By Case Kenny

Do you ACTUALLY like them?

It's easy to get wrapped up in wondering if someone likes you and wondering what the potential of the relationship might be… that we forget the biggest question of all: do I actually like them?

I know that sounds like an obvious step one… BUT it's all too easy to get wrapped up in THEM, in what THEY're thinking, in what THEIR intention is, in what the potential could be… that we forget it's all irrelevant if you don’t actually like them.

Crazy, right?!

Do I like them?

If you can answer that question… you're going to reduce a lot over overthinking in your dating life.

- If the answer is "NO, I don’t"… well then you know what to do.

- If the answer is YES… then great! You’re not in the gray anymore. You can be honest and intentional with what comes next.

If the answer is NO, it's probably because the cliche is true: you like the idea of them. You like the idea of what could be. You like the attention they give you.

It doesn't make you a bad person and it's not a downer to realize this because it's a powerful thing to get out of the gray in your dating life. No more ambiguous decisions. No more going with the flow.

Either you like them or you don't.

So how do you know for sure?

Here are THREE examples that might mean you DON'T actually like them.

ONE. You like them better when you're apart.

When you’re apart you convince yourself of a connection that might not actually be there. Being apart makes you want them more because you project a vision of what could be and you fill in the blanks in your head.

But when you’re together… the connection isn't strong.

You like the idea of them but the reality doesn't match it.

TWO. You think you like them simply because they compliment you a lot.

Are you only happy when they’re complimenting you? Do you only feel that spark when they flirt with you?

When you consider all the elements of interacting with them... if the only fulfilling thing about being with them is when they compliment you, that might be a sign you don’t actually like them.

It’s not a bad thing… but now you have clarity and can move onto someone who compliments you BUT you also like everything else - the mundane conversations, etc.

THREE. One final realization is a question you can ask yourself that can be quite telling.

"Am I just hanging out with this person because I’m afraid of starting over? Am I afraid of being alone?"

Ooof. This question can be quite revealing.

If you say you have high standards for yourself, if you say you deserve great things in a person, if you say you’re a catch and you bring a lot to the table… then there is no reason you should ever find yourself being with someone just to have someone.

That’s a fact.

You should never be with someone you just "kinda" like. "Kinda" is a NO and you owe it to yourself to move on - even if that means starting over, even if that means being alone, even if that means you’re back to being the perpetual single friend.

End of story.

You bring a lot to the table… so act like it.

The easiest (and most obvious) way to act like it is to only date people you actually like. TODAY. Not tomorrow.

Don't get distracted by what could be or mesmerized by the attention they give you. Focus on how YOU feel. Focus on if YOU feel a connection... then explore what might be.

That is how you live your standard.