Dating Advice as Told by Batman

Author: Tony Iliakostas, The Dating Game

Batman, who has been dubbed the world’s greatest detective, has it all.

He’s a successful businessman by day, he’s got fancy tech, he takes down crime, and of course, he’s a heartthrob to most women who encounter him. Whether you’ve read the comics, watched the animated series, or even watched old and new cinematic renditions of Batman, the Dark Knight teaches us lessons about dating that may be useful to those looking for love.

 

Be yourself
Many would probably think that Bruce Wayne suffers from some type of identity crisis. He’s a playboy billionaire by day, and a masked vigilante by night. Yet, if you know anything about the Batman story arch, Bruce Wayne isn’t some person who doesn’t know who he is. He has embraced the Batman moniker to rid Gotham of crime, which he himself was a victim of when his parents were mercilessly killed before his eyes as a young boy. The same outlook should be applied to dating. Don’t put on a proverbial mask to hide your true colors. Dating is about being yourself. You want your date to know who you are, and what you stand for. Adopting this mindset will make the dating experience a lot easier.

Moral support is vital
Batman has sought the help of many accomplices and sidekicks throughout the history of this comic book. His most noteworthy is Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce’s guardian and right hand man. It’s Alfred who serves as the voice of reason, and a beacon of wisdom when Bruce dealt with inner personal or moral conflict. The same goes for dating. If you’re in a relationship where you’re uncertain of the direction it’s going, it’s totally natural to go to close friends and family who you confide in, and seek their guidance. Likewise, if your dating relationship is going really well, share the praise report with them too. Just remember that not everyone has your best interests in heart. Make sure that whoever you talk to is someone who you genuinely trust.

Teamwork makes the dream work
Batman didn’t fight Gotham’s foes on his own. Whether it was the Boy Wonder Dick Grayson, Jason Todd’s rendition of Robin, or Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, Batman knew that the help of others would ease the burden of fighting the worst of the worst villains. And of course, Batman’s embrace of teamwork expanded beyond Gotham when he became a founding member of the Justice League, DC’s version of the Avengers. Dating is very similar. The success of every dating relationship relies heavily on the contribution that each person in the relationship makes. Whether it’s paying for a night out every once in a while, or lending an ear during a meaningful conversation, there should be equilibrium in the relationship. Every happy and thriving married couple will tell you that their marriage has lasted because each spouse worked in tandem as a team.

Relationships can be complicated
If there’s one thing Bruce Wayne and I have in common, it’s that we have dated our fair share of women. Whether it was Vicki Vale, Dr. Chase Meridian, Rachel Dawes, or even Selina Kyle (yes, the Catwoman), Bruce consistently fell in and out of love. Perhaps his lack of commitment to women was superseded by his obligation to protect Gotham City. Nevertheless, if you’re one of those people who has dated many guys or girls, and you haven’t found “the one” yet, rest on the laurels that neither has Bruce Wayne. Don’t consider yourself an outsider simply because you’ve spent so many years in unsuccessful dating relationships. This is a normal feeling, and the time will come sooner or later when you meet that one person who will take your breath away.

More experience makes you better and smarter
Batman became a better and stronger superhero as he encountered more villains, upgraded his technology, and acquired more experience as a crime fighter. Dating is very similar in this regard. The more people you date, the more you’ll understand your wants and needs in life. You’ll meet people who are good for just a coffee date. You’ll meet others who you hope to foster a long-lasting permanent relationship with. But this will only happen as you grow older and continue dating people.

 

If you’re single and itching to get back in the dating scene, my hope is that the advice above will inspire and motivate you to do so. And if The Penguin dares to interrupt your dinner date, you know what to do.

dating apps

Sometimes, You Need a Break From Dating Apps

Author: Michelle Ioannou, The Dating Game

The title of this is so 21st century, right?

But, it’s true. Sometimes, you need to delete those dating apps right off of your phone. Not forever, but for a little while. Give yourself a little break. Stop worrying about needing to respond to someone in 24 hours, or accidentally swiping left on what could’ve been the love of your life. Stepping away from dating apps for a short, but extended period of time, can be beneficial. And, it can help you feel a bit better about the thought of dating.

But, when is it the right time to delete these apps? Well, don’t just do it for the heck of it. Or because you’re annoyed someone hasn’t responded back immediately. Do it because you need to.

You’ve become cynical
How many of us have gone months and months of swiping, for pretty much nothing? Sure, you’ll talk to someone here and there, but it doesn’t go anywhere. You may have even been asked for your number, and have started texting… but then, nothing progressed there either. It’s so easy to get discouraged if this continues to happen. Taking some time off from swiping right before you get lost into a “why doesn’t anyone want to take this to the next step” situation could definitely be beneficial.

