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18 Dating Tips for Extraordinary Women Who Just Haven’t Found Him Yet

18 Dating Tips for Extraordinary Women Who Just Haven’t Found Him Yet

“The Rules” of dating seem to get blurrier the more we achieve in recognizing gender equality. When we clear away the confusion, though, dating is just a life skill, like healthy eating or applying for jobs.

Here are 18 simple dating tips to help you prepare yourself, navigate the online scene, build quality relationships, and feel successful, regardless of how the date or the relationship ends.

Before You Start Dating Tips:

1. Get clear on your expectations.

People date for different reasons. Are you looking for casual connections without any expectations, to find some companionship, or to find an empowering partner for the rest of your life? Be honest with yourself about your expectations, and then communicate them openly. Don’t compromise just because a man is especially sexy, charming, or successful.

2. Define success in empowering terms.

People can now expect to change careers three to five times in their lives and to move multiple times to new places. We’re still taught that a successful relationship is “happily ever after.” But does it have to be? Katherine Woodward Thomas teaches us to consider that a successful relationship could be one that is loving from start to finish, even when the finish comes as a break-up. If the only definition of success in a relationship is one that lasts until death, then very few relationships could be called “successful.” Redefine success in terms of being loving, having integrity, and learning.

3. Have standards.

Our standards slide when we fear we won’t find somebody, so we settle for anybody. While this speaks to the nurturing capacity of women to love just about anybody, we need to learn that we can still be loving and be selective. Decide now that you will only date a man who meets your “Musts.”

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What are the attributes that a man must have to be worth your heart? Make a list with two headings: “My man must” and “My man should.” Give yourself 10 minutes to list without censoring or second-guessing. Then go back through your list and ask yourself, “Is this really true?” Keep revising until you have a very clear picture of what you want. These are your “Musts.”

4. Raise your standards for yourself, too.

On the flip side, we often have huge expectations for our ideal partner, but we let ourselves get by with less than our best. If you are going to attract and date your “Must” man, make choices to develop your best self.

Make a new list with these headings: “To be my best self, I must” and “To be my best self, I should.” List for 10 uncensored minutes. Again, look back asking, “Is this true?” Make a plan to address every “Must” on your list at least twice over the next 10 days. This helps you nurture your own needs, regardless of how any date goes.

5. Remember that dating is a process.

If you want to have a fit body, you eventually learn that it is an on-going process. You can’t do 100 sit-ups once every six months and expect your body to change. Dating, too, takes persistence to see the results you are seeking. If you get frustrated that you aren’t finding what you’re looking for, remind yourself that there is no failure as long as you keep learning. Bad dates and relationships are opportunities to help you get clearer on who you are, how you can improve, and what you value most.

Online Dating Tips:

6. Initiate contact intelligently.

When a man’s profile seems to indicate that he could be a candidate who meets your “Musts,” message him. People have busy lives, and there’s no reason to wait for him to notice you. Don’t send messages that give him no idea of who you are or what you want, like, “Hi! How was your day?” Instead, be clear and put the ball in his court. A better message is: “Hi, Chris. There’s something about your profile that attracted me. I’m interested in getting to know you better. Are you open to the idea of meeting? Leslie.”

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7. Play the numbers.

Ignore this tip if it doesn’t work for the expectations you established in Tip 1.

Online dating, in fact all dating, is a numbers game. Your goal is to connect with as many men as you can. Remember that these are total strangers, and you don’t owe them anything. Like fishing, you can put out one line, wait around to see what happens, reel it in, decide it’s too small, throw it back and start again. Or you can throw out a net and have your pick of the harvest. If you’re looking for the right one for you in a sea of strangers, the more contact you make with different men, the better your odds.

8. Don’t waste time messaging.

You can message with a man for weeks, have deep conversations, or do some steamy sexting. But you’ll never know if there’s a real spark until you meet face to face. Use messages, emails, and calls to establish contact and arrange the logistical details of the date, with a touch of playful banter. Save the good conversation for one-on-one, when your eyes and tone of voice add to the allure. And your first meeting should always be in a public place.

