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9 Must-Have Life Skills Before Dating

Let's face it: modern dating is like a maze of dating apps, casual flings, and commitment-phobes. Whether you're a young gun or a seasoned pro, finding someone solid with emotional smarts, financial finesse, and a genuine interest in building a long-haul love story seems like finding a needle in a haystack. We've all heard the "live in the moment and follow your heart" spiel, which sounds great, but it often leaves those hunting for a forever partner feeling like they're stuck in a solo game of hide and seek.

Now, don't get me wrong – some of this modern dating vibe comes from the online world and the pressures of society. But let's not ignore the elephant in the room: many of us just aren't equipped with the basic life skills needed for a successful relationship. So, before you go all-in on the dating scene with a bunch of swiped-right profiles, do yourself a solid and nail these nine crucial life skills first.

  1. Rock Your Own Company: Being cool with flying solo is a must. You've got to be okay with your own company and have interests outside of potential bae-ville. Dating someone just because you're scared of solitude is like jumping into quicksand – it's a slow and painful mess. So, whether it's hitting the trails, getting artsy, or honing your own DIY skills, make sure you've got hobbies that light up your world.

  2. Money Matters: No, we're not asking you to be a financial wizard, but you should know where your cash is going. It's like adulting 101. Having a savings stash and being financially stable before you dive into dating is like wearing a superhero cape – it shows you're responsible and ready for real life. Being a money tornado or a day-to-day spender isn't cool. Plus, how you handle your dough can say a lot about how you handle your love life. Cha-ching!

  3. Crush the Green-Eyed Monster: Jealousy can be a real relationship wrecker. If you're the green-eyed monster's BFF, it's time to change the game. Start dishing out some self-love and positive vibes. You don't need a partner showering you with compliments 24/7 – why not become your own fan? Give yourself props and let that jealousy monster fade into oblivion.

  4. Stress Less: Life's a rollercoaster, and stress is like that unexpected loop-de-loop. We've all seen our share of bad stress management role models, but it's time to break the cycle. Kick back with some chill tunes, hit the yoga mat, pump some iron, chow down on a killer salad, or have a vent session with your pals. Stress happens, but let's be real – we've got better options than turning into a stress-eating couch potato.

  5. Goal Getter: Got goals? Good. Setting goals – big or small – is like having your personal GPS. It keeps you driven and gives your life some kick. Don't wait for a partner to jump on the adventure wagon with you. Whether it's volunteering, conquering a personal challenge, or chasing a dream, you've got the green light to go solo. Plus, achieving your goals amps up your confidence, making you a top-notch catch.

  6. Know Thyself: Hey, nobody's perfect. But knowing how you tick and how your actions play out in the real world is a superpower. It's like having your own cheat code for better relationships. If you're aware of your quirks and can work on your weak spots, you're on the fast track to becoming a relationship Jedi – transparent and empathetic.

  7. Dump the Emotional Baggage: Got some baggage? We all do. But don't let it drag you down when you're gearing up for a new love story. It's like cleaning out your closet before a shopping spree. Address those lingering grudges, do some soul-searching, and let go of what's holding you back. Baggage is so last season – make room for new memories.

  8. Be YOU: When you're dating, don't put on a mask and play pretend. Seriously, it's like wearing a disguise at a costume party – sure, it's fun at first, but it gets old real quick. Be yourself, and if someone can't handle your awesomeness, they're not worth your time. Authenticity rules, and trust us, finding someone who digs the real you is way better than pretending to be someone you're not.

  9. Brave the Awkward Talks: Let's be real – relationships can get messy. But being able to dive into those uncomfortable conversations? That's a superpower. Avoiding the tough stuff is like ignoring a blinking "check engine" light – it leads to disaster. Healthy relationships thrive when partners can lay it all out on the table and work together to fix things. So, whether it's a serious heart-to-heart or just hashing out the little stuff, get talking. Remember, there are no winners or losers – just two peeps figuring things out together.

Dating's no cakewalk, but if you've got your life skills game on point, you're setting yourself up for success. So, before you dive headfirst into the dating whirlpool, make sure you've got these essentials down. You've got this! - Mary Jo Rapini


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