Help—I Want To Try Dating But I Don’t Know Where To Start

It's okay to love your lonesomeness and still be interested in the idea of being in a relationship.

Being single is a bliss. You get to focus on your own growth more and fulfill your #selflove2019 goals. But just because you enjoy and cherish the single life doesn’t mean you are automatically closing yourself off from all possibilities of ever dating in the near future. It’s okay to love your lonesomeness and still be interested in the idea of being in a relationship. If you’re a newbie to the whole dating concept, however, it might be daunting at first to actually try it out for yourself. In that case, here are a few things that might help.

Try dating apps.

Yes, mom, online dating is a thing now. And while you may have to exercise some caution as you swipe left and right, many relationships born out of dating apps actually thrive in the long run. Maybe it’s because there’s a higher chance for you to meet people you actually connect and share similar interests and quirks with through apps like these, but hey, you’d have to experience it for yourself to actually find out. 


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There are many apps on the market at the moment, and each have their own niche, so you’d really have to try them out to see which ones are more your taste. A word of warning though: You’d have to be extra careful with who you swipe right on, because not everyone has the same wholesome dating agenda as you. We also wouldn’t rule out a couple of mini heartbreaks when your potential online bae ghosts you out of the blue. But hey, every failed experience is a lesson learned, so you’ll know better next time. 


Try doing something you’re actually interested in.

If meeting someone from a dating app just isn’t your thing, we get it. Maybe you’re someone who enjoys meeting people offline and bonding over mutual interests, and that’s totally fine. If that’s the case, why not get into something you’d actually enjoy doing? Join an org or volunteer for an event, go to a gig or try out a sport. These are just a few of the many ways you can meet people organically. Strike up a conversation with different people and get to know them better. The next thing you know, you might already be heading out for some afterschool coffee date or are already looking forward to the next gig you’re both attending. 


Go out more and interact with people offline.

Many of us are homebodies and would rather binge-watch K-dramas, vlogs, and Instagram stories of people we barely even know (or is that just us?). But let’s be real, despite the convenience of being online almost 24/7 to slide into people’s DMs, nothing really compares to interacting with people IRL (sorry, Instagram and Messenger stans). If you’ve got the time to put yourself out there in the real world, literally, then this dating option might serve you well. 


The more you experience life without a screen in front of your face, the more you realize how equally essential offline social connections are. Real-life interaction with all sorts of people helps you practice your social skills in different settings, which might come in handy when it’s finally time for you to strike up a conversation with someone you like. Because as much as people appreciate “good morning” and “kumain ka na ba?” messages, there’s a lot more to know about your crush than whether or not they already ate their breakfast.









About the author
Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer

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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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