Early Dating Tips:

9. Allow some communication lag time.

Whether you’re texting, messaging, or returning phone calls, avoid the urge to respond immediately to every little message. This isn’t about playing hard to get. Rather, it’s about setting healthy boundaries. Returning messages the instant you receive them can appear co-dependent or needy, as if his every word fuels your survival. Relax, and get back to him when you’ve had a moment to check-in with your higher self.

10. Smile.

There is nothing sexier to a man than a woman’s smile. It makes a man happy when he feels he can make a woman happy. If a man doesn’t believe he can make you happy, he will eventually leave, either physically or emotionally. There’s no need to be fake. Just share sincere smiles and laughter as they come. A beautiful, genuine smile is ten-million times more attractive than your hair, make-up, clothes or figure.

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11. Say “No.”

No matter how much money he’s spent on you or how badly you think it may hurt his feelings, don’t ever do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You have a gut instinct; listen to it. If a man is really worth it, he will understand. Feeling resentful or violated should never be something you have to accept to be in a relationship with anyone.

12. Protect children.

If either of you have children, protect them first. Never use children to build your relationship. It’s very confusing to children, even teenagers, when their parents date. Children can form bonds and expectations very quickly. Only bring the children into the picture when you are certain that the relationship has become one with longevity. And if the relationship seems that it may end, be sure to allow the children to voice their feelings and grieve the loss, too.

Long-term Dating Tips:

13. Play games.

People often say they don’t want their partner to play games, but that’s not 100% true. They don’t want to play hurtful, manipulative games. They do want to play inventive, imaginative, expressive games. These games allow our fullest selves to come alive. In a healthy relationship, people play with each other. Let your time together be fun and adventurous in whatever way feels good for you.

14. Give love to give love.

When people give love to get love, inevitably, someone will feel that they are giving more than they receive. Love isn’t even measurable in the first place; it simply is. While many people try to protect themselves from getting hurt by waiting to say, “I love you,” and guarding how expressive they are with their feelings, this actually leads to more pain. Choose to be a woman who expresses love to all people because that is the truest reflection of who you are. You only truly feel love when you are expressing it. You’ll be amazed at how much love you feel when you focus on giving rather than receiving.

15. Appreciate the gifts and resources that he shares.

Whether you are dating a man with significant wealth or a poor poet, thank him for the gifts he shares with you. If the man you’re dating has an abundance of money, talent, intelligence, accomplishment, or prestige, acknowledge these realities and that you may feel intimidated. Appreciate the entire person he is, not just those impressive bits. Be generous in sharing your own gifts and resources, knowing you are worthy in your own right!

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16. What if you’re the breadwinner?

Sociologist Christin Munsch found in her research that in marriages where the woman brings in significantly more income than the man, the man is more likely to cheat. While this finding decreased in non-married committed relationships, a noticeably higher number of men reported cheating in relationships when they were economically dependent on the woman. The most critical finding in Munch’s study actually had to do with the role conflict played in infidelity: lower reported conflict correlated to lower reported cheating by men. If you are a woman making more than your man, invest in conflict resolution coaching as a couple. Learn how to uncover conflict and see resolution as an opportunity to grow and strengthen your relationship.

Dating Tips for Parting Ways:

17. End all dates with gratitude.

Accept that dating is about finding the right fit. When you put together a puzzle, you don’t measure your skill by your ability to jam pieces together and “make it work.” You have to keep going through the pieces, trying and discarding until you find the right match. Stop defining “good dates” as matches. Instead, no matter how the date goes, be grateful that you and he were willing to try. If either one of you feels that it is not a good match, that’s great! Now you can be free to go find someone who fits with who you are and the person you are working to become.

18. Get back on the horse.

No one knows how much time it takes to recover from a break-up. For a while, you may choose not to date as a part of a healthy grieving process. Be careful not to wait too long out of fear of experiencing hurt or rejection. When you are genuinely interested into a new relationship, start dating again to practice these skills. When you go on dates, share your hopeful dreams for the future because this will help you solidify all that is possible and compelling. Choose love over fear.

What do you think about these dating tips? Are there any you would add? Leave them in the comments below!

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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