The dating scene has always been a bit of a madhouse, largely due to the fact that there’s really no right way to date. With finding the one comprised of so much trial and error, it’s no wonder people miss (or simply overlook) a lot of important information.

It’s easy to hone in on the things that truly won’t matter in the long run. You know, things like looks, a man’s sense of style, or his current status.

Although those qualities may be attractive, they aren’t what will ultimately make or break the relationship.

I’ve identified 5 things that if applied, would make navigating the dating world a heck of a lot easier – if you’re dating with purpose. Let’s jump right in.

  1. It’s Dating – Not Adoption

We’ve all heard the saying “You can’t change a man”. Still, that doesn’t stop some of us from swooping in and attempting to save the day as if we’re Wonder Woman herself.

Ladies, seriously – that’s not our job.

As much as we like to believe that we’re “different”, perhaps even influential, if a man’s own mother couldn’t (or didn’t) teach him any better, what makes you think you can wave your magic wand and instantly give the brother some “act right”?

No matter how intriguing he might appear at first, if he isn’t ready to be a man, he’s nothing more than a waste of time.

We all have areas that we can and should strive to grow in, and there are few things more beautiful than building with someone. However, at no point should you have to teach a potential partner the basics.

Things like values and morals, healthy money habits, and plain old motivation shouldn’t be the cherry on top. #ItsARequirement

  1. You Don’t Owe Anyone the Benefit of the Doubt

I pride myself on being as non-judgmental as humanly possible. Of course we all have our biases, but when my judgments rear their heads I honestly try to check myself before giving anyone the side eye.

Nevertheless, there’s this little gift God has given each of us called vibes. You know, that sixth sense that tips you off that something maybe isn’t quite right?

Something about the guy rubs you the wrong way, his words don’t quite line up with his actions, or perhaps you get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach for no explainable reason whenever he comes around.

I know what you’re thinking… it’s not cool to jump to conclusions about someone especially when you don’t have any proof, right?

Wrong!

Ask me any day of the year and I will unequivocally tell you that vibes are no coincidence. I think of them as an added layer of protection that comes from our spirit, often guarding us from things we can’t perceive in the natural.

If you get an uneasy feeling about someone, chances are you have good reason to distance yourself.

You don’t owe anyone a pass until you can determine whether your suspicions are true.

Besides, the only way to confirm that usually involves you being hurt in the process. If you’re wrong about someone, so be it. I say, better safe than sorry. #TrustYourSpiritSis

  1. Stop Referring to Genuinely Interested Suitors as “Thirsty”

Can we all agree to stop calling men thirsty?

I’m talking about the good guys; the genuinely invested suitors. When a man is serious, he pursues you in a way that conveys that AND there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

I don’t know about you, but when I was on the dating scene I wanted a man to thirst after me. I wanted him to crave our connection; wanted him to downright hunger for my time.

A man who has eyes for only you will let it be known.

Perhaps it’s a tad bit cocky, but I expect a man to want to freely spoil me with his attention. I mean, I’m kinda real dope, aren’t you?

Too often, I see ladies push guys to the side who let it be known exactly where they stand. He likes you. He wants you – that’s a good thing. Instead, these women set off on a dead-end trail following behind “Mr. Elusive”, becoming just another number on his ever-evolving roster.

#NowWhyYouWannaGoAndDoThatLuvHuh?

Here’s the hard truth: you can’t get mad when things don’t work out the way you want them to, when he never truly craved you in the first place. When a man is into you, I mean really into you, he’ll let you, his homeboys, his family, and the whole world know it.

Besides, it’s not thirsty if you’re both parched. #StopPlaying

  1. It’s Not Your Job to Fix a Broken Man

I get it; many of us identify as caretakers and we’re real good at it too. What could be more noble than helping a person out in their time of need? However, when it comes to the matter of brokenness, making oneself whole again really is a one person job.

Sure, we all have issues, but it’s not your responsibility to pick up the pieces of a broken man.

Allow him the time and space to collect himself, unassisted. Besides, he’s the only one who knows what it will truly take to make him whole.

Broken objects, whether animate or inanimate, have the tendency to be dangerous.

Have you ever been in a room when someone dropped a glass? You might run to grab a broom. Moments later you reenter, only to have someone shout at you to watch your step. Because you’re unaware of where all of the shards have landed, you could possibly move from the position of helper, to that of the victim.

You have to be careful.

Am I saying broken people don’t deserve love and companionship? Not at all. However, they do need to make sure their space is safe before inviting anyone else in. #ItsOnlyRight.

  1. Be Cautious of the Influences You Allow in Your Life

We’re currently in the age of the strong, independent woman. Now more than ever, women are leading our lives in a way that few have in the past. We have our own goals, our own money, and we make our own rules.

However, no matter how independent, never underestimate the influence your partner can have on you.

When my husband and I first started looking into the housing market, owning a historical home never crossed my mind. Now, only three years later, I can’t imagine owning a house that didn’t possesses some type of yesteryear charm. This example really isn’t a life changing influence, but it’s an influence nonetheless.

1 Corinthians 15 :33 states: Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character”.

I know we’ve all known at least one person who seemed to go downhill after entering into a particular relationship. One day they’re the person you always knew, and the next, their actions, habits, or lifestyle are barely recognizable.

While it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and murmur It couldn’t be me, make sure it won’t be you by only aligning yourself with people with positive energy.

So there you have it; when traversing the wonderful and sometimes wacky world of dating, keeping these 5 points in mind may make the quest a little more productive. The key is to have fun, be open, and don’t forget to protect your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.

You owe it to yourself.

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