How do I into dating?
So I was reading through some of the posts here, and while I previously thought I was prepared for a relationship, I'm now somewhat terrified at the prospect, and after thinking about it for a while, I realized that I have a ton of questions that I hadn't even considered before. I posted a bit in another thread, but I decided I'd make a separate one, since I don't want to risk derailing the original. Here are my previous posts, so that I don't have to waste any of the site's space by repeating them.
I'll try to break my thoughts down into bullet points, so that people can respond to each individual question/concern with their input on the matter.
• Most importantly, how do I stay safe when dating?
I've been pretty sheltered for most of my life, and I really don't have all too much experience with this, so I'm pretty clueless in this area. I mean, I know to always tell people where I'm going and to regularly check in with them, but beyond that, I'm basically drawing a blank.
• How do I tell whether someone is a good (good in this case meaning someone with whom I could have a healthy, non-abusive relationship) guy or not?
Again, I really only know the super obvious stuff, like avoid people with anger issues, a history of bad relationships, etc.
• What steps should I take in order to best avoid being led on, and thinking that he's interested in a genuine, long-term, meaningful relationship, when he's really just looking to hook up and will say whatever he thinks I want to hear to make that happen?
I don't plan on being "easy" and dropping my pants for the first guy that asks the second that he asks, but I don't consider myself prudish, either. I'm not interested in one-night stands (at all), but at the same time, I feel no obligation to """save myself for marriage""" (eugh, even typing that out disgusts me - it honestly feels more objectifying than someone openly admitting to just wanting me for sex). If I care for the person, and if he cares for me (looking to you guys for help here in determining whether or not this is genuine), then so long as we're exclusive and have been together for a while, I'm comfortable with sex. (At least, I think I am. The last time I was in a relationship was in high school, so I have no idea how "real" relationships function at all, let alone the "proper" timelines for them.)
• Is online dating a meme?
I feel like most of the people there wouldn't really be right for me. I don't say that to try to imply that I'm above online dating or anything, not at all. It's more like, the kind of guys who are interested in the same internet culture as I am don't seem like the type to use those sites, and so I'd either have to find them on 4chan (lmao, good luck me), or else randomly out in public, by total happenstance, with no real way to control it. Of course, that's not the only trait I'm searching for in potential boyfriends. It's just that I've been on chans, and other similar sites, since I was a preteen. It's warped my sense of humor, and even personality somewhat, to the point that I feel like I'd scare off anyone who hadn't experienced the same thing.
• Aside from online dating, what's the best way to snag myself a qt?
I'd assume college/university is the best bet out there, but I'm not currently attending it. However, I'll be going back pretty soon, so that's something for me to look forward to!
• I'm on bc, but I'd still make any potential future partners wear a condom at first, even though we'd be exclusive. When does cc usually feel comfortable enough to no longer need that?
I have a latex allergy (lucky me, I know), so I have that to worry about. And God forbid I accidentally forget to mention this. That is not something that I want to have to deal with, so I'm wary of condoms in general (but I'm more wary of STDs/STIs). What are your recommendations on this subject overall?
• Personality is extremely important to me, but let's not kid ourselves. His looks are important, too. How do I find the right balance between these? Or will all of that fade into the background the instant that I experience True Love™ and find The One®?
I thought I'd experienced love in high school, and maybe I did. But I have a feeling that it's vastly different from the kind of love that I'd be able to find now.
• At what point do you feel comfortable/should I feel comfortable going to a guy's house alone?
I'd obviously let people know what I was doing and where I was going, as well as check in regularly, but - being as sheltered as I am - the idea is still pretty daunting. I've never actually done it before.
• What's the deal with circumcised vs uncircumcised penises?
I know the physical differences - I'm not that sheltered - but not much more than that. Pretty much everywhere I go online, or every person I talk to, has a vastly different opinion from the last one, and they all seem pretty solidified in their beliefs, quite sure that they are the ones who are correct. If I think about it, this kind of makes me think that it's really no big deal at all, and that people are just being weird and paranoid about anything having to do with sex, as is often the case. But if I'm way off the mark here, then I'd certainly appreciate being corrected.
