How To Stop Being Single
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How To Stop Being Single

In 14 Easy Steps

How To Stop Being Single
Jenelle Ball I Unsplash

In part two of my Romantic/Comedy series, we're looking at love. What is it and how do we find it in our own lives? Well, I'm going to tell you how in 14 easy steps.

Step 1: Throw Out Your Preconceptions

Too often in life, we have these preconceptions of "the perfect man/woman." You know what I'm talking about here. The List: funny, attractive, rich. But, in reality, people don't fit a checklist. We live in the real world, not the world of your middle school diary. Why would you want to limit your potential future happiness by keeping to a narrow definition? People are beautifully diverse and way more interesting than we could possibly ever imagine them to be.

Step 2: Be Realistic

It's healthy to have a positive self image, but it's also important to realize when you're out of your league. If you're 35, unemployed, and living in your mom's basement, you're never going to get Miranda Kerr. Same goes for if you're actually a very attractive and smart person who seems to, for some inexpiable reason, sell themselves short by dating "below them." Bring it back down to Earth. You're a normal and decent human being, set your sights on finding a partner of a similar type. Don't over or underestimate yourself.

Step 3: Get Out Of The House

Let's address that elephant in the room: in order to meet people, you're actually going to have to be social. I know, it sucks, but it's worth it in the long run. If you're not the "go out on the town" type, start slow. Pick one night a week to get some friends together and go do something that requires social interaction. Movies DO NOT count. You can't talk in a movie, and this requires talking. And if you are socially inclined, try mixing it up. Try to do something with different groups of friends to avoid social habits that promote singleness.

Step 4: Talk To Strangers

Yes, really. In order to meet new people, you actually have to talk to people you don't know. Shocking! So get out there and make conversation! Be yourself and have fun. After all, isn't this how you made the friends you already have, right?

Step 5: Flirt, Dang It! Flirt!

Great, you found a potential suitor. . . now what? You flirt! Let him/her know you're interested. Don't be creepy, but don't be overly subtle either. If you like him/her, don't be coy. A little polite flirting will not kill you.

Step 6: Accept That Love Is Trial And Error

Unless you are REALLY lucky, chances are you're going to have some awkward first dates, some forgettable conversations, and a few heartbreaks. And, as painful and obnoxious as they are, they are also necessary. Pain leads to growth, but it also helps you know what you really want in a partner. You may have thought rich was the top of the list, but maybe you had to learn the hard way that kindness is more important. Or maybe you may find yourself wanting a completely different person than you thought you wanted.

Step 7: Avoid the Friend Zone!

The friend zone is the worst! It's the black hole where relationship dreams go to die. If you're finding yourself in the friend zone, you have three options: 1) pine on in painful silence, 2) just tell them how you feel, or 3) give up the romantic notions and accept your new friend. Of these three, the first is the worst. Don't waste your life thinking you might get together one day and daydreaming about your "friend" finally noticing you. This leads to nothing but pain and disappointment. The second option is better, because if you have these feelings, you deserve to talk about it. And if your "friend" respects you at all, they'll respect your honesty, even if it will be awkward for a few weeks.

Step 8: Don't Be A Disney Princess

It's 2016, and yet somehow in this world of equal rights, feminists, and independence, girls somehow still think it's the guy's job to make the first move. Well, guess what ladies, it doesn't have to be that way. You can make the first move. So stop waiting around! If you like someone, ask them out. And men, stop being wussy. Contrary to what you might think, girls do not bite. The worst that can happen is they say no, but even then, the person who said no will still be flattered you tried. But you also need to take no for an answer. No does not mean try again later. It means no.

Step 9: Go On A Real Date

And what is a real date, you might ask? Easy, something that requires you both to spend time together, engage in meaningful conversation, and helps you get to know each other. Movies are NOT real dates. You can't talk in movies, and dates at the beginning of a relationship should be all about making sure you get to talk. Talking is how you form bonds, which are the foundations of a solid relationship. Also, don't go dutch on a first date. If you want this to actually last, figure out how you want to pay for things ahead of time and never make monetary assumptions.

Step 10: Don't Play Games

The "three day rule" is total crap. In the real, grown-up people world, aloof = not interested. If you had fun on your date, and want to have another date, let them know! Too often, people think that they have to play it cool or whatever after a first date. don't fall for that trap. Now, I'm not telling you to go out and Ted Mosby it, (for more info on that, check out my article from last week here) just get out there and show your interested.

Step 11: Relationships Require Two People

At the end of the date, one of you might not want to continue on the path toward a relationship with the other person. And that is totally okay. You deserve someone who recognizes you for the wonderful person you are. And if you don't find someone the first time, then get back out there! Believe it or not, but there are actually a lot of single people on this planet. The odds are in your favor! This is dating, not the Hunger Games.

Step 12: Keep An Open Line Of Communication

You've been out more than once. Good for you! Now, the most important thing you can do is keep in contact. THAT DOES NOT MEAN TEXTING EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY SINGLE DAY! Don't be that person! No one likes that person! What this does mean is keep an open line of casual communication. See something amusing that you think they might like? Send it, and don't send anything more until they reply. You're supposed to be reminding them how enjoyable you are, not giving them reason to run for the hills.

Step 13: Things Are Looking Good. Now What?

This one I can't really help you with. If you've been on multiple dates, talk regularly, and seem to be going well, then maybe it's time to talk about it. Just don't go around telling people you're official if you aren't. Again, this is to avoid the "running for the hills" insanity I talked about earlier. And if you both aren't on the same page, don't stick around. You don't deserve to be someone's backup plan or emotional leftovers.

Step 14: Congrats, You're Official!

Congratulations, you're no longer single! But that does not mean you're done. In fact, the real work has just begone. Being in a relationship is hard work. Learning how to have a life together, how to overcome obstacles, and making enough time for each other without the abandoning everything you did prior to your relationship is hard. But luckily you're not alone. You've got yourself a brand-new significant other!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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