And The Most Important Trait You Can Have When You’re Dating Is…

Everyone has different things they’re looking for when it comes to a romantic partner. For me, a sense of 2748438226_ca5c87d3d4_zhumor and the ability to be quick on your feet are essential. If you’ve got a few one-liners and witty responses up your sleeve, I’m sold. But I’ve realized that, despite other preferences, positivity is a universally appealing and necessary trait.

If you’re going to be anything when you date, you MUST be positive.

If you’re still feeling bitter about a breakup, are carrying baggage around about a family issue, or are frustrated because you don’t know what you want to do with your life, you have to get past these problems before you’re going to have any success with dating. Also, if you’re feeling really desperate to find a significant other and it’s leaving you anxious, you’ve got to get beyond that too. Being fun, positive, and light-hearted is so important when you’re putting yourself out there.

There are many times when I’ll read someone’s online dating profile and it’ll say, “Well it seems impossible to meet a good girl but I’m going to give this online dating thing one more try” or something similar and I’m instantly put off by it. This translates to real life too. You’ll be out talking to someone and they’ll be ranting and raving about how much they hate their job or their crazy roommate or blah blah blah and it just leaves you feeling drained. Not exactly the kind of emotion that prompts you to get excited about date #2.

Think about the best relationships in your life, whether they’re with friends, family members, or co-workers. They probably don’t involve sitting around complaining. Sure, sometimes a good rant session is necessary (believe me, I’m an epic ranter when I want to be). But for the most part, the most satisfying relationships are those where you’re laughing, having fun, and generally being positive about life.

Another thing I’ve realized: Besides being positive, you also can’t take it all so seriously. Dating can be stressful and tiring, definitely. Sometimes it feels like an endless merry-go-round of meeting someone, hoping it goes somewhere, and feeling disappointed when it doesn’t. But if you’re doing it right, it should also be fun and interesting and eye-opening. If you take every single interaction personally, you’re going to drive yourself (and the people you’re going out with) absolutely bananas.

There are many instances where someone will send me a message, and before I can even process it they’ll instantly send another saying, “Not your type, huh?” It’s just…UGH. Chill. Maybe I read your message then had to make a phone call. Or think about what I wanted to say. Or go to an appointment. That kind of intensity is so unappealing.

A real life example: I had been casually talking with a guy who seemed nice enough, but we’d been having trouble actually making plans to meet up because I was out of town, then he was, and then our schedules just didn’t line up. One night he sent a very casual text that didn’t prompt an immediate response. I was at dinner with friends and made a mental note to get back to him after the meal. Five minutes later he sent me a text saying, “Well suit yourself. Have a good weekend.” Later on he asked if I wanted to get together the following week.

Originally he seemed like a cool guy, but his quickness to get snarky when I didn’t immediately reply had me reconsidering my opinion. Again, dating is supposed to be fun. We both work and travel and have friends. Sometimes I’m at dinner with those friends and don’t want to be the annoying one with my phone sitting on the table. Also, I made a promise to myself to be less phone obsessed. Therefore my slightly delayed response is nothing personal. Turning down the intensity 10 percent would be perfect.

Part of this issue is eagerness to find someone, I would imagine. Another part of the problem is that we’re all so used to checking e-mail every three seconds and getting instant responses. Still, it’s unattractive.

Because I’ve experienced this situation with other people, I really make an effort to be positive in all of my interactions, both with dates and just in life in general. It’s so much more enjoyable to be a person who’s happy and relaxed rather than someone who has something to complain about all of the time, you know?

If you’re a part of the dating scene, do you know what I mean with this intensity that some people bring to the table? How do you think positivity plays into relationships?

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