I have included 5 important dating tips for women specifically in our modern age. First, I would like to announce that these difficulties and tips aren’t always fair and I definitely do not want to imply that all men and women are a certain way. While I generalize here, please leave any and all comments with your thoughts and experiences. I’d love to hear them!
I felt it was important to address the common and realistic issues that are effecting modern dating and (in this article, specifically) heterosexual relationships. Although we as women have more choices than even our own grandmothers did, societally, we are still trying to re-establish and define what our modern roles are. As women, we’ve advocated for an equal voice and equal opportunities, which is really powerful; but this also has its own implications, especially when we are trying to find a partner.
Of course, we still have a lot to accomplish as a society, but my intention for writing this article is more to help share dating tips for women in this modern world. I’d like to normalize the difficulties a lot of women experience while balancing the endless responsibilities of her modern life.
So here we go. In the words of Beyonce, “All the Single Ladies!” Listen up: Here’s what you need to know about your dating life!
Be Mindful of How Your Independence Plays a Role in Your Dating Life
Do you feel the need to be independently successful in your career, in finances, with your emotions? Most modern women feel the need to be independently wealthy and are encouraged by our societal shifts to be independently driven in many ways. We’ve come so far from the traditional nuclear prototypes of gender roles.
On one hand this shift from traditional gender roles give women the permission to work hard and be financially independent if they choose to. On the other hand, it can feel like a tremendous pressure to be “successful” on all levels independently, which leaves some women feeling like a failure either way. (I mean, why wouldn’t it? Those are a lot of balls to juggle by yourself!)
Our modern messages say women should now be successful without relying on anyone; women should be independent in their careers, their finances, their decisions, their freedom. Women shouldn’t need anyone.
Again, super empowering (Right ladies?! In a way, this is what we have been fighting for generations!), but this has an extremely powerful impact when we want to let their guards down and be vulnerable… when we want to let someone in and rely on them for connection.
We aren’t robots! We have insecurities and emotions; we struggle with balance and taking care of ourselves sometimes. It’s OK to want someone to comfort us and be a support system to us. This doesn’t mean we aren’t strong, successful or independent women, this means, we are human craving connection!
Unfortunately, the desire to be vulnerable in our dating lives translates in our modern culture as being “needy.” If a woman is “needy,” then there must be something wrong with her and inevitably her date will find another, “more independent” woman that doesn’t need so much from him. (I’m rolling my eyes here at how uncomfortable this makes me feel, but again… this is real life!! Unfortunately, this happens!)
This is one of those “unfair” scenarios, but here is also what you need to remind yourself of if you encounter this issue. Remember, there is not a dichotomous relationship between being a “strong, independent, successful woman” and not needing anyone’s support or comfort. You can be both.
The tip here is less than simple, but it’s enough to spark awareness. Awareness is powerful in itself, so let this marinade: Really think about who you are authentically. Do you let your independence rule your life? Do you let people in? If not, is it because you’re afraid of being “needy?” How might this be impacting your ability to let potential partners really get to know you? This is maybe an issue of what type of men you are attracting or attracted to? Do you want a man to comfort you? Do you want a partnership where you can let your guard down? How does your behavior and messages you tell yourself conflict?
This will be helpful to start identifying so you can start aligning your dating life with your own intentions and values; not your assumption of everyone else’s.
Don’t Play Too Many Games
I get it, realistically, you kind of have to play the game to some degree when you are dating. You are getting to know so many different types of people; you’re trying to break through barriers and find a potential connection. However, I would advise that you don’t spend too much of your time stressing about all the superficial rules… that really don’t even matter in the grand scheme of things.
Petty “rules” of not returning text messages within 2 hours of them sending a message, or Snap Chatting just to tease them when you’re out with girlfriends is just plain pointless. If you want to attract a man that is intrigued by your intellect; that can connect with you emotionally and shares core values with you, then you shouldn’t have to worry about who wins these petty games. If he is mature and has the depth you are looking for, then you will know without having to entertain each other with the superficial games. If he doesn’t respond to your texts after 4 hours every single time than maybe you opt out of that game and find someone that is more attentive. I promise you, by eliminating most of the modern games, you then become the real professional.
