They say there are plenty of fish in the sea, and it only takes downloading a dating app and swiping through it for a few minutes to see that this is true.
There are plenty of people out there looking for dates. However, just because there are a lot of single people in your area doesn’t mean you are spoiled for choice––and often, it is quite the opposite.
There are so many people out there who aren’t seriously looking for something.
And of those who are, it can feel like only a few are people you would actually have relationship compatibility with.
So, what makes a date worth keeping and how do you get a date with someone you actually like?
This article can offer some guidance to help you meet someone you could have a real future with.
17 Great Tips for Getting a Date Worth Keeping
- Don’t ignore red flags
- Be optimistic
- Be ready for things to go wrong
- Be open-minded
- Put time into finding someone
- Don’t neglect your values or needs
- Believe people when they tell what they’re looking for
- Don’t make looks your number one priority
- Stop thinking you can change people
- Be realistic
- Give second chances
- Be honest about yourself
- Put your phone away when you’re out and about
- Find social ways to do the things you genuinely like doing
- Trust people until they give you a reason not to
- Express your excitement
- Invest in the person you’re dating
Getting a date worth keeping in the age of dating apps, in which it seems like your only options are dating someone who is always busy or seeing someone who isn’t ready for a relationship, can feel like an impossible challenge.
But it isn’t. That said, it does require time and a commitment to putting yourself out there.
You also have be prepared for the possibility that things will go wrong. After all, everyone has to kiss a few frogs before they find their prince.
That said, if you follow these dating tips, you’ll have to kiss fewer frogs than you might think.
1. Don’t ignore red flags
We hear the term “red flags” thrown around so much that it can be easy to forget what it actually refers to.
Red flags in a relationship refer to hurtful behaviors that are used to try to gain power over a partner.
There are a number of good rules of thumb to follow to detect red flags, and you can even pick up on things that could eventually become problems from a person’s dating profile or their demeanor when you first meet them.
For example, be wary of anyone who is overly complimentary, comes on a little too strong, or wants to move too fast.
If someone tells you they love you for the first time and asks you to move in within a week of knowing you, that’s probably love bombing, which is a definite red flag.
The most important thing when trying to find someone worthwhile to date is to go with your gut. If something feels wrong, don’t make excuses for the person you’re meeting up with just because you really want things to work out.
2. Be optimistic
If you want to meet someone, you have to do your best to become an optimist.
It won’t be possible to transform your view of modern dating overnight, but as far as you can, try to approach every date as though the person you’re meeting up with could just be the one.
If your attitude towards dating is that nothing is going to work out for you anyway, you will be less inclined to take chances––after all, if you think you already know the story has a bad ending, what is the point of even starting it?
So, do your best to stay positive and give everyone you meet the benefit of the doubt.
3. Be ready for things to go wrong
Now, while it is important to be optimistic, it is also important to be realistic. In life, not everything goes to plan, and putting yourself out there romantically is not an easy thing to do.
The more people you meet, the greater your chances of having a terrible date. But that’s all to be expected!
And remember, the more people you meet, the better your chances are of meeting someone worth dating who you can see a future with.
If you aren’t ready for things to go wrong, you’ll be far more rattled when they inevitably do, and having even one bad experience may put you off dating for good.
If, on the other hand, you have accepted how normal it is to be incompatible with someone and understand that just because one person isn’t right for you doesn’t mean no one is, you’ll be much more willing to get back on the dating horse after a bad experience.
4. Be open-minded
People in happy, long-term relationships often report that the person they’ve ended up with isn’t at all who they thought they would be attracted to––and yet, for some reason, it just works perfectly.
The lesson here is that we don’t know who is going to make us truly happy until we meet them. Every single person is different, and in order to really get to know someone you’re dating, you have to be open to seeing beyond the clothes they’re wearing, the job they have, the area they live in, and so on and so forth.
You never know what is going to be a date worth keeping for you, or what “package,” so-to-speak, the person you fall in love with will come in.