You’re just not into it right now
No, regardless of the pressure you may feel from your family members, you do not have to be putting yourself out there all of the time. You’re allowed to take a break from “the hunt,” and that includes taking a break from dating apps as well. If you’re just not into it, you’re likely to be indifferent anyway, which could mean swiping left a bit more than you normally would. Delete the apps for a little, until you feel like you’re ready to get back into the dating game.

It feels like a chore 
Going on dating apps feels more like an obligation rather than something you want to do? “OMG if I don’t spend a half hour every day on Tinder/Coffee Meets Bagel/Bumble/etc. how am I supposed to find someone?” No, you cannot think like that, and you shouldn’t. Dating apps are not supposed to be a chore; they’re there to help you find someone — on your own terms, when you want to. If it does feel like an obligation, you’re likely to be pessimistic about the entire experience, and not opening your eyes (and your heart) like you should.

You feel like all you do is swipe left
There has to be at least some people you’re kind of sorta maybe interested in. There is no reason to solely swipe left, or swipe left 90% of the time or more. If this is happening, something else is going on — and that very well could be that you’re just not into it right now, or it’s feeling like a chore. Going on and swiping left to everyone truly is not going to do you any good, but a break from dating apps will.

It has taken over your life
Like all things, you can (unfortunately) become addicted to dating apps. No! This is not something we should become addicted to! No addiction is good, and one to a dating app likely wouldn’t be beneficial. If you find yourself needing to check Coffee Meets Bagel at exactly noon every day, or if you find yourself obsessing over why that really attractive person you matched with has not responded to your message, take a step back. Nip the obsession in the butt before it gets any worse.

dating

“Why is dating even considered a game? It’s not about winners and losers…”

Author: Nicole Chininis, The Dating Game

World: I’m about to tell you something that you may not like, but I can guarantee about 99% of you will agree with: The games we play while we’re dating are dumb.

You know exactly what type of games I’m talking about. The “I’m not texting them again until they text me,” or the “I had an amazing date but I’m not going to contact them for two days because I don’t want to seem too eager,” or last, but not least, the “Text them to say I don’t think this is working out? No thanks, I’ll just ghost them.”

You all are probably saying to yourself, “You’re right. Games are dumb. I hate playing them and they don’t get me anywhere.” It’s true, but yet, next time you go on a date, you find yourself second-guessing texting your date that you had fun… because you don’t want to seem weird. And yes, I know this because I was that person. I see my friends doing this. We all play into our insecurities, and these games are the exact way that we protect ourselves from dealing with the doubt that comes along with dating. But, I’m here to call you out on it, and tell you that games are dumb.

Straightforwardness is attractive
Straightforwardness is one of the most attractive qualities a person can have. It’s so refreshing when you don’t have to second-guess what someone is thinking. I want someone who also doesn’t want to play games. If you had fun on a date, and want to see me again, tell me. If you like me, make it known. I understand that sometimes people aren’t sure what they want in a relationship, but you know what? Tell me that. Why? Because at least I can navigate how I feel about that situation, and determine what’s best for me. So, tell the truth, and be straightforward about your intentions.

People who are scared off because you seem too eager are not worthy of you
Look, we’ve all been there. You start to talk to someone and love the back and forth banter for days, but then say to yourself, “I’m not going to text first, it’s their turn.” Wait, what?! Their turn? Why? Generally, it’s because you don’t want to seem too eager and scare them off. Well, this is dumb. It’s dumb because you deserve better than a person who is scared off by text messages, or a phone call, to ask you out again. What’s going to happen when real, actual conflict happens? Ugh, I can’t even imagine. Nonetheless, you deserve someone who actually enjoys talking with you, and appreciates you and your “Morning, how’s your day starting off?” texts. You simply deserve the best.

Games are a waste of everyone’s time
Dating is hard enough as it is, and we don’t need to make things more complicated. By playing games, we’re just simply wasting time, when we could be with a person who likes the fact that you’re not toying with their heart. Doesn’t that sound nice? Cut the crap by texting them when you feel like it, or asking them on a date again because you want to see them. Ultimately, cutting to the chase makes it easier to make decisions on how you feel about the other person, instead of getting your hopes up about something that is dragged out, and isn’t really there. Make it known: you’re not trying to waste your time or their time.

You’re being unfair to yourself and the other person
If you play the dating games like many do, you’re doing yourself and the other person a disservice. Give yourself a chance to do things right, and be honest with yourself and the other person. If you don’t feel like you’re making a connection with that person, please don’t ghost them. Simply tell them that you don’t think it’s working out, but you wish them the best. Wouldn’t you want to be treated the same way?

I’ve Never Dated Before, and Here is My Admission

Author: Emmanuel Pepis, The Dating Game

I’m about to admit something that may or may not be surprising: I’ve never been on an actual date in my adult life.

