“They say practice makes perfect and I know I deserve it. But sometimes we should do it for fun.”

10,000 hours by Ella Mai

Every time I hear the song 10000 hours and those lyrics come through my speakers, it always makes me stop and think,

“How can dating be fun for me?”

I’ve started back getting to know others to see if there is the potential of dating or even becoming exclusive. Needless to say, I’ve taken my own advice from the my own blog post Dating Yourself before jumping into this current “thing” I’m in. Being mindful of what I really want, which doesn’t really constitute as a relationship…not monogamous anyway. In defining my own love life, I’m calling this a time of “Exploration”.

Look sis, I am no relationship Guru. This is why I’m in a space of exploring, since my wants and needs have changed. After reading, Is It a Situationship and Does it Matter? , it sorted validated my thoughts about situationships not necessarily being a “bad” thing. Because if it works for you, that’s what matters. You may have people who disagree with what you decide is best for your life, even if that is an entanglement but like the late great Bernie Mac once said…

As long as you are honest with yourself about what it is you’re doing and where you are when it comes to dating. That’s one of the ways to make sure nobody’s negative opinions really bother you about your decisions because you already know what’s up. 

Since I know just about over 300 of you are having a Healed Girl Summer and August Alsalina (if you know then you know lol) done had his own red table talk on that blue chair with Angela Yee, I’m like girl, what better time then now to make sure we’re at least considering these 5 things when dating.

  1. Know your non-negotiables 

I didn’t learn about this term until about last year and baby…wish I would’ve known about it sooner! Knowing your non-negotiables are things about yourself or your relationship you will not negotiate. For example, if this person you’ve been dealing with or want to deal with doesn’t have a stable source of income and for you, anybody you’re dealing with needs to have that, then that’s your non-negotiable. It’s not up for discussion, modification, or negotiation. So after reading this, go write down at least 3 of your non-negotiables. 

P.s. This doesn’t have to be limited to relationships. What are your non-negotiables in your career, family, or finances. 

  1. Date intentionally

Why are you dating? For fun? To be in a relationship? Or to eventually get married? Whichever one you identify with (or not) know your why. It’s easy to get caught up in the “non-defined” aspect of things. However, when you’re intentional, if you start to find yourself being disappointed or expecting more than what your relationship is, then go back to your why, reassessing if it’s still valid, and then act accordingly.

  1. Inconsistency is “A NO NO”
Mariah Carey

Now, if not talking every day or even every week is your thing, then that’s cool..do you boo. But lemme let you in on some free game; a person who knows they are dating a person, especially if it is to get into a relationship, then they know they have to make time to develop a bond with this person.

Simple, right? But then you have people (men) who like to string you along or gaslight you into thinking that what you’re feeling about their lack of effort isn’t really the case. 9/10 sis, it is…you’re intuition isn’t lying and you’re not crazy. If that person is not straightforward about their communication, how often they can communicate with you, or their words aren’t matching their actions, then it’s necessary to evaluate how you want to move forward in that relationship and move accordingly.

Knowing your needs of attention or how you like to communicate beforehand will save your breath from repeatedly begging someone for their time. 

  1. Situationships vs Dating

Thanks to 2020 and Jada Pinkett Smith, we have a “new” term for situationships, and it’s called entanglement. Now, again, it depends of your intentions of dating, that a situation may be convenient for you. Eventually, those entanglements start to add up on your heart. What’s the worth of having your heart broken and aching by someone who was just in a situation or a trial run? I say that to say that, being mindful of your value, worth, and of course, non-negotiables, will help you make the most of your dating experiences.

  1. Redefine What Works for You

And because I’m no guru, and have seen my fair share of repetitive situations, I’m taking this time to explore. It’s not a completely defined period, but more so, “trying to see what works for me and what does not”. I’m detaching from shoulds or expectations that I have either placed upon myself or have been imposed on by others. Redefining what being satisfied with my “love life” will look like if that makes sense.

Truth be told, dating can be whatever you make it. There are so many ways to make it worthwhile. Even if you haven’t had the best experiences, you can regroup and redefine what you want it to be. And if all else fails, you know you have yourself to enjoy spending time until the person worth your time comes along.

With love,