Approach every date or “What’s up” on Tinder with an open mind, no matter what the person looks like or what “type” of person you think they are.
5. Put time into finding someone
You may have been given the advice that you will find the one when you aren’t looking for them.
And while it’s all well and good to walk around in a romantic idyll thinking you will one day bump into the love of your life while walking down the street, the reality is that if you don’t put effort into finding someone, you are less likely to meet someone to arrange a date worth keeping with.
And listen, you certainly aren’t going to meet someone sitting alone at home wearing sweats––unless your multi-tasking by swiping through a dating app at the same time, that is.
The point I’m making is that if you want to get a date, you have to make yourself available to be asked on one.
If dating apps aren’t your thing, and the thought of sitting around worrying about how to respond to “Hey” on Bumble makes you cringe, there are so many other ways to put yourself out there romantically.
Get involved in a local cycling or swimming club, research karaoke evenings, or start playing co-ed pick up soccer at your local sports facility. Whatever it is that you’re interested in, get out there and do that thing!
You have a good chance of meeting a like-minded person you’re compatible with if you’re always out in social situations doing things you enjoy.
6. Don’t neglect your values or needs
Feeling lonely is hard. But there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.
Don’t sacrifice your needs and interests just to get a date with someone, and especially don’t do it when you are planning on dating someone for the long-term.
Part of getting a date with someone worth keeping around is making sure that you are honest about yourself when you meet them.
Establishing good communication––including about what is important to you––from day one is essential for creating a healthy dynamic in a relationship.
This especially applies when you are dating a guy who is busy all the time. You may feel pressure to sacrifice your commitments to spend time with them when they’re free.
However, that is a slippery slope, and it is important to maintain a sense of your own identity when you are dating someone.
7. Believe people when they tell what they’re looking for
We all tend to think that if someone tells us they are only looking for something casual what they really mean is that they are looking for something casual until they meet someone special.
However, that isn’t always the case.
If it says on someone’s dating app profile that they are looking for a hook-up, don’t arrange a date with them unless you are also looking for something casual.
If what you really want is a long-term, serious relationship, don’t put yourself through the heartache of falling in love with someone who has completely different dating goals.
8. Don’t make looks your number one priority
It’s easy to identify conventionally good-looking people. They are all over our magazines, Instagram suggested feeds, and TVs.
However, just because someone is good looking doesn’t mean you are compatible with them, and it certainly doesn’t mean they are a nice person.
While physical attraction is crucial for healthy physical intimacy and physical intimacy is an important and wonderful part of a romantic relationship, conventional attractiveness does not equal physical attraction.
There are so many other factors besides having a face like Channing Tatum or Sienna Miller that play a role in whether we find people attractive. Someone’s intelligence, their mannerisms, their sense of humor, and their conversational skills are just a few of the things that can create physical attraction.
So, while it is important that you like the look of someone, don’t put “good looking” as the number one thing you’re looking for in a partner.
Because even if you end up meeting a Henry Cavill look-alike, there’s a good chance you would have been happier with someone less conventionally good looking who lives a lifestyle that is more compatible with your own.
9. Stop thinking you can change people
This is an important tip for finding a date worth keeping.
For one thing, people are not projects. You are not at Build-a-Bear. You are an adult looking for a partner.
Show people the respect they deserve by believing them the first time they show you who they are.
For another thing, it is actually totally exhausting to hang out with someone on the basis that you’ll enjoy their company once they are different.
Instead of organizing a date worth keeping, you may find yourself trying to find ways to get out of a date, because you don’t actually want to be with the person you’re seeing––you want to be with an imaginary version of what you think you’ll be able to turn them into.
10. Be realistic
One of the reasons many people struggle to meet someone is that their expectations are quite simply unrealistic.
It is good to have high standards and to know your worth, but there is a difference between being discerning and being naïve.
