Maybe you haven’t dated in a while, or even in a long while, and you feel left out of online dating advice trends and tips for navigating social media when you’re interested in finding love.
Or maybe you’re a savvy dater with profiles all over the Internet, texting and messaging your latest love interest like a pro.
Either way, there are some dating tips that just don’t go out of style, because the fact of the matter is, they work.
Here are 10 unsexy pieces of dating advice for women who are desperate to find love:
1. Don’t compromise your core values for a date
Don’t settle. Do not waver when it comes to your core values and beliefs. Compromising core values and beliefs will end in disaster, leaving you with the regret of having gone on a string of unsatisfying dates. Establish your boundaries right from the beginning to set a tone of confidence and mutual respect.
If you have essential differences that can’t be bridged, don’t pretend it’s all fine. It’s not, and you don’t need to waste time confirming this again and again.
2. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone
When we stay inside our perfect, nice, and neat little boxes, we tend to miss out on the adventures of life! Life is meant to be lived, and sometimes that means stepping outside our comfort zone and dancing with the unknown.
Now, let’s be clear, I am not suggesting that you place yourself in harm’s way, but I am suggesting that you expand your horizons to try something different. Go to new places and explore new things! Is there a gallery or museum you’ve been meaning to check out? A gym you’ve “almost” joined a hundred times? Do it! Make a change and feel the power of your new energy.
Develop a new mantra — vive la différence!
3. Be honest with yourself and others
Be clear with your dating intentions. Ask yourself the following question: Am I dating to have fun or am I dating because I want to find a committed relationship?
Based on your honest answer, you can then approach dating with clarity. Whatever your answer is, it’s OK. Just be upfront with yourself and your potential suitors. Trust me, no one likes the old bait and switch. In addition, this helps you weed out the individuals who do not have the same dating desires.
If your dating desire is to find a potential life partner, choose to date only people who express that same desire. Remember, you can’t change people, so don’t set yourself up for failure.
4. Be who you are
Be yourself. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT send your representative on YOUR date. Show up as your authentic self each and every time. This way your date has the opportunity to get to know the real you.
Besides, trying to be someone or something you’re not requires way too much brain power and work. Why waste time trying to create this illusion or persona your date may or may not like? If you present as yourself, then you don’t have to spend time trying to figure out if your date is really interested in you or your alter ego.
5. Try dating sites and apps
This one is for the “it’s been a while” daters. Yes, it’s true, Internet dating is now a timeless tip.
And here’s another newsflash for you: the traditional methods of dating are becoming extinct, and that just might be a good thing! Good ole technology has created a dating pool that is easily accessible and frequently makes excellent matches.
Get a dating-savvy friend — or maybe your daughter or son! — to help you with your profile, and watch the possibilities pour in.
6. Ditch “the list”
We often talk ourselves out of the perfect date because we are being extremely judgmental, overly critical, or too skeptical. There’s nothing wrong with dating actively, but stop creating unrealistic lists of demands that no one, including yourself, can ever live up to.
It’s certainly OK to seek a mate with certain core values and ideal characteristics, but it’s equally important to be flexible enough to allow for imperfections.
For example, things like kindness and generosity are important. Hair color? Not so much. Decide what’s really important and non-negotiable and throw the rest of that stuff out the window. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending the rest of your life alone with your “perfect” list.
7. Ask yourself if you would date yourself
If the answer is no or if you hesitate in your response, then you have some work to do before you begin dating. Oftentimes we have expectations of others that we cannot even meet ourselves, or we’re so broken from our past that we haven’t taken the time to heal properly.
In either case, it’s important to pause for the cause. It’s not fair to take all of your baggage and drop it right on your date’s lap. What I suggest to my clients is that they spend some time dating themselves. Learn who you are and what you like in order to be sure you’re ready to start fresh. Remember, we draw unto to us the very same energy we put out. So, if you’re putting out a mess, then that’s exactly what you’ll receive in return.
8. Stop looking for love in nightclubs and bars
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but a nightclub is probably not the best place to find love. People typically hang out in clubs and bars for two reasons: to hang out with friends or to find a random hookup.
If you’re in the market for a night of random indiscretion, then the nightclub may be the place for you, but if you’re looking for something a little more substantial, try looking for potential dates in places that truly interest you, or where you can find people who share a commonality.
For example, if you’re a jazz aficionado, try frequenting a vintage record store or concerts in the park. This is a much more likely venue to meet your potential mate.
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9. Remember that dating Is not synonymous with physical intimacy
Somewhere along the trajectory of the last few decades, dating became synonymous with hooking up. Dating in its true essence is an intentional process that involves getting to know one another in a friendship context while assessing one’s suitability as a potential partner. Sex is not a requirement for that.
It’s certainly your choice to engage in casual sex if you consent, however, please be aware of the intended and unintended consequences. Be forewarned that casual sex does not come without its costs: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, biochemical, social, etc.
10. Always remember that it’s OK to leave at any time
Never allow yourself to stay in a dating situation that makes you uncomfortable. It is totally acceptable to excuse yourself and end the date.
If you are on a date and you feel uncomfortable, politely find a way to excuse yourself and exit stage left. And if the date was extremely questionable, find a way to remove that person from your dating lineup altogether.
When in doubt, follow your gut. When people show you who they are, believe it!
While these tips will not guarantee that you will never have the date from hell, they can definitely take some guesswork out of the equation and keep you on a promising path. Learn to embrace the joy of showing up authentically each time, and you’ll start to love the dating process. Of course, that is when the perfect mate will appear.
Dr. TaMara Griffin is a certified clinical sexologist, sex therapist, best-selling author, and powerful motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality.
This article was originally published at Sexpert.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.