cycle of life. Human beings repeat the mistakes at youth, and deplore the mistakes when older. It’s what’s sort of fun about reading books in which mortals and immortals coexist; they realize the difference between the fleeting human life as compared to those who live forever. We seem quite silly to those who don’t die, since we keep repeating the same mistakes. But each of us sometimes have to experience them firsthand; that’s how the lessons stick.

However, I’m not sure if I should wait around and repeat the mistakes of other women before me, so I could tell with regret to the next generation, “You should date as many men as you can.” I might have to listen to this dating advice… but I’m still quite reluctant. I do think it can work out where you date one person you think is the love of your life and not have regrets, but there has to be a reason so many people believe it’s a mistake, right?

Things I would recommend is reading the To All the Boys I Loved Beforeย trilogy, as this is touched upon subtly there, as well as watching How to Be Single. The female lead (Dakota Johnson) wants to see more of what’s out there life- and romance-wise, so she leaves her boyfriend with the promise of coming back to him. Instead, she figures out the rocky roller coasters that are relationships and the power of living the single life. Another problem people seem to have is not being able to stay single–which I believe is as important as putting yourself out there in love.

See Also:  You can do it! How to get through the mid-year crisis

What is the best relationship advice you got? What other dating advice would you like to share? Do you agree with this one? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to know your thoughts!

Gallantly,

gallantly gal

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16 Comments

  1. Roacilynn

    May 14, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Well…I’m 36 and I had a few boyfriends in high school. Two long term ones in my early 20’s and 30’s. I’ve been single I think…for almost 5 years. I personally don’t think you should date more than you are comfortable with. I would suggest to all young girls/women to take time to get to know themselves. Don’t get lost in the dating world and lose yourself. The fact is most people who get in and out of relationships all the time put their own dreams, goals and needs last. I can’t count how many I know who change with evey relationship to fit their partner. Like, who the hell are you really? Without someone by your side? So…I say if someone comes along WORTH dataing, OK…go ahead. But no need to force it. Do your thing. Be selfish and give yourself the time you need and deserve to be a WHOLE person. I agree with you. We need to love ourselves completely. Be whole all on our own in order to love anyone else. At least in a “healthy” way. I rather be single than in a fucked up relationship! And guess what? My time alone has made me even more sure of myself. I <<< will NEVER settle for less than I deserve ๐Ÿ™‚ Not saying I don't get lonely, lol. We're human and we long for connection. I just wish more of us would choose the right kind of connections. Anyways, that's my advice! LOL

    1. gallantly gal

      May 14, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      Yessss being single is empowering and healthy (that’s why I recommended that movie!). I agree and think everyone should enjoy a good amount of the single life instead of constantly diving into one relationship and then another. Serial dating seems to me like you don’t really want to be with yourself, which sounds miserable ๐Ÿ™ But I’m on the opposite extreme, which is also bad xD I need to put myself out there a bit more instead of closing myself off to everything ahaha that’s me not trusting the world

      1. Roacilynn

        May 14, 2018 at 8:58 pm

        So you’re ready for that human connection? ๐Ÿ˜‚ Ok, you’re afraid of the world? I think the most important question is WHY? Once you figure that out and how to overcome it… you’re ready. You’ll feel that shift and know exactly what you need to do next.

  2. Amanda

    May 14, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    I definitely think that this is a good dating advice – I’m not sure it means dating a whole bunch of people though! I know that I have had relationships that lasted way past it’s expiry date and I think it’s important to identify when a relationship should be over and not just sticking with it because you think you should or it’s just comfortable. Don’t settle!

    1. gallantly gal

      May 15, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      Yeah, it’s just about knowing what you want in your partner and improving how you read the signs for when a relationship isn’t working out and knowing when you should move on. Nothing beats experience! And definitely never settle ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Nat

    May 14, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    I donโ€™t think I quality to give dating advice since I’ve been on exactly zero dates. Oops. I don’t know if I’ll ever reach a point in my life where I’m settling into myself, but for an indefinite period of time until whenever I decide to take down the “closed for renovation” sign, I am not in the position to date.

    1. gallantly gal

      May 15, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      I don’t know if I’ll ever be satisfied with myself, either, haha, but I definitely don’t want to outsource this task to someone else.

