“She ghosted.” “He never texted me back.” “We hooked up and the next time I saw him he completely ignored me.”  Unfortunately, the statements above are all too common of our dating culture today. An environment where prospects are quickly dismissed and someone better is only one swipe away and poor behaviour has become the norm rather than the exception for so many singles out there. Below are some top tips from our Matchmaker Linda Prescott on how to win at dating!

To The Ladies:

Stop tolerating bad behaviour. Just stop. Do it for yourself and do it for all the other women out there too. When you lower your standards and start letting people cross your boundaries, disrespect you, ignore you, treat you with inconsideration – only to reward that bad behaviour by giving them more attention and sex, you train men that this behaviour is okay. So they keep doing it. And then when they’re done doing that to you, they go on and do it to the next person. It’s like passing the baton and seriously, someone’s got to stop this relay.

Stop Pretending To Play It Cool

Sometimes people mean well, but, they may be used to being a certain way, or have no idea how their actions affect you. Many people try so hard to play it cool and end up doing themselves a disservice. They don’t want to show vulnerability or their true feelings because of ego, insecurity and a fear of rejection. With all this armour on, how is someone supposed to know that by not calling you that they hurt you when you acted like you didn’t worry you at all? There’s a difference between pretending to play it cool and actually being it. Faking it gets you nowhere. Sure, it may prolong the back and forth a little, but eventually, the jig’s up.

If someone behaves in a way that hurts your feelings or confuses you, communicate like an adult and tell them. Not in a blazing, entitled sort-of-way, but in a matter-of-fact calm way. When you vocalise your needs in a clear manner, you’ll be surprised at how much respect you gain. And the ones who don’t like your honesty and confidence in stating your boundaries, they’ll quickly get filtered out. And that’s a good thing.

Stop Giving Up Your Power

How can you win at dating when you don’t stand your ground? When you tolerate someone walking all over you, when you say yes when you mean no – you give up your power. When you accept less than what you deserve because you’re scared someone will reject you or not like you back, you hurt your self-esteem. That turns into one negative spiral into desperation – the lower your self esteem, the more anxious and needy your energy becomes and the more you’ll tolerate ill treatment. That way of being is the least likely to lead you down the path to happily ever after.

Stop Casually Hooking Up

Sorry to break it to you, ‘Sex and the City’ LIED to you and an entire generation of women. Casual sex is great for some, but has major consequences for many. WHY? Because when we have sex, we release chemicals that cause us women to bond and attach. Keep having sex with someone casually, and you may find yourself developing feelings of attachment. And when the person doesn’t want to commit after you’ve developed all these feelings, it can feel terrible.

To The Gents:

Can you hook up with a girl, and for the next week ignore her texts and then when you feel like hooking up again, call her at 1AM for ‘a drink’? Yes you can if you can get away with it. But most of us want to be decent human beings, and maybe all this left swiping has affected the part of our brains responsible for good manners.

Grow A Pair

It’s not about the chick du jour, it’s about your character. You don’t owe anyone anything, but there’s a certain way of treating people that is humane, and for no other reason but because, that’s the right thing to do. This means ghosting, ignoring someone after you’ve been intimate with the person, not being upfront and honest, lying, cheating – these are all ways of behaving that lack respect and human compassion, and it’s mean. It hurts people. Treat people like how you’d want a man to treat your mother, your sister, your best girlfriend…

Hurt people will hurt other people. There’s a ripple effect to our behaviour. This goes for men and women – if you hurt someone’s heart and that wound isn’t healed, that person will inevitably hurt the other people that cross their path – it’s a dating domino affect. And guess what, we do not create a better world when people are guarded, jaded, angry and hating the opposite sex. Seriously, if you want to do good in this world, start by how you handle people’s hearts.

If someone is interested in you, always look at how they treated their past relationships and also how they treat people they are dating casually. Why?

There are many reasons why relationships fall apart, if someone is rude they don’t have feelings for the person, it’s only a matter of time when their feelings can fluctuate for you, and it’s indicative of how they will treat you when that time comes. Again, it’s about values and character, not how the person feels at the time. Reputations do not lie.

Ending on a Positive Note

Acting with consideration and integrity is a practiced skill. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes. Being honest and kind is not always the easy route, and avoidance is definitely more convenient. But if we could all just inject a little more compassion in how we treat people, especially when it comes to matters of the heart, I guarantee you, you’ll feel better, and you’ll also likely attract healthier people and situations. It can be a win-win game for all, and it starts with you.

Hopefully these great tips will help you win at dating!