Are You Dating To Find A Partner? Remember These 4 Things

People date for many reasons — because they’re bored, they’re trying to figure out what they’re looking for, they’re hoping it’ll help them get over an ex, and because it’s just plain fun, to name a few. But if you’re dating to find a partnerspecifically, then it’s a whole different ball game. There are certain things you’ll need to remember in order to get one step closer to meeting “The One” (or at the very least, the one for RN). Not only that, but there are other things to be mindful of in order to maintain your sanity throughout the dating process.

One of my best friends from college recently declared that she was on this very mission. “I’m so done f*cking around,” she told me after another almost-relationship ended a few months in. “I’m looking for my person.” IMHO, this simple declaration is the first important step toward finding a partner. Acknowledging what you’re looking for out loud can be a powerful act that eventually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Once you’ve admitted that you’re dating with this particular goal in mind, you can start the super exciting process of seeking out your next prospective boo. And don’t forget to keep these crucial things in mind while you’re at it.


Milles Studio/Stocksy

It can be difficult to tell what someone is looking for, especially in the early stages of dating. And in an age where casual dating is as common as a kale salad, it’s super important to make sure that you explicitly communicate your intentions from the get-go. In fact, you might even put a little blurb in your dating profile that indicates you’re not looking for a hookup so people who are strictly dating casually can keep swiping. And you should also make it a point to ask what your date is looking for the first or second time you hang out. Once you’ve had some time to talk and you feel a bit more comfortable, you can ask something like, “Hey, what made you sign up for Tinder? Are you searching for something in particular?” or “Would you say you’re more into casual dating right now, or are you more looking for a relationship?” Then it’s time to make yourintentions known.

If your date gets awkward, or mysteriously ghosts you after this date, no sweat. The whole point of doing this early on is to weed out the ones who aren’t on the same page. After all, why would you want to waste time going on dates with someone who has no interest in committing? Taking this step may feel intimidating at first, but remember: It’s the best way to boost your chances of finding your future bae — someone who genuinely wants the same thing you do, and isn’t afraid to acknowledge it.


I’m a big list-maker. It helps me to keep my thoughts organized and my anxiety under control. But not only that — making a list naturally helps to keep you accountable. When you write something down, you’re more likely to actually do it. So, consider making a list of all the qualities that you consider essential in a partner. Remember — needs are different from wants, which are negotiable. Needs tend to include a person’s values, goals, and personality traits. They are the traits that you might not pick up on by simply catching a glimpse of them across a bar or scoping out their dating app profile picture. In other words, height, eye color, hair color, or body type probably don’t belong on this list. Rather, this list is about honing on the qualities that give a person long-term partner potential for you.

Once you’ve drawn up your list, don’t just forget about it. Revisit it after a stellar date or a total dud. That way, you can remind yourself of what you’re looking for. Not only that, but you’ll likely need to revise the list over time, as you realize through the dating process what’s most important to you.

Speaking of lists, it’s also a good idea to identify what you’re not looking for. If you’re not interested in dating someone who’s a different religion or significantly younger than you, then knowing these dealbreakers will help you weed through prospective matches much more easily.


Sean Locke/Stocksy

If you’re eager to meet someone the old-fashioned way — IRL — then there’s hardly a better way to do that then by joining a group, taking a class, or attending an event that involves your interests. That way, you know you automatically have something in common with all the cuties you meet.

So, if you love animals, look for volunteering opportunities that involve some furry friends. If you’re a craft beer nerd, take a homebrewing class. Or, if fitness is a big part of your life, join a new running group or softball league.

Be careful, however, about getting involved in something solely with the expectation of meeting a partner. While taking advantage of these opportunities may help with your search for an SO, they’re also opportunities for self-development. So just do you — and focus on participating in things that make you feel happy, fulfilled, and engaged. Without a doubt, that kind of passion and joy will only make you more enticing to the next person you meet.


Emmanuel Hidalgo/Stocksy

If you’re dating with the intention of pursuing a relationship, there are certain signs you should look out for on the first few dates that may indicate your date isn’t partner material.

For example, if your date is sending you mixed signals — as in, they’re really into you one day, but then go MIA the next — that’s a red flag for sure.

Or, if your date keeps bringing up their ex, that could be a sign that they’re not over their last relationship (which, in turn, means they’re likely not ready to commit to a new one).

If your date gets a tad aggressive about coming inside your apartment at the end of the night or gets squeamish when you even so much as hint at the idea of commitment, those are other red flags that their intentions aren’t likely in line with yours.

Arguably, the most important thing to remember when you’re dating with the hope of finding a significant other is to stay curious and open-minded. This is a learning process, after all, and you’re bound to be met with a few surprises along the way. Maybe that Tinder match who didn’t look like your type actually wows you on the first date. Or maybe, you realize through your experiences that finding someone who’s just as punctual or planning-minded as you is actually super important to you. As they say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Every single experience you have will have some kind of value, and when you look at it that way, no date will be a waste of time — only a chance to get one step closer to the right person for you.


