After you’ve been single long enough, it’s very easy to start falling into the trap of letting yourself accept being treated worse than you deserve. You make excuses, you explain things away, and you justify shitty things that you normally wouldn’t put up with because, “Yeah, it sucks, but every guy acts like that these days.”
No they most certainly do not.
I, too, used all of those excuses many times. And I put up with things that make me mad when I look back and think about them. Frankly, it’s easy to forget how you deserve to be treated when you get used to the opposite. When you listen to your friends tell you, “You’ll find someone soon, it always happens when you least expect it” as you roll your eyes over and over and over again and think to yourself: not bloody likely.
It took a long time for me to figure out what I really wanted and stop putting up with anything less. It took even longer to get comfortable waiting around until I found something worth waiting for, since I very actively like to go after the things I want in life. But dating doesn’t always work that way—sometimes it takes a bit of waiting to find someone you’re actually compatible with. And our friends are right—it’s worth the wait.
So let’s just take a vow to stop putting up with the following things if you’re single and looking to date. You’ll be much happier when you do.
1. Late night texts
Most likely, you’re an adult person working an adult job that probably takes place roughly between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Who has time for a conversation that starts after 9 or 10 p.m.? Nobody, that’s who. Because nobody who texts you that late is actually trying to have a conversation with you. I don’t care if you’re just sitting on your couch watching Netflix. Ignore it. If they wonder why you ignored them, just tell them, “If you actually want to talk to me, you can try doing so in normal daylight hours.” If they have good intentions, they’ll get the hint. If they don’t, you’re better off without them.
2. “I’m just really busy” excuses
At the end of the day, if someone really wants to spend time with you, they’ll make time. It’s all about priorities. Very few people are actually just that busy, regardless of if they work full time and have a hobby or two. They have time, they’re just choosing where and who they spend it with. If they aren’t spending it with you now when you’re trying to get to know one another, that’s likely not going to change in the future. And no good relationship starts without two people who are willing to make each other an equal priority in their life. So when you get this excuse, politely move right along.
3. Plans that start after 10 p.m.
This goes hand-in-hand with the late night texts problem. It’s really a no-brainer—if someone only tries to make plans with you in the non-daylight hours, then they are not really trying to make plans with you. If you’re into that, then by all means, do your thing. But if you are looking for an actual relationship, you won’t find it in activities that start in the twilight hours.
4. Vague plans with no follow through
If someone keeps making a legitimate plan with you, then comes up with an excuse at the last minute, you are wasting your time. And you’re probably being ghosted. It’s hard to predict when someone is going to suddenly fall off the face of the earth, but vague plans with no set date and no follow-up are one telltale sign. Try to pin down an actual plan. If they aren’t willing to do that, then on to the next one.
5. Conversations that go nowhere
If you’re trying to get to know someone, your entire conversation should not be small talk. If they aren’t curious enough to ask questions about you and get to the heart of the things you’re interested in, then there’s probably no future there. Someday, someone will ask you things that no one has ever asked before to learn the things you care about the most. In the meantime, don’t let yourself have the same boring conversation over and over again. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
It’s a rough dating world out there. But you can make it easier by taking time to love and appreciate yourself before you try and open up to someone else. One of the first steps to getting there is to stop accepting less than you deserve. And you can do that right now by not tolerating the things on this list.
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