I recently heard that 85% of Americans hope to marry someday, according to a study by Rutgers University, which also found that 82% of female high school seniors say that having a good marriage is extremely important to them.  Whether you are a high school or college senior, or even a senior citizen, a good first step to marriage is a date.

A date, what’s that? – all but the senior citizens are asking.  If you are clueless as to how to begin the dating process, consider the following helpful tips posted on the Love & Fidelity Network’s blog recently. (Click here for the entire article: http://www.loveandfidelity.org/2016/02/18/3-tips-bring-dating-back/) The author describes herself as “now happily married, having survived college dating (despite the scariness).”

Teen love1) Stop looking for “the one,” ­– that one person in the whole universe with whom you could ever be happy.  That thought holds people back from good relationships, and ends in unsatisfied searching and in sadness. As in all things, if you find a good thing, keep it. Looking for greener pastures is only useful when accompanied by a measure of wisdom. Nobody is perfect. If people aren’t perfect, how can you expect your relationship to be?

2) Be intentional. It’s true fewer young people are “going on dates” these days – that’s why it’s so important. Being intentional means laying your cards on the table and making your romantic aspirations known.  It can be scary to make yourself vulnerable when it seems like everyone else is playing games.  But if something is difficult, that probably means it’s more worthwhile in the end. “Toughing it out” will mature you to where you need to be by the time you reach the end. You may also find it to be easier than you imagined.

3) Know who you are. As in everything you do, it is important to sort out the voices influencing your life that are not your own and find your own voice. This could take getting out of your comfort zone to do some lengthy reflection. But only then you will know what you truly want. Figuring that out and dealing with insecurities goes a long way towards conquering any fears about dating.

Birth, death and marriage are the three most common experiences for Americans. Let’s see if we can add dating to that list. It may actually help postpone the second and hasten the third!  For other helpful tips, look for the tag #bringdatingback.