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Sun Stories – The Most Orange, Crispy Tanning Horror Stories You’ll Ever Read

Dear Dr. Derm, forgive me for what I’m about to say.

So, yeah, “tan me” is way hotter than “pasty-and-pale me.” (And by way hotter, I’m not intimating that I’m incredibly good-looking—or even a little good-looking—it’s about that little bit of bronze that balances out my sometimes ruddy skin, makes my hair look blonder without the $250 highlighting bill and let’s me walk out of the house with some Aquaphor on as lip gloss and nothing else). But, since tanning is universally known to cause bad stuff (hi, cancer), I refrain and instead hit the bottle.

Either way you go, the bottle tan or the UV-ray real thing, getting bronzed often produces the most brutal (and totally hilarious) stories. To wit…

I went tanning before a date once, because I was feeling a little pasty in the dead of winter. I tanned in the buff, and went for the full 15 minutes. Not a good idea when you haven’t seen a ray of sunshine since August. I burnt my butt and my chest. Not cute—and of course it made me pray that the date wouldn’t go that well. The clothes had to stay on!—Nat, 31

My senior year of high school, my friends and I went down to Cancun for spring break. As we basked in the sun, a friend rolled over and asked me if I wanted any of her sunscreen. I told her no, I wanted to wait a little before applying so as to get a little color and said something stupid about my “natively Floridian skin” being able to take the heat. Flash forward to later that night, when my skin had turned bright red and blisters had started to show up across my belly and shoulders. I spent the rest of the vacation wrapped up like a mummy while my friends called “not it” on sharing a bed with me; by the end of the trip, my skin was peeling off in long, clammy sheets and the big joke in the morning was to wake up, find a strip of my skin in bed and guess which body part it had come from as in “Oops! There’s her forearm!” or “Hmmm, I think this is her right flank.” Eleven years later, I’ve had no less than three suspicious moles removed, all in the vicinity of my Cancun burn. Clearly, my “Floridian skin” couldn’t handle the heat.—Janey, 29

I should have listened when the front desk girl winced and recommended five minutes less than what I asked for at Hollywood Tans. I was fried—and had to go to a wedding that night, where I was seeing my ex for the first time since the breakup. Needless to say, it wasn’t the I’m-hot-and-you-so-regret-breaking-up-with-me moment I’d envisioned.—Kat, 30

When I was 12 years old, I wore my first adult bikini ever. It was a J.Crew pink bandeau top with white polka dot bottoms—I have never felt so chic. Granted, this was at a time when my nickname was “tomato on toothpicks” for a reason – I still had a surplus of baby fat in my middle region. Anyhow, my friend and I decided to play some cards which turned into an all-day tournament. By evening, we were burnt to a crisp. That night, when I took off my bikini, I not only had a bright white stripe where my bandeau top had been, but bright white stripes where my stomach rolls had blocked the sun from reaching. For about two weeks, I had a lovely bumble bee, perfectly horizontal-striped pattern from chin to thigh. Talk about shame.—Emily, 29

In college, after going out and having a few drinks I would come back to my room and decide that it was a great time to apply self tanner. Being that this was 10 years ago, the formulas weren’t what they are today—there wasn’t any gradual build up of pretty, golden color a la that Jergens stuff. So, I’d get home, slap it on and go to bed. Not only would I wake up to a hangover the next day—but an orange streaked face and entire body parts without color. Don’t mix booze with bronzer.—Kim, 26

A few years ago, a friend talked me into going tanning. It was the dead middle of winter and I think I was see-through I was so ghostly white. So, we walk up to the reception desk and she’s singing the praises of going tanning—”It feels really nice and warm! You’ll have a tiny bit of color when no one else does. It’s make any zits go away,” blah blah blah. Well, between her and the front desk lady, they had me signed up for the ten-tan package. I’m into this! Yeah, no more zits! The second I get undressed and step into the booth I have a panic attack. Something about the neon-coffin closing on top of me totally wigs me out—I go running, yes really running, from the booth. Couldn’t take it. And that ten-pack never got used.—Sara, 24

And just to prove that guys have their own tanning fiascos, too:

I was maybe 11 when a friend shared his bottle of Beach Boys-brand tanning lotion with me. We were really concerned with being cool and looking tan when the swimming pool opened for the summer and this seemed like the quickest and smartest way to go about it. I faithfully applied the lotion, which looked and felt like sunblock, each day before I spritzed my hair with lemon juice and peroxide. About three days into the experiment, my mother was staring at me from across the dinner table and told me to go wash my face, that I had dirt all over. This seemed weird because I hadn’t been playing in dirt, but being a kid it was very possible that I got dirty somehow—so I followed instructions. This scenario repeated itself the next night and I began to think that just maybe it was my bitchin’ tan she was noticing. The tanning lotion, at this point, had turned my face a rusty red—but not all over, the color was clustered in certain areas of my face, giving me the overall appearance of having competed in a mud pie-eating contest. Coupled with the copper color that my hair was turning, I was cultivating quite the look! Thankfully, mother threw away the tanner, but it took another week or so before all of my face was the same shade again.—Tommy, 31


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