I can sit here and fill the page with stories of failed dating attempts in my past, but I won’t travel down that road. Sure, there are girls I’ve really liked. Sure, I’ve tried to set up something. Every time, though, either plans fell through or something seemingly out of the ordinary happened.

Because of this, for the last few years, I haven’t even tried to ask a girl out at all.

I don’t want to make it sound like I absolutely need to have a relationship to make me feel complete. You don’t. But I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t suck to be lonely sometimes. To not have someone to share your heart with and to not have companionship is not a fun feeling.

It can also bring good old-fashioned doubt into your mind. I’ve questioned myself, my personality, if I’m doing something wrong. I’ve blamed myself for far too long, and that’s a big reason I’m making this admission and writing to anybody who may be feeling the same way I am.

Trust me on this, though — continue to be the best version of yourself you can be. Continue to put yourself out there and let others see who you really are.

You’ll get frustrated. There will be moments where things won’t work out when you want them to. That’s okay. Don’t blame yourself when someone turns you down or when someone cancels on a date in the eleventh hour. I know the last sentence is easier said than done and dating can make the heart fragile.

I’ve put myself through that in the past. I have doubted my own personality when I shouldn’t. And learning from all this (admittedly the hard way) has put me in a better place now. Sure, I still have days when those negative thoughts creep in but for the most part, I can deal with it better now.

This may sound cliché, but love sometimes happens when and where we least expect it. Though it may be easy to get frustrated, continue to live your life each day. Continue to strive for your goals while keeping your eyes open. These are things I have had to repeat to myself and things that some great friends have helped me out with over time.

Not everyone desires to find a partner and I fully understand. And if you’ve never been on a date, either, that’s truly okay. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s nothing wrong with you. And you’re not the only one. However, I will say to all of you, that you deserve true love. Don’t settle for anything less.

We all deserve to look at ourselves in the best light possible and appreciate the little things that make us who we are. And it’s those things that will lead to the right person coming into your life: whether that’s tomorrow, next week, next year, or five years from now.

What I Learned After I Changed Myself for a Guy

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, The Dating Game

If I’d had the benefit of hindsight at 16 years old, I never would have tried to change to become more of who he wanted.

You know the type of person I’m talking about, too. The person you thought you could never live without. The one who was your whole world. The first person who you thought of as soon as you woke up. The person you saw behind your eyelids as you fell asleep.

It’s possible you were together, and it’s possible you thought that you were, and it’s possible that you weren’t at all, and you knew it. But that didn’t matter. Not then. Even if you weren’t “official,” you wanted to be. Even if that happened five years down the road, you’d wait.

Of course, none of us have the benefit of hindsight before a situation eventually terminates… or, when the person you love turns out not to love you at all. When you face the harsh reality that the years of waiting and wanting and pining was all a lie.

All of the clothes that you bought to “make him like you” were for nothing. All of the time you spent educating yourself on his favorite things was time wasted. The crash diet was stupid, the way you cut your hair just wasn’t “you,” and you even managed to alienate some of your friends who, rightfully so, were tired of the whole act.

What’s important following any of those situations is that you learn from it, and learn not to do it again. You understand your mistakes. And you figure out some… “stuff.”

You learn that if you were truly his whole world, he’d never want you to change
“You should wear that sweater more often.”

“I don’t like your hair that color, why would you dye it that way?” 

“What were you doing talking to so-and-so?” 

You get the picture, right? If he loves you, he’ll accept you for who you are, not who he wants you to be. He won’t care what type of sweater you’re wearing, or judge the style of your hair. He’ll love you, and all of you.

You learn to love your own sense of style
You celebrate the moment that you can toss those neon floral skirts that were great in theory, but just so awful in practice. You trade them in for the studded jean shorts you love so dearly and finally, finally feel comfortable in your own skin again.

You’re on high alert for the same types of people
You know the signs. You know the warnings. And you’ll listen to them this time, you won’t just shrug them off. You’ll never make the same mistake twice, because you’re done being anyone but yourself.

You rediscover your personality, and your true interests
No, you really don’t like eating lunch at that fancy restaurant. You had no interest in watching him play golf with his fancy friends. And probably most importantly, you realized that you were letting your voice become quiet, because of him. You ignored your own beliefs, because they weren’t his beliefs. You ignored the things you truly enjoyed, the music you loved, the subjects you loved talking about, to focus on the things he enjoyed. You tended not to share your opinions, because you knew he wouldn’t like them or just make fun of them. And you even ignored the friends he didn’t like.

You finally understand that no one is worth changing for 
You’re the only you in the world. And you know what? No one can — or should try to — take that away from you. The right person, who will love you for you, is worth waiting for. And don’t settle for anything less.