Charlotte is a communications manager, freelance journalist, copywriter and blogger who writes on relationships, confidence and much more! You can find Charlotte at nothinggoodrhymeswithcharlotte.com and @Charlottebuxto on Twitter.
There’s so much chat about the dos and don’ts of dating that you can feel, if you’re not expert in all aspects of the game, you really shouldn’t be playing. But that’s not the case.
There’s plenty of room for everyone – from the dating veterans who have multiple copies of their first, second and third date outfits, to the newbies nervously updating their online profiles before daring to dip their toe in the water. Different perspectives and experiences are what makes dating fun.
If you’re coming back to dating after being in a relationship or taking time out, or if you’re brand new to it, you might worry about coming across as a little inexperienced or naive. Perhaps you’ve got out of the habit of meeting new people, or you’re nervous about not knowing all the dating ‘rules’ you’re allegedly supposed to abide by. But don’t worry. Here’s how to make your innocence play to your advantage.
You won’t be judgmental
Don’t fear your lack of dating expertise – embrace the positive characteristics it gives you. You’ll be inclined to take each interaction as it comes, to get to know people for who they are, and to focus on the attractive aspects of people’s personalities, and how they could potentially go with yours.
People want to go on dates with men and women they feel comfortable being themselves with. Dating can be nerve-racking enough without worrying you’re going to be judged before you’ve even had a chance to share what you’re about. Let your openness and lack of cynicism play to your advantage and your dates will be all the better for it.
Of course, you’ll need to be honest with yourself about whether the people you meet could be right for you, but do it once you’ve got more information, rather than making a snap judgment that could make you walk away from somebody perfect for you.
You’ll be honest
With innocence comes honesty, which is at the heart of every successful date and relationship. No doubt you’ve heard people complain about dates they’ve been on with guys or girls who ‘played games’ by presenting a false version of themselves, or by not being honest about what they want, or how interested they are. It leaves everybody feeling frustrated and like they’ve wasted their time.
There’s no need to overthink the version of yourself that you present to a date. People want to go out with the real you – and if that doesn’t suit them, it was never going to work out anyway. You’ve no reason to lie – you know why you’re dating, you’re keen to have a positive experience, and the only way you’ll find what you truly want is by being yourself.
Not being restricted by a perceived set of dating ‘rules’ about what you should and shouldn’t say at each stage of the dating process will make the whole experience more fun for everyone – nobody wants to feel like they’re being marked against a list of expectations.
You’ll be optimistic
You’ve done your research and come to the conclusion that the person you’re meeting could be a match for you, so it’s OK to feel optimistic that your date will go well. Let yourself have a good time, enjoy great conversation, and see where it takes you. It’s fine if you don’t have a game plan for how you’re going to approach the date, exactly what you’re going to talk about, and how you’re going to behave at every moment – spontaneity often leads to fun, and letting out the real you!
Whilst it’s a wise idea to know what you’re hoping to get out of dating overall, you should also always keep an open mind and see where your interactions take you. Again, a little bit of naivety is a very welcome addition to the party here – if you don’t have a precise idea of what you’re looking for, you might end up finding it where you least expect it.
Enjoyable and worthwhile dates happen when everyone relaxes and just focuses on getting to know each other. So don’t worry about not being some kind of dating expert – you’re a person who wants to meet somebody new, and that’s enough to get you started.