If you're currently knee-deep in the dating world, then you've probably had your fair share of blah dates. You probably don't expect those dates to be so blah, because before meeting IRL, you thought the person was great, attractive, and seemed nice. But maybe there's was just no spark. Other times you know that it won't go well as soon as you sit down for dinner. But the thing is, should you even bother with someone who you just know you won't end up with? More, should you date someone you're sure isn't your soulmate? Well, according to an expert, it's complicated.
For a lot of people, the idea of finding your soulmate is what dating is all about. If you believe in the concept of soulmates and are actively seeking yours, finding them can be hard, and sometimes, even a little bit scary. But it's important to remember that dating is a process. Now, that isn't to say you should date people you don't want to date just to see if maybe you might end up liking them more than you thought. But on the other hand, you don't want to rule someone out too quickly.
"What's important with dating is to be actively engaged in your own emotional and spiritual development," Heather Kristian Strang, spiritual guide and matchmaker, tells Elite Daily. Being upfront and honest with the people you date about what you're looking for is important. After all, dates and relationships will either result in a lifelong partnership or a breakup, and you have to be honest about what you want.
"Be very clear about what you want from dating," she explains. "Do you want the person you spend your life with? Do you want a casual friendship? Do you want to only date? Once you're clear about this, put your online profile up. That way your energy will be congruent and call in the right match for you." Additionally, Strang says you should be open to dating someone you wouldn't normally date, even if you're sure they aren't your soulmate.
It might seem counterproductive to date someone you know for a fact isn't your soulmate, but it actually might help you learn more about what you're looking for. "Go out with all types of people — types and styles you've never even dated before," Strang says. "Give everyone at least a three-date minimum, because you can only really know if they are your person after that many dates. (Seriously!) From there, see who rises to the top. See who you can really enjoy and spend quality time with."
It can be scary to go about dating this way, but Strang maintains that it could be for the best. Most importantly, you should still give someone a chance even if they don't seem like they're the one. "After about three to four dates, you know if this is a person you have long-term potential with." Even if you're positive that someone isn't your soulmate, go on those three dates, and then if you still aren't feeling it, you can end things. "If your desire is to be married, it isn't wise to continue dating someone who you know you don't have that potential with," Strang says. "That's sabotaging yourself."
At the end of the day, trying to find your soulmate isn't easy, and you'll probably go through a lot of Ted Mosby-esque dating failures. But once you find that person, it'll all be worth it. According to Strang, "A true soulmate is someone who brings out the best in you. A true soulmate is a true partner — someone you can create a life with, who will be there by your side and not ever leave — no matter what comes. And it takes time to identify this person. It doesn't happen in only one moment in time. Be patient. Give yourself space and time."
And of course, don't rule someone out right away just because you think they aren't "it." You never know what could happen.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!