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October 27, 2018

What I've Learned From Online Dating

It's time to channel my inner Bridget Jones on Affordable by Amanda.

Just call me the millennial version of Carrie Bradshaw, minus the New York City loft.

A blog is an Internet diary, so why not explore some new topics that have been circling my mind for the past few weeks?

Although you've seen me style summer and fall outfits and post about my favorite skin care products, there's an aspect of my life that I rarely go into much detail on.

The topic I'm referring to? Dating! Relationships!

I'm not focusing this post on any of the guys that I've previously dated (out of respect). I'll be focusing the post entirely on things I know about MYSELF that I didn't a year ago.

The truth is, this post is all about my experience growing into my own as a young adult.

Here is my current relationship status: I am a happily single 24-year-old. However, I've been putting myself through plenty of online dating scenarios to dedicate a whole post on these past six months on various dating apps.

I've also slowly uncovered what major personality characteristics I'm looking for in a partner thanks to monthly therapy sessions.

It helps me sort out whatever dating situation I find myself in when I openly discuss the topic of relationships with someone I trust, such as my therapist. I highly recommend it!

OK - I'm taking quite a deep breathe here - and continuing on to fill you in on what I've learned about myself from online dating.

1. It's OK If Not Everyone You Meet on Dating Apps Likes You Back

Alright, lesson number one. This is essentially also referring to the most recent epiphany I've had. In real life, I am such a people pleaser. I go out of my way to please everyone; even strangers I meet for five minutes!

I love taking care of people and making sure they like me. I believe that one of my love languages is acts of service. This is just part of who I am as an individual.

One of the first important lessons that I've learned from online dating is that not all of the men I talk on the apps will like me in return.

Sounds easy, right? Not for me! It's hard to face rejection, but I feel like it's even harder for me in particular not to succeed at "pleasing" someone.

I've realized that I also don't HAVE to like everyone I meet, either. There is nothing tethering me to any of the guys I talk to for five minutes on an online app. Our simple conversation means nothing unless it turns into something more down the road.

Not everyone is meant to get along, that's just part of life. I am making more of an effort to weed out the men I talk to on these apps that just don't cut it and will not make my list of things I am looking for in a partner.

2. Don't Make Excuses For Guys 

I can virtually hear my friend Maddie telling me this phrase over and over again.

Maddie: "Amanda, you're making excuses for him!"

"Well, maybe he had a long day at work and couldn't text me back", I say out loud to her on FaceTime, as she sits back and rolls her eyes.

"He's probably just having dinner with his friends."

"I'm sure his phone died."

So. Many. EXCUSES!

I've said all of them and then some to my friends. I want to believe the best in people, but even the best excuses are just warning signs that he might not be that into you. Which I've learned is a perfectly good reason to move on.

If a guy won't make the effort to make plans with you or is not willing to text back, then girl you are free to keep looking.

3. It's Such a Cliche - Be Your Honest Self

I don't know how many times I tried to force myself to change parts of who I am to please someone else. There I go again! Back to channeling the "people pleaser" in me.

This ultimately creates problems for the two people involved if you are not completely expressing who you are when you are together.

Obviously, you don't want to enter a relationship with someone if you are not acting like yourself, right? It's more important to be yourself than to get dozens of people to like you!

Someone out there will fall for all of your crazy quirks and weird habits, I firmly believe that. Let yourself relax a little on dates when you stop trying to act like someone you're not.

4. Keep Your Standard High

When I first started my journey in the online dating world, I thought the first guy I met would be "the one".

I think I was delirious. Or just really ready to settle down and called someone "my boyfriend".

STORY TIME: Of course, my first date from Tinder turned out to be a total waste of time and a wonderful learning experience all wrapped in one night.

I know he probably will never find this blog post so I don't mind spilling the tea on how our date went just for fun.

I have on my profile that I love eating Chick-Fil-A. So our first date was to Chick-Fil-A. Super casual, nothing too expensive.

I also made a huge mistake of piling on SO much makeup that my undereye concealer was powdered to perfection. My makeup for this casual Chick-Fil-A date ended up making me look like I had no pores at all which is CLEARLY a lie.

The date was fine in the beginning, I was a blabbermouth because I was rightfully nervous, and we ended up back at his place after the date to hang out.

I also could not stop talking while at his house (which I think is totally fine! I was expressing who I am!), yet I could tell that he was getting tired and needed me out of his place because he wakes up so early for work. I saw a huge bookshelf in his living room and out of pure insanity I asked him to give me a book to read.

Y'all I basically robbed this man of a perfectly good book. He was clearly was so over my presence. I had just met him two hours ago and now I was asking him to recommend a book for me to read from his bookshelf.

In my head, I figured if I held onto his book we would have an opportunity to hang out again. You want to know what happened? I still have his book and I do not have any contact with him whatsoever.

My friends were like, "YOU TOOK A BOOK FROM HIS HOUSE?!" and now I realize how bizarre that was. This is how you learn lessons, people! Learn from your mistakes.

5. Don't Settle

I am constantly reminding myself of the type of guy I am searching for. 

I keep these important characteristics in my head while I match with new guys on dating apps, or whether I meet someone new when I am out with friends. 

As much as I would have loved to pick the first guy I went on ONE Tinder date with and call him my boyfriend (lol), I am still searching for someone to meet all my criteria and hopefully meet his. 

I am not settling for anything less than someone who will be a great asset to my life. 

If you are online dating, how is it going for you? 
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. 

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