Seattle Dating Scene features readers’ thoughts and stories about what it’s like to date in Seattle.
For our next feature, follow this prompt: Have the perfect meet-cute story? Or a great first date? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.
By Thursday, July 22, please email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit them via Instagram direct message to @dating_in_seattle, and they may be printed in a future edition of The Mix.
Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account, answers reader questions about dating — or finds a special guest to answer the ones she can’t!
Washington state has officially reopened from COVID-19 shutdowns, so maybe you’re ready to get back out in the world of dating? It might be helpful to mentally prepare before you put yourself back out there.
Finding the right balance of having fun, not coming off too desperate and being yourself is a hard tightrope to walk on. If you’re seriously looking to meet a partner and start a relationship it can be discouraging, especially after going on many dates with no one to bring home to your parents or serve as your “plus one” to all the pushed-back weddings this summer.
Here are a few tips for how to mentally prepare to date, and how to keep the rest of your life in check, too.
“I always live in the present. The future I can’t know. The past I no longer have.”
— Fernando Pessoa
Dating apps may seem like they help pass the lonely nights and act as a solid distraction. But that’s until the boredom of judging tiny pictures of strangers on your phone sets in.
Many of us have been that person who gets bored with a conversation, movie or party and turns to swiping as a distraction. But think about all the time you would get back if you were not spending every waking moment thinking, swiping and talking about dating.
Be present with friends. Engage in conversations and genuinely listen to understand, not just to respond. Don’t let friendships fade because dating takes over. It should remain a balance. Focus on the current moment and less on your future endeavors, which you have less control over. Being present helps focus your energy on the things that matter right now.
“Having a therapist has taught me to be less cruel to myself. It’s not like therapy has made me the world’s sanest person; it’s just made me slightly less insane.”
— Lena Dunham
Getting mental health support is healthy, and can help you work on yourself before or while you’re looking for love. And, we should all remember: If you choose to go to therapy, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with you.
Unfortunately there can still be stigma attached to therapy, and finding the right therapist or counselor can be difficult. Thankfully, there are now phone apps like betterhelp.com and talkspace.com that make starting therapy easy and convenient.
Having someone to talk to is important regardless of whether it’s a counselor, therapist or friend. And if you are looking for someone specifically to help you navigate the world of love, research therapists who specify in relationships and dating.
Read a book
“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”
— Fran Lebowitz
If you want to change your love life, notice patterns about your past choices, or learn more about your wants and needs, there are plenty of books that will open your eyes to your past, present and future relationships. Reading a book might not completely change your love life, but it can provide perspective and some good tidbits to tuck in your back pocket.
Here are some books I recommend to people who are dating:
- “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find — and Keep — Love” by Dr. Amir Levine, Rachel S.F. Heller
Quick glimpse: Everyone has needs; this book will make you understand yours and how you bond to others.
- “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Chapman
Quick glimpse: This book will help you understand how you prefer to give versus receive love — they shouldn’t always be the same.
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.