  4. Nat

    May 14, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    *qualify

  5. Bry Jaimea

    May 15, 2018 at 4:56 am

    This one piece of advice is so true! After all, how do you know what type of icecream you like the most unless you try a bunch of flavours? We all try new things all the time, we do the whole “trial and error” thing in almost every aspect of our lives – so why not with romance as well? After all, you don’t know what you’re looking for in a partner until you know what you’re not looking for.
    And never settle, and always have a “fuck it” fund, and don’t judge a man by his relation with his mother BUT his relationship with his Dad ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. gallantly gal

      May 15, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      I do think there is some wisdom behind the advice, even though it is a bit daunting to me. I definitely agree with the never settle approach. I see no point in being miserable with someone when you can be happy alone, if anything. Plus, treat yourself well! Find someone who only lifts your life. Interesting about the man and his relationship with his dad over his mom!

      1. Bry Jaimea

        May 16, 2018 at 4:47 am

        A guy who has a bad relationship with his dad will have an unusually close relationship with his mum, and it’s likely the mum is the reason the guy and his dad aren’t close. It’s typically a sign of a manipulative and overbearing mother.
        Yeah, dating is pretty daunting but it’s also a lot of fun! When I was single I would date a fair bit, but always used it as a way to go to new places and explore new things!
        But you’ve hit the nail on the head – if you can be happy with your own company, why settle for second best? xx

        1. gallantly gal

          May 16, 2018 at 2:16 pm

          Ooh that’s interesting… Yup, I’m currently just dating myself and hoping I’ll make myself happy someday xDDD

  6. Lani

    May 16, 2018 at 2:45 am

    Well, as one of those “older women” I suppose I must pipe in ๐Ÿ˜›

    First of all, the last sentence of your first paragraph is hilarious.

    Secondly, I know several couples who are still together that did not “date the field”. Several of my friends married as early as 19-20. I think the advice you heard was well-meaning, and as you eluded to has perhaps more to do with them than you. I don’t even know what a “normal” amount of dating would be anyhow!

    “Do what feels right for you” should be the ultimate dating advice. That way, you’d have no regrets.

    One of the most memorable pieces of dating advice I received was “don’t marry or settle down until after you’re 30 because your tastes in men will change”.

    Another was “find someone who loves you more than you love him”. In both cases, they rang pretty pretty true for me. But I’m no expert. I’ve never been married, don’t have kids, and I’m 45. I know what it’s like to be single and coupled up though… now you got me thinking, good blog post. I might have to riff off of yours! Cheers.

    1. gallantly gal

      May 16, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      Yeah! I know some people who didn’t date like a WHOLE LOT but are in happy long-term relationships. And it works for them. I think that’s kind of the route I want to go, to be honest, which is why this piece of advice intrigues me so much. I did hear the one about finding a guy who loves you more than you love him. I forgot about that. It’s interesting, but things can always shift. I feel like when dating, the man might like the woman more, but after marriage or many years of dating, the woman might like the man more. Ideally, the two would like each other equally, but, again, ideally, haha. I hear it’s particularly true for women that they have to find men who like them more, for heterosexual relationships anyway. I think it’s something to do with the gender dynamics. Haha thank you, and go right ahead! I look forward to reading it.

  7. Audra Edmonson

    May 16, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    It’s like you’re in my head…

    I agree with this advice, but also the advice in the comments about tempering it. I don’t think it means date a new guy every week, but I think it does speak to the wisdom of getting to know many people. I’m like you in that I wasn’t interested in dating in high school, dated a bit in college after one serious relationship, and now I’m back to being not super interested. I’m way interested in finding a boyfriend, but not in dating, if that makes sense. It’s messy and hard and irritating. My hope is to get to know guys as friends first; expand my field in that area and get to know them without romance, and hopefully have that help me narrow the field. But that also involves going out and getting to know people as friends too…which is just as hard…

    Awesome post!

    1. gallantly gal

      May 16, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      Ah yes that does make sense! That’s really well put. I think I also would like a boyfriend, but dating doesn’t interest me as much. If we could jump right into long-term relationships, that would be great, right? Haha. I agree with the approach of being friends first, which shows compatibility, and then seeing where it goes from there. Thanks!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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