Figuring dating out isn’t exactly easy. Not only is everyone different as far as what they’re looking to get out of the experience, but the dating game is continually changing. Getting your bearings and staying on your toes can be a challenge, especially when you’re jumping back into things after being off the market for a while.
It doesn’t help that there’s still a lot of misinformation out there as to how dating really works. The following examples are some of the most persistent dating myths to be aware of and to stop believing immediately. How many look familiar?
1. A “forever relationship” is the ultimate goal.
Sure, some people still dream of committing to one person for the rest of their lives and building a family the traditional way, but we’re well into life in the 2020s at this point. Finding “the one” and living happily ever after isn’t for everyone anymore.
An increasing number of people aren’t even interested in being monogamous these days, so don’t sweat it if you’re not either. A modern person’s dating life is what they make of it, and anything goes. Reasonable possibilities include perpetual singlehood, polyamory, and casual sex.
2. You have to play hard to get.
There will always be people who love the thrill of the chase, but that’s hardly the norm. Just as not everyone dates to get married and have children anymore, there are a lot of people out there who are sick and tired of playing games like “hard to get.”
These days, taking an honest, straightforward approach to sex and dating will get you a lot further. If you’re interested in hooking up, exploring a “friends with benefits” situation, or something else entirely with someone, in particular, say so.
3. Someone can be out of your league.
Leagues don’t exist, full stop. There’s no one way to be attractive anymore, and no two people are going to be attracted to the same things. For every weight, age, look, and personality type out there, there’s someone who finds it wildly sexy.
Let go of the idea that you’re not as dateable as someone else because you’re not conventionally attractive (whatever that even means anymore.) Figure out what you want, as well as what you’re looking for in a potential partner. Then go after it with confidence.
4. No one wants “strong women” or “good men.”
As with dating and relationships, there’s no longer a correct way to be a woman or a man. Some people may still fantasize about being with a bad boy or an ultra-submissive woman, but that’s far from everyone.
Authenticity and uniqueness are where it’s at these days, so people aren’t just willing to give good guys or strong, empowered women a chance. Many want precisely that – a Beyonce or a Keanu Reeves, as opposed to yet another tired stereotype.
5. Opposites attract.
While it’s certainly possible for two wildly different types of people to find one another attractive, attraction as a concept is a lot more complicated than that. For one thing, people just don’t fit that easily into all these little boxes society creates for everyone.
Also, while it’s fine to date people who bring something different to the table, there’s a lot to be said for having things in common. Even if you’re only interested in something casual right now, it just plain feels good to gel with someone who’s into a lot of the same things you are.
6. App-based dating is a drag.
You hear a lot these days about how the internet in general and app-based dating platforms (like Tinder) in particular have ruined dating, but don’t believe it. Yes, you should be mindful of who you hook up with online, but online dating is no better or worse than any other type.
As always, your experience is what you make of it, but choosing the right platform is an integral part of the equation. For instance, if you’re solely interested in casual sex, you’ll have a better experience on a dedicated platform like Ashley Madison than you will one like Tinder, where many of the people there are looking for lasting commitment.
7. Sex on the first date is a no-no.
This might seem like an obvious myth to some, but you’d be surprised how many people still believe it. There’s no right or wrong time frame when it comes to having sex save for the one that feels right to the people involved. For some, that could be on the first date, while for others, it might mean never having sex.
Ultimately, a great dating experience is one that’s customized to suit your sexuality, wants, needs, and goals for your love life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.