The time has come to accept the inevitable: you’re growing up. Embrace it! Becoming an adult can be daunting, but not when you have guides as easy (and, let’s face it, as cool) as the ones in our Adultify series. Now, you won’t ever have to utter that cringe-worthy term “adulting” when you accomplish something, like doing your laundry—you know, basic, responsible grown-up activities—because you’ll know these truths to be self-evident.
Dating is fun, until it’s not. That point of difference usually arrives a couple of years after college, when engagement and pregnancy announcements start taking over your social media pages. This is when the Wait, should I be getting married soon, too? Why am I still single?! anxiety starts to quickly roll in. The answer to that first question—if you have to ask—is probably not, but there are some steps you can take if you do want to get there one day. And most of them involve putting the habits of teenage-to-early-20s you in the past and adding a mature and serious spin on how you approach dating.
Since it feels irresponsible of me to dole out personal advice when I, myself, am not the most well-versed in the department, I tapped Chicago matchmaker and dating coach Patti Feinstein to weigh in. It’s not as complicated as we single people assume it is, either. Some of the rules are as simple as being nice, practicing patience, and leaving the days of taking an hour to respond to text messages in order to keep your partner guessing behind you. This is what happens when people stop swiping right and start getting real (serious) about dating.
You already have the first step down—you clicked on the article and you’ve recognized you’re ready to start adulting—click through for the others.
Love Yourself First
It seems obvious, but you can’t expect to spread love (or even like) to someone else unless you adore yourself first. That love will then manifest into self-confidence and overall happiness which, Feinstein notes, is a major source of attraction. If you build it (it being your self-esteem), they will come (they being your mate). “The bottom line is, the happier and the better mood you're in, the more attractive you become,” she says. “You can't be on a mission to find a boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to be on a mission to find happiness, because when you find that happiness it exudes, and then people will crawl out of the sky to be with YOU, and you don't really have to look that hard.”
You have to become the person you want to date, she adds. Don't want to date someone who's always in a bad mood and rude to the waitstaff? Then don't be that person yourself.