Don’t Let Yourself Be “Too Business”
We get it! You probably kick a lot of butt at the office and you should be proud of yourself for that; but being too business in your dating life may only cause your partner to feel insecure, threatened and/or annoyed, which could lead to competing against each other. This is harmful to a relationship because neither of you will let your guards down if you’re both making the assumptions that you have to be better than the other. I promise you, this is a recipe for disaster and should be avoided at all costs!!
To really avoid this, think about what you want in a partner. Maybe write it down. Then ask yourself how realistic are my expectations/desires/needs? For example, if you want a man to be “successful in his career,” then really identify what that means. Is it a salary amount? A lifestyle? Values? Is it that you don’t want them to rely on you? If it’s important to you that your partner has a “successful career,” then ask yourself “Why is this important?” Then, ask yourself “How do I see myself supporting them with their career? How do I see them supporting me? How could we possibly be partners, not competitors?”
Always be mindful of how your work ethic may be causing you to resent, pick (or dismiss) and/or demand things from your potential partners and start to recognize how that may be influencing your dating life.
Be Straight Forward, but Soft.
A lot of my single women clients portray an amazing self confidence. They make good money for themselves, they are educated, well traveled; highly functioning and intelligent. They are all around really “great catches.” Unfortunately, most of them are struggling with the same issue; they can’t find the “right guy.” Of course, I don’t have a magic wand and can’t create Prince Charming, but I do help my clients look within to strengthen themselves and make internal/external shifts. These changes can ultimately help my clients show up in the world differently; help them redefine their dating search to help create real connection. It gives them permission to see themselves and align their values, roles and expectations with their authentic selves.
I hear many of my female clients say, “I don’t beat around the bush when I’m dating. I’m too old to waste time. So after the first or second date, I am very straight forward about what I want and if they don’t align with that, I’m on to the next person.” To be honest, I actually think this can be great. I think communicating your intention right off the back is really healthy and can eliminate a lot of pain and frustration in the long run. The only slight tip I would advise here, is to be soft with your requests and be a little bit more patient! Sometimes connection takes a little time to cultivate!
Here’s a tip: Remember, you probably intimidate some men. Not because there is anything wrong with you, but because our society is still getting used to women being upfront, directive and confident in what they want. Your ideal match may say that they want an independent and successful woman, but they can easily get threatened by your success and self assurance. (Again, ::sigh:: this is not fair, but it’s the truth).
Try to remind yourself, “I am not on a job interview. I do not need to be so straight to the point and confrontational in order to “get what I want.” I can tell my potential partner on a date that I want children and marriage, but try to be more emotionally open with this information, rather than so aggressively assertive.
Redefine Your Expectations of Where You Think You “Should Be” (Especially at Your Age)
This can be a big influence, whether or not you know it. As Millennials anyway, we are taking “longer to settle down” as a generation. We are building our careers and going on adventures before we really feel the desire to settle down and invest in a family or partner. This is OK, but understanding how it may be impacting you is important. I have many clients (men and women) that start to feel regretful and sad by their decisions to prioritize their careers prior to a family, and when they find themselves at thirty-something, they feel lonely and discouraged with the dating world.
Just try to remember, that you’re not alone in this. Your life does not have to follow any type of expected “timeline” and you still have choices to create a life that means something to you. Yes, we cannot deny our biological clocks, but putting a lot of effort in stressing about it is only making you feel worse about yourself and your situation. You are not the only person out there that has not “settled” down at your age.
Find the empowerment in your lifestyle and your abilities; then ask yourself, “How can my successes and decisions in my adulthood actually serve me now and my desire to meet someone/have a family ?” I’m sure if you reframe it in this way, you will find that your timeline is actually… exactly where it should be.