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Dating in my thirties has definitely been a memorable experience, one which I would sometimes prefer to forget. If I ever felt like the Christopher Columbus of the dating world, those days were long gone... I've charted more territory than I care to admit, and still I haven't found what I'm looking for. The great Rumi once said, “What you seek is seeking you.” Not since social media became a thing. Clearly he got so caught up in his Instagram feed that he forgot all about seeking anything and I’m out here slaving away serial dating for 2 cause he can’t even carry his own weight. As soon as I find him we’re gonna have to have a little chat about that. In the meantime, please allow me to share the dating Do’s and Don’ts I learned whilst serial dating sweat-shop style.
1. Do talk on the phone before meeting in person.
It may seem like the obvious thing to do yet so many people make the mistake of arranging a date without ever even hearing their dates voice. Text messages are not the best way to get a feel for someone’s personality, as things are often lost in translation. What if their voice sounds to you like nails on a chalkboard? Or you can’t understand a word they say because of the accent you didn’t even know they had? It’s basically like screening job applicants by conducting an initial phone interview to weed out those less qualified for the position.
2. Do not make plans for dinner until after you’ve had your first date.
Your first date should be a short, laid-back coffee date with the least amount of pressure. You can get a general idea of whether or not you're attracted to a person within the first few minutes of meeting. Why force yourself to sit through a two hour dinner with someone you knew you didn’t want to pursue any further within the first 5 minutes of meeting? You're obviously gonna make the best of it since you’ve already committed yourself to the dinner in the first place and just because you weren’t attracted to them doesn’t mean you can’t have a great conversation. So now, the fact that you were just being polite paired with your great dinner convo misleads them into thinking the date went well. They expect to hear from you and can’t understand what went wrong and why you never called. Keeping it light, casual, and friendly for the first date is the best way to avoid all that confusion.
3. Do not discuss your previous relationships with your potential future relationship unless your trying to lose that potential.
If you feel compelled to badmouth your ex, there are plenty of people in your life that would gladly lend an ear... leave your date's ear out of it. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you, including things you mention about your ex. Don’t give your potential future relationship the ammunition they need to throw in your face later. Keep the conversation light and relaxed, let it just flow without pushing it in any particular direction. Simply enjoy each other’s company while trying to get to know one another.
4. Do not go out with someone new if your not over your ex.
Breakups are hard, and starting over with someone new is a scary thought, but it doesn’t give you the right to treat someone as if they’re your runner up. Being broken doesn’t give you the right to rebuild yourself by breaking someone else in the process. Bury and mourn your shit before you start anything new, no one deserves to be treated like a rebound. It’s perfectly OK to be alone, it gives you the chance to grow and build your strength. Embracing your weakness and facing your fears builds character and teaches you how to depend on yourself, which helps you attract the right people into your life whenever you’re ready.
5. Do not make any sexual advances on a first date unless you are looking for something casual.
Don’t get me wrong, sex is one of the most important aspects of a relationship, but if it’s done too soon may actually backfire and work against you. What makes a relationship strong? Although sex plays a part in strengthening relationships it’s not as effective as time. Time is necessary in order to bond and build trust, making the relationship strong enough to where it cannot be broken. Engaging in sex before giving yourself enough time to bond and trust one another creates a weaker foundation for the relationship, making it easier to break.
6. Do incorporate your new relationship into your world by introducing them to your friends and family and observe how they interact.
Oftentimes we are blinded by our feelings and can’t see straight, giving toxic relationships the power to take over. By spending time with our friends and family as a couple, we get a fresher perspective on the person we are with. The people closest to you will know you the best so chances are they will also know who is the best for you. Count on your friends to pull the wool up, off, and away from your face if ever the 2-faced person with the hidden agenda you're dating has attempted to strategically place it in a way that interferes with your ability to see properly.
7. Do not become so consumed by a relationship that you lose sight of your personal space and forget about the things that mattered to you before.
It’s important to spend some time alone with yourself in order to recharge your battery and recenter your energy. New relationships are fun and exciting but that doesn’t mean they should take over your life. Sure, you absolutely love spending time together, but that doesn’t mean you should spend every waking hour together conjoined at the hip. As with everything else in life, it’s important to find the right balance. Too much of anything is never a good thing, and your relationship is no exception to the the rule.
Whether we choose to admit it or not, all of us — regardless of sex, creed, religion or race — long for love. Love, what a difficult word to define; perhaps because it is more than just a word. It’s a feeling... a place, one that cannot be found on a map or globe. It’s a place in another dimension, one far beyond the likes of MapQuest, residing deep within the corners of your soul. We are in constant search of that feeling, but we never look deep enough to actually find it. To be in two places at one time is impossible — you cannot find depth in shallow waters. True love, depth and chivalry have been missing for years. But who needs chivalry anyway? All you really need to sweep a girl off her Jimmy Choos is a finger, pun intended. To keep her, however, you may need to follow my dating Do’s and Don’ts. Although, knowing how to eat her vagina wouldn’t hurt either.