When I was still single and dating, I was never quite sure of what to look out for in a partner. I knew I wanted a man who would respect me, but outside of that, there was nothing else. However, even though I wasn’t always sure of the specifics of what I wanted, I knew very clearly things I did not want. As I got older, the list grew longer, and usually, by the end of the second month, I could tell if a relationship would have potential for more or if it was simply a dead end.
Dating—particularly here in Nigeria—can sometimes be a daunting affair. There’s a certain level of experience and awareness required to navigate your way through. I know this because I have heard and seen stories of younger ladies pushed to sorrow and tears simply from the dating process. But it doesn’t have to be so. With a few guidelines, you can avoid unnecessary stress and heartache. Some of them are listed below.
Be Your Own Person
Know yourself and what is important to you. Self-love and thriving friendships, as well as the consistent pursuit of your own interests, will work together to make you your own woman. The will lead to you naturally attracting people who fit into your lifestyle. It will also leave you happy, whether you are single or in a relationship.
Have Your Own Money
Do something to earn income for yourself. Financial independence will boost your self esteem. It will also help you avoid toxic relationships and walk away from them when necessary.
Know Your Deal breakers
Be frank with yourself about your stance on certain issues, whether it is your expectations of gender roles in the relationship, or it is your faith and values. Accept that there are things you simply cannot live with, and there are things you will be open to negotiate. Know the difference.
Be Honest And Avoid Games
If you need to play ‘hard-to-get’ and other games to feel secure in a relationship, you are better off without that relationship. Learn to be honest and open about your feelings and expectations. Be willing to share any detail of your past that might impact on the current relationship. Show your interest clearly, even if it means you have to make a move. This is 2018! It’s okay for women to have feelings and show them.
Enjoy The Dating Process
It is good to know what you want out of a relationship and talk about the future. But it is counterproductive to be so focused on the future of a relationship that you forget to have fun in the present. Spend time enjoying and getting to know each other. Have fun and create good memories. That way, even if things don’t work out, you will have the pleasant experience with you forever.
Listen To Your Instincts
Ignoring your gut feeling is often a mistake. Very often, your instincts ‘know’ when something is wrong long before your mind can process the facts of a situation. Whether it’s about red flags or momentary danger, trust your instincts on what the situation is and the best way to extricate yourself from it.