Of all the things that a parent naturally worries about in relation to the well-being of their children, the contemporary dating world seems to be a leading compounding factor adding to all that worry. As if there isn’t enough to worry about…

In a world where the promise of finding whatever kind of mate you’re looking for at the time resides in an swipe-left-or-right mobile phone app, I think a little bit of a more experienced head has some great advice to help the up-and-coming generation navigate the rather precarious world of contemporary dating. After all, it was indeed my generation which actually ushered in the use of all the technology we have available today, so we are the ones who can look at things from two different perspectives, as opposed to that of Gen X-ers. All they know is a world with all this technology, some of which is nothing more than of the novelty gizmos and gadgets kind.

What is your long-term relationship goal?

As hard as it can be at this early stage in life, this is when it would do you a world of good to exercise some unwavering honesty. It’s really difficult, I know, because of factors such as peer pressure, but you’d only be helping yourself if you exercise complete honesty.

So what you need to do is ask yourself what your long-term relationship goal is? Do you want to one day get married and settle down? Sure, the options seem to be shaped by what is a reality which presents us with limited options, such very few others beyond this ultimate goal of getting married and raising a family.

Having fun with a purpose

Once you’ve established your long-term relationship goal, live in the NOW and enjoy your life, but keep that long-term goal in mind. The longer you practice in the beginning, the easier it will get, to the point that it will become second nature. Learn to identify what it is you want in that person you ultimately want to spend the rest of your life with, focussing on the traits as opposed to trying to find or train those traits in someone you’ve already identified as a potential life partner.

At present it might not make too much sense, but you’ll thank yourself later for having developed advanced intuitive cues such as being able to associate something like wearing Birkenstocks with a potential life partner who by virtue of shopping from that particular retailer, demonstrates the right balance between sensibility and style.

In other words, have fun, but if you know exactly what it is you’re looking for, when you come across it you will at least know where to go should you wish to work towards making things more official.

Re-discovering yourself and what you really want

It’s okay for your mind to change, because that’s what happens – people change as they grow, in a way that’s more in line with discovering their true selves. What you might have thought you wanted might not quite be the same anymore, and that’s okay.