• Does dressing up to try to catch someone's attention work?
I wasn't all too popular in high school (but I did date, as mentioned before, so I wasn't an outcast, either), so I never really dealt with this. But if there's a place where I know I'll run into someone I have a crush on, is this something that could actually work? And yeah, yeah, I know I'm supposed to be comfortable with approaching guys and making the first move or whatever, but that's scary! If I can get away with having him initiate, then you can be damn well sure that I'll jump on that opportunity. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, after all.
• I've been seeing a lot of guys say that they prefer "natural beauty" and thus dislike, or see no need for, makeup. Is this just something that ~Nice Guys~ say to try to garner favor, or is it actually a real thing?
I've got minimal experience with it (by this point, you're probably beginning to get a decent idea of what kind of person I was in high school), but I'm not really against it. I don't have strong feelings either way, really, but if I can just stick to moisturizers and that kind of thing to keep my face looking nice without having to bother with the ever-changing makeup landscape, then you certainly wouldn't hear any complaints from me.
• The answer to my question probably varies from guy to guy, but I'll still ask it. I need glasses. Do those tend to look good, or should I go with contacts?
I've tried both in the past, and each has its own pros and cons, so I understand if there isn't really a definitive answer to this one, but I figured I'd ask anyway.
• If I'm dating someone who isn't familiar with chan culture, do I need to hide my power-level?
We all know that it's best to be honest in a relationship (otherwise what's the point?), so I don't mean, "Should I be purposefully deceptive about my personality?" It's more along the lines of wondering how to slowly introduce him to that side of me, I guess. Because, if I'm looking for anything long-term, then I'm going to want a partner who loves me for me, even my weird internet hobbies.
• What's too distant, aloof, or "hard to get", what's too clingy, and where's the sweet spot in the middle of them?
I'm a pretty solitary person, and I'm comfortable being alone (not lonely, but alone for a time). However, I am also a romantic (to a somewhat embarrassing degree, if I'm being completely honest). So I could certainly see myself going too far on either side of the spectrum, and that's not something that I want to have happen.
• Is it rude to expect my date to pay for things when we go out?
Once in a solid relationship, things get easier, since you kind of share everything, but going out on the first dates presents a small issue. Since it's [the current year], a decent number of people expect to go Dutch, and I have absolutely no issue with paying for my portion of things! But there are some guys who might feel like I'm purposefully belittling them or possibly trying to "shit-test" them as the (awful, but almost to the point of hilarity) PUAs or whatever put it, and I don't want to cause my date any distress. Should I offer to pay, and then see where it goes from there? If he declines, do I insist, or do I let him pay, or what? God, why are these things so complicated?
• Sort of a different type of question, but could any of you recommend cute date ideas?
Hopefully nothing too cliché, though. I know all of the usual ones from books, movies, TV shows, and my small bit of experience in HS - that type of thing - but it can't hurt to have more input and try to diversify things!
• It might not be possible for anyone to give me an answer to this question, and it's pretty embarrassing to type out, but how do I know if I'm a good kisser?
I was the first kiss for each of the few people I dated in HS, and so while they told me that I am, it's not exactly like they're experts on the subject, you know? And this doesn't even include anything more sexual than that. I also have no idea what I'm doing in that regard, but apparently it's cute or a good bonding experience to practice this kind of thing with your partner? At least, that's what I've read. But kissing is different, I feel, because it's so far removed from sex, and it's done way more often (at least most of the time, hah), so I feel like it's more important that I'm good at kissing, or at the very least not terrible at it.
• Uhm, what questions have I forgotten to ask, and could you please go ahead and answer them for me?
That's all I can think of for now. I know it's a lot, but this has been a long time coming for me, and so I really want to make sure that I'm successful when I try to put myself out there.
Please feel free to add any questions that you'd like to have answered by the nice people who will hopefully keep me from making a fool of myself! There's already a >tfw no bf thread, but this one can function as more of a dating advice-specific thread.