Let's be honest: Even though dating will probably never get easier, it does help to have a guide or set of tips to make the whole process, well, less draining.
So when Reddit user u/Lostaaandfound asked the r/AskWomen community, "What are some rookie mistakes women can avoid when entering the dating scene for the first time?" The community delivered some really solid advice for any and all individuals — so I gathered some of it for you to read below, whether it's your first time dating or your 100th.
1. "Giving out too much personal info right away or meeting at your home or your date’s home on the first date. If you’re meeting someone from a dating app, meet in public — and give a friend the location where you’re going, and some info about the person you’re meeting. Your date is most likely a totally safe person, but just in case."
2. "If they have too many issues that you find yourself trying to resolve and they let you do all the work, might as well ask them for a salary."
3. "Only date people you’d also enjoy being friends with too."
4. "With online dating, letting the messaging drag on too long. Try to meet for something quick — like a coffee or a drink, not a full meal — as soon as possible. You will never know if you really like someone until you meet them in person. I had many friends who’d talk to guys online for three to four weeks before meeting. They would be head over heels for the guy and then totally be let down when they actually met. So I did the opposite: chatted for a week or less, and if no date was going to happen, I moved on."
5. "Take a break from dating when you're getting tired, frustrated, or not feeling it. Don't force anything to happen. Leave the dating scene and come back when you feel like it."
6. "If you’re feeling confused or getting a weird vibe, cut your losses right away. Trust your instincts."
7. "Have your own hardcore boundaries already established. No 'Oh, but I don't want to be mean' — nah, fuck that shit. It's never mean to say no to something. Also, have your deal breakers. This will save time on meeting with people who don't have the same values as you."
8. "Being your true self and having clear boundaries is more likely to attract like-minded people instead of those who seem so on the surface but are not fun to be around."
9. "It's always less awkward to do an activity. That way, you have something to talk about, you get a little friendly competition, and it's more chill. A dinner date with someone you end up having no chemistry with is torture; playing a round of mini golf can usually still be fun. The date also comes to a natural end and you have an easy out if you need one without it being awkward."
10. "Common mistake: ignoring or dismissing red flags. If they show you who they are, then believe them. Don’t think, They’ll change, because they won’t."
11. "It's easy to forget you're supposed to be having fun. This is supposed to be adding to your life experience. When you find yourself puzzling over someone — what they mean by their actions or what you mean to them — ask yourself if you're having fun. If you aren't, the other person needs to make it fun and fix the damn issue, whatever stupid issue he has, or you're out. Don't hang in there waiting for someone to get better at commitment or communication. The right partner doesn't make you wonder constantly."
12. "Drive yourself; don't get picked up. That way, you can leave if you need to and the other person won't know your address."
13. "Taking things too seriously. You may hit it off with someone right away or never. Your date may be going on dates with other people until you both decide to be exclusive. Try not to fall too fast; just about anyone can handle coming across as charming, kind, and exciting for a month or so."
14. "Always look at it like this: If you took out the words from what they’re saying, what is their behavior really showing? Don’t let yourself be fooled by empty promises."
15. "There is no deadline to have sex when dating someone. Not after the third date, not after the 10th date; it happens when both of you are comfortable. If the person you're seeing finds it a deal breaker not to be having sex after X number of dates, move on."
16. "If you're not feeling a person, be honest. Don't guilt yourself into spending time with someone you don't want to be with just to be kind, nice, polite, or whatever. I went out on one date with a perfectly nice person who just wasn't my cup of tea, and I felt bad saying no to a second date. But it wouldn't have been genuine interest on my part, and everyone deserves better than a pity date."
17. "A mistake is made once; twice is intentional. They’re testing your boundaries: How far are you willing to bend to be with them? That’s how you get yourself in an abusive/toxic situation. Never let your boundaries be broken more than once. That’s how they break you."
18. "Voice when you are uncomfortable. It doesn't mean the end of the world to say, 'I'm not comfortable doing that yet.' It lets them know you aren't at that speed yet, and they need to respect that."
19. "Don’t go into it as a 'fixer.' 'Oh, they have issues? I’ll help them get through them.' No. That’s always a bad idea. Your job is to be their partner, not their therapist or parent or punching bag."
20. "Don’t compromise because you’re scared to be alone. Also, don’t confuse stable with boring. That d-bag causing you grief will be 'exciting' for a season, but a [good person] will not put you through hell. They will tell you exactly how they feels about you by how they treats you. Don’t give in to the 'chase' BS. So no, being left on read and only getting a text when it's convenient is not testing the waters — it's just inconsiderate, and you deserve more."
22. "Don't ever appease at the expense of your comfort, safety, preferences, and well-being. Be clear about and proud of what you want and what you don't/can't tolerate, and be bold about the second one. If they ever try to knock your confidence, they need to go."
23. "Love bombing. Do you think they're too good to be true? They're saying all the right things, and then maybe they're moving too fast or inserting themself into your life too soon. Are they trying to spend all their time with you, thus isolating you from your family and friends? Then maybe mentioning that your BFF is toxic or your mom is overbearing, or other reasons to distance yourself from them? It's time to reevaluate this person under a STRONG microscope."
Do you have any dating tips for first-time daters? If so, tell us your advice in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.