The first, inalterable rule of dating, or as I sometimes like to call it, desperatelytryingtogetmarriedbecauseallyourfriendsare, is this: You might die alone. Read those words, and remember them. Heed them. Learn to love them.
As dating advice goes, it's on the bleak side, sure. But then that's dating for you, am I right ladies? (*Runs along front row getting high fives*) The problem with women - and possibly men too, I don't have a lot of experience of being a man - is that we pussyfoot around this woeful truth as though it contains calories. To be clear, I'm not saying you will die alone - I'm just saying you might. As you can now see, the difference is staggering.
A question: what is so hard about accepting this? Why must we* (*you. I have this reality stuff nailed) turn so vehemently away from reality? To run from your potential loneliness, operative word here being 'potential', is to deny any one of the myriad directions your life MIGHT take: you could win the lottery; you may travel the world; maybe one day you'll finally have the opportunity to saddle a large dog and ride it like it's a horse - you just never know. All these events have the potential to happen and we don't get to ignore one option over another simply because it scares seven shades of shit out of us.
But here's where it gets comforting (you're welcome): by confronting - nay, accepting - these words of wisdom, you will take the fear right out of them. This is what will happen:
You: 'OK. I might die alone. Yes, that could happen. But will it, really? Actually...it probably won't. Hey, I feel better already! I am now able to find love and deal with all associated hurdles that lie therein.'
But this is what will happen if you don't:
You: 'OK. I might die alone. Holy fuck; I might actually never find love and instead live a long and lonely existence until I die, and the only reason anyone will find my body is because my neighbours will complain about the smell. Therefore, I must find love as a priority. I'm loading up Tinder as I speak.'
See? You have to let go of the fear, otherwise every date you attend (yes, that's right: attend. One 'attends' a date, especially a first one, because you do not have romantic connections with strangers. Your life is not You've Got Mail) will be nothing more than an extreme and wretched attempt to defend against this happening. You are dating scared, therefore you are dating desperate, ergo henceforth microphone you are dating wrong. You might as well nail your vagina closed, forever.
When it comes to looking for love, the one thing of which we can be certain is that there are no certainties. This is because you are dealing with other people, and other people are unpredictable and won't always tell you the truth; sometimes, they will double-bluff and bloviate about all that lovely, lovely truth they're giving you and they will still be lying. God, people are awful. But back to love! The only constant in your relationships is you, friend; if you want to find love, be proactive, but do not do anything, do not take one step, until you know your own mind first. You don't have to die alone, and I'd assume you'd rather not, so right away you're up as there's only a fair to middling chance you will.
But don't worry. I am incredibly clever and as long as you absorb and slavishly follow my advice as though you're living in a didactic, dystopian autocracy, you will be fine.
Congratulations - you have just started dating right.