I am a cynic. We’ve all known this. When I began this column, I only had one goal — to showcase how bad dating is when you’re in college. Within a week of returning to dating apps, I probably had enough material to write for a full year. That much, I expected. What I did not expect is that things would take a turn for the better.
Through my dating experiences, I have learned a few lessons that I feel need to be shared, clearly. But what I have yet to compose is a list of the green flags. Good guys are so hard to find these days, so I’d like to consider this a criteria outline. Pick and choose as you will, but remember: Mariah knows best!
This one may seem stupid, but because I have spent the last three months talking about online dating, I can tell you without hesitation that meeting in person is significantly better. The truth is that while dating apps are a great alternative, nothing beats knowing the person already. All-in-all, being familiar with someone is more comfortable, and you will be more willing to go out on a date with someone you know is probably not a serial killer. I think a great combination is meet and then match. But don’t just take my word for it, swipe right on the cute boy in your class and report back!
Take Things Slow
As cliche as this one sounds, I stand by it firmly. A few months ago I stumbled upon a Tik Tok that said something along the lines of, “ if he tells you he wants to date you in a week, he just wants a girlfriend, and you were the first person he matched with since making that decision. But if he is taking his time, he is getting to know you; you can know that who you are is playing a role in where things go from there.” Simple, I know, but the amount of times I referred back to this one is slightly shocking. Of course we never want to be in the talking stage for months and months, but moving too fast is a red flag disguised as a flattering little scarf. Go on dates, talk for hours and be sure that you really like them too.
“Detiquette”, or dating etiquette, is a little term I am inventing to describe the little things that make a really big difference. This can be anything from texting you “good morning” to holding the door on your first date. While we all know that the bar is low, when a man goes out of his way to treat you well, it’s hard to ignore. Of all the green flags, having a guy open the car door for me has to be my favorite.
I recently went on a date where the guy planned the entire thing — picked a place to eat he knew I was a fan of, picked a movie he thought I would like (which also happened to by one of my favorites) and just overall made a huge effort. It wasn’t elaborate, but it was probably the best date I have ever been on. It’s the thought that counts … and is also a huge green flag.
Since I have started this series, I have made a huge effort to put myself out there, even when the thought of going on another shitty date made me want to vomit. By pushing through, I’ve learned that my avoidantly attached, crazy-haired self is capable and worthy of finding someone great. I really recommend pushing through the bullshit ladies because the green flags are out there.
What’s your biggest green flag? Message us, @VALLEYmag, on Instagram and let us know!