No one is going to fit your requirements perfectly––and that’s a good thing! Be open to being surprised by character traits you had no idea you would come to love. And also, keep in mind that you aren’t perfect either!
So, when it comes to getting a date worth keeping, it is important to be realistic about what it is fair to expect from another person.
11. Give second chances
On a similar note, don’t write people off right away if the vibe isn’t one hundred percent right.
Going on a date is nerve-wracking, and many people feel they are being awkward on a date. This can make them act differently than they usually would.
If you think there’s even a chance you could really enjoy getting to know someone, don’t be afraid to give them a second chance and to respond to them asking for a second date with a “yes.”
Also, just because you’ve had a slight disagreement about something doesn’t mean you should cut someone you’re dating out.
It is important to be able to engage in healthy debate with a partner, and as long as you both kept the tone of your discussion respectful, there is no reason you shouldn’t continue dating the person you’ve argued with.
12. Be honest about yourself
This is a huge one. It is so easy to slip into a people-pleasing frame of mind, in which we are mostly saying what the person we’re dating wants to hear to make sure the relationship progresses.
Don’t do this. At some point or other, if you want to keep your date around, you’ll have to reveal all of yourself to them––the good and the bad.
Do it right away––express your honest opinions and state your honest preferences.
This will help avoid heartbreak down the line when the two of you realize you have been being unintentionally deceiving on another to please each other and now find you aren’t at all compatible.
13. Put your phone away when you’re out and about
If you want to meet someone, making small changes can make a big difference. Among those changes is putting your phone away.
If your nose is glued to a screen every time you take public transport or wait to pick up a take-out order, you are far less likely to lock eyes with a potential date worth keeping around.
14. Find social ways to do the things you genuinely like doing
If you would love to meet a date worth keeping IRL, you will need to put yourself out there.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean signing up to every singles’ speed-dating event within a 100-mile radius (though, if that’s your thing, more power to you!).
Instead, it means getting out of your living room and car and all the spaces you spend time in alone. Join clubs, go to events, hang out in bars––go anywhere you like being.
If you meet someone in a place you like spending time, you’ll already have at least that place or activity in common––and that’s a great place to start when it comes to getting a date worth keeping.
15. Trust people until they give you a reason not to
So many of us have trust and commitment issues from being hurt in past relationships or from watching our parents’ marriages go through hardship.
If you want to get a date worth keeping though, you have to be willing to be vulnerable. If someone tells you they want to go on a date with you, believe them. If they tell you they’d like to see you again, believe them.
Believe them until they show you why you shouldn’t––which, if you’re with the right person––will hopefully be never.
While it can be scary to put your heart on the line, the prospect of a lonely life without love is scarier.
16. Express your excitement
In today’s fast-paced, casual dating culture, it is often seen as uncool or too keen to tell someone just how much you enjoy their company.
However, expressing genuine excitement is often the key to long-term dating with someone worth keeping around.
Successful couples almost always report that they knew the person they are with was special when they met and that they told them this almost as soon as they felt it.
Everyone likes to be appreciated, and knowing that someone is genuinely in the dating game for the right reasons can help the person they are seeing commit too.
So don’t hold back. If you’re excited for dinner plans, send a text saying, “Wow, I actually can’t wait for this evening. So excited to see you and catch up.”
17. Invest in the person you’re dating
This tip for getting a date worth keeping is related to previous tip. Basically, it means, don’t be afraid of clearing your dating roster as soon as you meet someone you really like.
While it may seem immature, everyone wants to feel special and like they are the only person that their date is meeting up with.
So, if you meet someone that you can see yourself settling down with for the long-haul, then make it a point to invest in your dating life with them.
This means arranging good dates, not seeing anyone else, and consistently showing them how invested in you are in your potential future.
If it doesn’t work out, you can easily find people to establish something casual with again. And if it does, then becoming exclusive early will probably be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Hey, it’s me, Steven. Dating and relationships have always fascinated me. On Dategosu, you will find my best tips to make sure your next date is a great success!