When it comes to dating, the "rules of engagement" have changed over the years, but these time-tested tips can help you navigate even the rockiest waters.

10 Timeless Dating Tips

Are you ready to get back into the dating scene? Have you found yourself drowning in an infinity pool of dating? Has dating become so complicated that you’re just completely over it? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone! Dating can be such a daunting task especially if you’re reentering the dating scene after an extended period. When it comes to dating, in today’s world, many of us are totally clueless. The “rules of engagement,” technical language, mobile devices and social media status updates have helped to make it even more complicated. Keeping up with the times and trends of dating can be overwhelming especially when you do not know how to navigate the dating scene. Below are some timeless dating tips that everyone should know.

1. Don’t compromise your core values just for a date!
Don’t become so desperate that you’re willing to accept anything. Do not waver when it comes to your core values and beliefs. Compromising core values and beliefs will ultimately end in disaster and regret. Establishing these boundaries in the beginning will help you navigate the dating scene. In addition, it sets the tone, excludes confidence, and establishes respect. Staying true to your core values will ultimately pay off in the end.

2. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.
When we stay inside our perfect, nice and neat little boxes, we tend to miss out on the adventures of life! Life is meant to be lived and sometime that means stepping outside our comfort zone and dancing with the unknown. Now let’s be clear, I am not suggested that you place yourself in harm’s way or deviate from your core values and beliefs. However, I am suggesting that you expand your horizons to try something different, go new places and explore new things. How will you ever know what you like and dislike if you don’t at least give it a try. Develop a new mantra…vive la difference!

3. Be honest with yourself and others.
When entering the dating game, be clear of your intentions. Ask yourself the following questions: 1) Am I dating to have fun? or 2) Am I dating for commitment? Based on your honest answer, you can then approach dating with clarity. Whatever your answer is, it’s ok. Just be upfront with yourself and your potential suitors. Trust me; no one likes the old bait and switch. In addition, this helps you weed out the individuals who do not have the same dating desires. If your dating desire is to find a potential life partner then choose to date only people who express that same desire. Remember, you can’t change people so don’t set yourself up for failure by trying.

4. Don't BS!
Be yourself. Do not, I repeat, do not send your representative on YOUR date. Show up as your authentic self each and every time. This way your date has the opportunity to get to know the real you. And besides, trying to be someone or something that you’re not requires way too much brain power and work. Why waste time trying to create this illusion or persona that your date may or may not be in to? If you present as yourself, then you don't have to spend time trying to figure out who your date is really interested in, you or your alter ego.

5. Try a dating site.
The traditional methods of dating are pretty much archaic and virtually extinct like dinosaurs. Good ole technology has created a dating pool that is easily accessible. More and more people are taking to the internet and making dates with the swipe of a finger! Consider downloading one of the plethora of dating apps and you will virtually have an endless amount of dating possibilities at your finger tips.

6. Ditch “The list.”
Often times we talk ourselves right out of the perfect date because we are being extremely judgment, overly critical or too skeptical. There’s nothing wrong with dating active potential. Stop creating unrealistic list that no one, including yourself, can ever live up too. It’s certainly ok to have core values and ideal characteristics that you want in a potential mate, but it’s also equally important to be flexible enough to allow for imperfections. Decide what’s really important and non-negotiable and throw the rest of the “stuff” out the window or else you will end up spending the rest of your life with your list.

7. Would you date yourself?
Ask yourself this question. If the answer is no or if you’re hesitant in your response, then you have some work to do before you begin dating. Oftentimes we have expectations of others that we cannot even meet ourselves. Or we’re so broken from our past that we haven't taken the time to heal properly. In either case, it’s important to pause for the cause. It’s not fair to take all of our “stuff” and drop it right in your date’s lap. Before you decide to date again, take a moment for introspection. Date yourself. Learn who you are and what you like first. Be sure that you’re ready to start fresh. Remember we draw unto to us the very same energy we put out. So, if you’re putting out mess, then that’s exactly what you’ll receive in return.

8. Stop looking for love in the night club!
The night club is probably not the best place to find a date. I’m not saying that it’s totally impossible however most of the time, people hang out in night clubs and bars for one of two reasons: 1) to hang out with friends or 2) to find a random “hook up.” Now, if you’re in the market for a night of random indiscretions, then the night club may be the place for you. However if you’re looking for something little more substantial, then it may be best to consider a new location. Try looking for potential dates in places that truly interest you or where you can find people who share a commonality. For example, if you’re an art enthusiast go to the museum or art gallery. Or if you’re a jazz aficionado, try frequenting a vintage record store or concert in the park.

9. Dating is NOT synonymous with sex.
I think we have Generation X to thank for this one! Somewhere along the trajectory dating became hooking up which became synonymous with casual sex. Dating in its true essence is an intentional process that involves getting to know one another in a friendship context while assessing one’s suitability as a potential partner. Sex is not a requirement for that. While, it’s certainly your choice to engage in casual sex if you consent, however, please be aware of the intended and unintended consequences. Be forewarned that casual sex does not come without a cost: physical, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, energetically, biochemically, socially, etc.

10. It’s ok to excuse yourself.
Never allow yourself to stay in a dating situation that makes you uncomfortable. It is totally acceptable to excuse yourself and end the date. If you are on a date and you feel uncomfortable, politely find a way to excuse yourself and exit stage left. And if the date was extremely questionable, find a way to remove the person from your dating line up all together. When in doubt following your gut. When people show you who they are believe it!

Although the days of old school dating are long gone, the aforementioned tips transcend time.

While these tips will not totally guarantee that you will never have the date from hell, they can definitely take a lot of the guess work out of dating and keep you on the path to dating successfully. As you continue on your dating journey, learn to embrace and enjoy the process. You never know you may just end up finding your Mr. or Mrs. Right!

Dr. TaMara is an internationally renowned clinical sexologist, sex therapist, educator and speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has served as a consultant various organizations, colleges and universities across the country including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Psychological Association, just to name a few. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality!, the premiere magazine for all things related to women’s sexuality and sexual health. Dr. TaMara holds a PhD and Doctorate degree in Human Sexuality, Master's of Social Work and Master's of Education. Learn more about Dr. TaMara on her website at www.drtamaragriffin.com.