The Before-You-Date Checklist

Alright let’s take it a step back here. Before you get blisters on your thumbs from swiping on Tinder, it is time for some #realtalk. Are you actually ready to date?

I know this seems like an impertinent, verging on condescending question to ask, but one that is altogether necessary in this new dating climate of casual dating and flings and hookups.

If I am being honest i do not think that many Millennials are truly ready to enter the dating game. I think dating has a bit of an entitled aspect to it in this day and age, where we think that because we are attracted to the opposite gender or have a sex drive or are older than 15, we are ready to go on dates and be in relationships, when in fact you are probably still just an immature, selfish kid. And that is okay, but as long as you are able to own up to that.

What happens is we jump into situations and relationships that require a lot more emotional maturity and self-honesty than we are prepared for and suddenly we have a trail of broken relationships and broken hearts in our baggage. I will tell you a lot about the sorts of people you should stay away from, but it is not always the other person who is a mess. Sometimes we are the mess. We are quick to blame others for relationships that did not fit the Disney images in our heads, instead of confronting our own flaws and irresponsibility.

An uncomfortable truth for many is that a relationship/dating requires a lot of self-honesty about your flaws. And then taking responsibility for those flaws. So no Karen, you don’t just get a free card to be a bitch “because you’re a Capricorn.”

Choosing to be in a relationship/date while still exhibiting irresponsible, manipulative, selfish behavior without any actions to change is careless. Do us all a favor and get the fuck off dating apps.

Contrary to popular practice, dating and relationships is not about fulfilling all your needs and wants or about finding an accessory to your life. If you are looking for an accessory try Claire’s at the mall. It is not about getting everything you want all the time. It is not about getting to sit on pedestal of adoration and fawning. It is not about getting expensive gifts or a piece of arm candy to make you feel good/look good. Frankly, I am sorry we live in a culture that promotes this idea. That the people you date are the problem and not you.

When in fact, it is actually about being selfless and humble.

*And you know what, if you are complaining that you actually are “too selfless” and “give too much of yourself” in a relationship and that you always get burned, you are doing it wrong or for the wrong reasons. Because being selfless should not be exhausting or damaging. it should be life-giving and encouraging. You should never have to give away part of yourself to give to someone else.

Wayyyy too often we are quick to push blame onto our “crazy exes” or those “fuckboi commitmentphobes” instead of taking responsibility for our own inabilities and shortcomings. Sure they probably were a little crazy, but did you push them to act that way? Maybe they did make a huge mistake, but could you have prevented it? Relationships are two-way streets and as burgeoning adults it is high time we start taking some responsibility. Don’t be like T-Swizzle, victimizing herself over and over again, blind to the fact that she is the common denominator in all of her broken relationships and maybe her next single should be called “maybe I am the problem.”

Figuring out where a relationship went amiss begins with taking a good look in the mirror, wiping the bullshit off your ego, and giving yourself a proper dose of humble reality.

First of all, you are probably not as attractive as you think you are. Second, your annoying habits are not always charming and quirky. Third, not everyone is going to think the sun shines out of your ass the way your mother does. Fourth, you are not entitled to some idealistic, fantasy Prince Charming or Victoria Secret Angel. However, If you can take responsibility for your own shortcomings, see where you went wrong and then take steps to work on yourself, congrats you are now a contributing member of society and are now ready to date.

If you are not ready to take the paper bag off your head and stare at your raw, naked self in the mirror, flaws and all, you are probably not ready for a mature, healthy relationship.

Too often we get far too caught up in the shortcomings of our partners, whether they are getting their ass to the gym, whether they are listening when we speak, if they are being ambitious enough, whether they are satisfying us, etc. instead of evaluating our own contributions to the relationship. Because guess what, the only actions and attitudes you are in control of in a relationship are your own.

Here is a quick checklist in order to see whether you are ready to be someone’s significant other. (please read as a job posting with the hours being full time and salary being a lifetime of emotional fulfillment and great sex)

1. Has the ability to think of someone other than yourself
2. Able to successfully communicate(initiate and respond) with another human being using a variety of mediums such as face to face, texting, calling and snap chat.
3. Is aware that their potential significant other is a living, breathing, flawed human and not an accessory, sex vending machine or sponge in which to listen to all of your bullshit
4. Demonstrates a level of emotional intelligence that allows for introspective thought, discussion and development and can be expressed without screaming, crying, manipulative tactics, silent treatments, or any other forms of childish drama.
5. Can successfully articulate one’s feelings
6. Is not looking for a distraction or to fill the empty void in their life
7. Is able to take responsibility for one’s own actions without having to blame, antagonize or justify
8. Capable of handling criticism without falling apart
9. Has a desire to improve one’s self
10. Willingness to do things that are inconvenient, difficult, or no fun for the sole purpose of making someone else happy
11. Has a proven track record of being able to set aside pride and be vulnerable when necessary
12. Can handle not getting their way all the time without storming out of a room, throwing a tantrum, or being an attention whore in any capacity.
13. Has zero desire to punish or seek revenge against people who have wronged you or not treated you the way you wanted to be treated.

If you can confirm that you are taking active steps to work on achieving the above criteria, then congrats you are not a piece of trash person and can pass go, collect 200$ and feel free to date to your heart’s content. Otherwise, please go find the nearest mirror and have a serious chat with yourself about needing to grow the fuck up and act like a mature adult. Do I sound harsh? That is probably because I am tired of living in a world of entitled dating where it is all about YOU. I am tired of a dating culture that is nauseatingly self-serving, and completely void of any sense of accountability or integrity. Go ahead ignore people, pump and dump, fuck the flavor of the month, whatever you feel like because life is all about doing whatever you want 24 hours a day anyways.

Wrong.

The truth is that if you are not actively pursing the above criteria you are going to spend a lot of time in shitty relationships feeling shitty. Now I get it we all make mistakes. I am a shitty person, you are a shitty person, we are a world full of shitty people, but the difference is how we fight it. Don’t succumb to your own shittiness.

Fight the urges to be selfish and prideful and arrogant and vindictive and petty. Fight it because they only hurt you in the end. Only looking out for yourself results in an empty, lonely life full of people who don’t want to spend any time with you. The decision to fight your own selfishness every single day is a step that will be far more gratifying and fulfilling, oh and will probably contribute to some much better dating experiences. If you don’t feel ready to do this, okay that’s on you and at least you know where you stand, but don’t be confused when you have a trail of broken relationships in your wake.

Begin by taking responsibility for your own actions and recognizing your own shittiness. Call yourself out. Let others call you out. Instead of trying to justify your own behavior and make excuses and defend yourself, or blame your astrology sign, take the criticism, understand the other person’s view point and apply it in some way to your own behavior. Become a discerning consumer of criticism, knowing what to listen to and what to not let bother you.

Once you can master this…well you’ll probably be dead because this takes a lifetime to master, but now is a great time to get cracking.

Too often relationships become very selfish matters, absorbed in our own personal needs and egos rather than the person we supposedly “care” about. Don’t let this be you. Rise above the masses of those seeking selfish sexual experiences and trying to push all their insecurities onto another person. Be a step ahead of the rest of this ego-centric generation and catch your bullshit before you weave yourself into a web of bitter nihilism whom you loudly berate your exes for. Be better than that.

I am not here to seek perfection, in fact I want to recognize the inherent flaws in us all. Rather, I am tired of being apart of a dating culture that is so use to getting what they want and instant gratification that they are willing to give up the transformative experience of self-development in favor of a cushy life as a selfish dick.

Good luck,
Ellie xxx

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