5 questions to ask yourself before you start datingBefore you ever set foot on a date or click on a dating website, access what your motives are for dating? Are you dating with a view to a potential relationship? Are you dating just for kicks to pass the time? Are you looking for a shag? Are you dating because you’re scared of being alone? Do feel under pressure from family and friends?

Why do you need to be aware of what your dating motivations are?

Because whatever motivates your desire to jump in the dating saddle should not only shape how you approach your dating experience but they are likely to play a big part in the cards you get dealt by the dating casino.

Are you looking to date with the possibility of it growing into a relationship?

If you are really serious about dating people with strong prospects (and Lord knows it is difficult enough to know what you’re dealing with), start as you mean to go on.

Don’t continue to date a guy that shows red flag behaviour. Stop trying to make a pigs ear out of a silk purse. Stop trying to flog a dead horse. Stop trying to bet on potential.

Don’t continue to date a guy that exacerbates your fears. The fact that he is reflecting negative things about you is a sign that you need to get the hell out.

Don’t date obvious playa’s. Playa’s don’t turn into boyfriend material just because you place your love on them.

Don’t let the dating be motivated by his desire to get into your knickers or even more so, your desire to give in and whip them off! Sex clouds judgement!

If you don’t behave in line with your motivations and get the bare basics of a foundation of a healthy new relationship, you’ll be a hop skip and a jump away from becoming dating weary and cynical.

Are you dating as a sport?

The modern dating world has people turning dating into a bit of a numbers game. Almost like if you throw enough sh*t at a wall, it’ll stick. Unfortunately if you habitually date in this manner, you become numb and distanced from the reality of fostering a real connection with people.

Remember that karma is a bitch. If you treat people like they’re on a dating rotation and something to pass the time with, you’ll get out of dating what you put in…which is not very much in the grander scheme of things.

If you’re dating for kicks, it’s probably better to find like minded people rather than treat someone with genuinely good intentions as your latest ‘victim’.

Also be careful: dating as a sport is often a strong indicator of commitment issues….

Are you looking for a shag?

To each their own and all that jazz but with the plethora of choice available to people who are just looking for casual sex, it amazes me in this day and age that many of these people prefer their ‘targets’ to be people who believe that there is a possibility of much more!

What is the point in knowingly sleeping with someone who you know fancies the arse off you and is hoping that the relationship will blossom, if you have no intentions of it progressing past the sex?

If you engage in casual sex, more power to you, but there are a hell of a lot of people out there looking for the same thing, so why not screw with them instead?

Are you dating because you’re scared of being alone?

As we have seen all to often on this blog, anything to do with dating and relationships that’s powered by fear is an absolute recipe for disaster.

If you don’t like being alone with you, how do you expect someone else to like being alone with you?

Trust me and remember these words: If you date out of fear you will find yourself in the arms of a man who will not only exacerbate those fears but is quite likely to treat you badly or diminish your self-esteem.

When you date out of fear, you are more scared of being alone with YOU than you are of being with an assclown. In fact, the more scared you are, the lower the quality of men that you date.

Learn to like and love you before you foster yourself on anyone in a relationship. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this when you’re not with an assclown feeling co-dependent…

Do you feel under pressure from family and friends?

When I was single, I would sometimes speak to my ma every day and honestly, she would ask me if I had a boyfriend each time as if we hadn’t spoken for an eternity. It can be hard seeing friends settling down and dropping off the social scene or being pestered by family members about when you’re going to settle down, but knee-jerking out of it and throwing yourself at the mercy of the dating scene is NOT the answer.

It is not easy to rise above the the pressure that you may feel from just being in the situation and it’s even harder to rise above it if you have to put up with silly comments and being badgered about your private life.

Lay it down on the line for family and friends who speak to you inappropriately and pry – it’s about setting boundaries, something that will also prove very useful when you do find yourself in a relationship.

Turn the questions back on them. You’d be amazed how uncomfortable these people get when you start prying and asking the uncomfortable questions!

Feeling pressured is another response to the fear and we have to remember that fear is just a feeling (thanks to Baggage Reclaim reader Kim for defining it so well) and you don’t have to engage.

If you really want to date with results and minimise assclown contact and feeling cynical and jaded, get to grips with you and make sure that you know why you are dating and deal with anything that flags up potential areas of concern for you.

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