Disclaimer: I may not be in my right mind while writing this as I am currently coming off a three day hangover.

In my 27 years, I’ve recently realized that I’ve never had a true single spell. Yeah college was fun, but I only dated here and there and having a man wasn’t the first thing on my mind. In 2019, I vowed to discover myself in dating. Read that again. Discover myself IN dating (what I like and dislike) not to discover myself. Here’s a little background- I’ve been in 3 “real” relationships: 2 being abusive, so that right there should tell you that I didn’t know what I was doing, and 1 with someone 12 years older than me which was beautiful, but had a negative ending. By reflecting on my past, I’ve realized that I don’t know what I like and don’t like in relationships. With that being said, I’m changing it up this year and dating… Hardcore.
Also, I think there’s something special in accumulating different experiences, with different people, to know what you truly want in a long term partner before tying the knot.
If you’re newly single, haven’t ever dated-DATED, or want tips on how to live the best single life, here’s a little guidance:

1.Know Yourself

I must preface this article and stress the importance that before you begin serial dating, you’ve got to make sure: you have taken the time to heal yourself from any past hurt or traumas in relationships, spent enough time alone to know that you aren’t just dating to escape loneliness, and are emotionally stable. Being aware of you and your personality traits as a person will not only take you a long way in life, but will make a hell of a difference when involving another person. If this is handled (you don’t have to be 100%, think 70%+) then you’re Gucci! Proceed…

2. Go Out

First things first, you must go out. Like, all the freaking time (which explains my 3-day binge drinking then hangover scenario I’m encountering right now). I probably go out 4+ times a week because let’s be honest …I won’t find someone to date in my living room though that would be nice. You not only have go out, but also be versatile in your scenes. I frequent lounges, clubs, nice restaurants, brunch every Sunday, basketball games and city events where singles usually attend. It’s great to casually converse with someone over a drink and get to know someone. Also, this doesn’t mean relying on your entire posse to have a free moment to make moves. Start out by dressing up and going to a restaurant bar alone. In Houston, I suggest La Lucha/ Steak 48/ Georgia James/ BB Lemon/ Roka Akor . At these hot spots, you’re bound to make a friend.

3. It goes down in the DMs

Now this is a song, but also real life in the new age of dating. Believe me when I say 3 of my most recent situationships have started via Instagram DMs. With this, you gotta do a little research on the person reaching out to you (or that you’re reaching out to) because there are some stalkers out there who follow you for weeks, obsessing, then you’ll end up like Beck on the Netflix show “YOU”. Overall, this is all about strategy. Like a few pics at one time for a few weeks , then don’t be scared to shoot that DM with maybe a question that doesn’t require a “yes” or “no” response and once you receive a response, let things naturally flow. If chemistry is there, opportunity may present itself to go further.

4. Accept date invites, but not any ole’ date invite

I suggest having friends present on the first few outings to set the tone of things being casual (this is just my preference). This is to ensure that the other person doesn’t get the idea that you’re wanting something too serious or monogamous at the moment. Also, your friends will usually tell you a lot more about a person you’re thinking about casually dating while you missed all the signs from being caught up. In the beginning, when someone invites you out, it should be to somewhere fun, active or new/exciting every time in order to get to know their personality out and about. Do not feed into the “come over let’s smoke/drink” or “Netflix and Chill” foolishness early on because we all know where that will get you (aka the positive sign on a pregnancy test)………..but I mean… unless you want to go there. Go for it!

5. Bronze, Silver, and Gold

This ranking system should be your lineup system. I believe if you don’t date multiple people, you chance wasting those treasurable 3 months on one person that was awful when you could have cancelled them out long ago and still have had a roster. Dating multiple people at one time let’s you really see what you enjoy in different types of people.
Your Bronze could be someone you see as a friend. From the moment you meet, you go out with them, you don’t look at them sexually, but it’s always a crazy, fun, casual time when together. You low-key friend zone them because they high-key they may have some jewels in their friend circle. Stay alert yo, but be really transparent so you don’t hurt any feelings. *shrugs*
Your Silver can be someone that you go out on great official dates with (1-on-1), you relate to them on a friendship and intimate level, and while you don’t know if things could advance to an exclusive relationship, time will tell. Y’all always have a lively time and you see strong potential in them being a partner. Months in you may see yourselves asking each other the “What are your 5 year goals?” type questions because, well, you actually care.
Your GOLD….is someone who checks most of your “boxes”. There is never a dull moment and you both can talk about anything with one another whether it be personal or private, about business etc. You highly respect them and their opinions. The main attributes in a “GOLD” person is their effort to spend time with you and their communication. They are always planning a date in order to see you, texting throughout the day to see how it’s going, and not leaving you hanging for hours in convo. Every time you’re out with them, they make sure that all of their friends meet you plus they make sure you’re taken care of in every aspect that you require. Also, the biggest thing I’ve seen in a GOLD is that they’re often asking questions about YOU. There are so many times I’ve been in a situation where I’m constantly asking all the questions to try and build a connection with someone and they barely ask anything about me which is not a good sign.

6. Another 13

Note: I’m hesitant on sharing this little secret.
I’m sure you’re confused on what “Another 13” means, but it’s actually a fragrance. Le Labo partnered with Another Magazine in 2010 on this exclusive scent…..
I swear to you if you wear this on your first time meeting someone, or daily, they’re not going to want to let you go. If you’re trying to set an impression, this is the subtle killer move to do so. Thank me later!

Now…Good luck in dating and eventually finding your GOLD folks! If you have any questions DM me at @karacsmithh .

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