Expert Explains How Focusing On Yourself Is The Key To A Stress-Free Dating Life

It is very easy to get lost in the many emotions that come with dating, especially if you're putting yourself out there after a while or are new to the entire activity. Dealing with the nuances of getting to know a brand new person, wondering if they like you or not, and contemplating if the way you're communicating with them is appropriate can become very stressful, per Bustle. It doesn't help that you also have to manage the novelties of dating, an activity that has changed a lot over the last 100 years

But there is a way to navigate this anxiety, according to dating app Plenty of Fish's resident dating expert Kate MacLean. In an exclusive chat with The List, MacLean shared that the key was to focus on Main Character Energy (MCE). MCE necessitates that you focus on yourself without spending time getting to know people who don't align with your requirements, according to the expert.

MacLean, who joined the Canadian-based dating app over 7 years ago, explained that a study involving 8,000 U.S.-based singles revealed that almost half of the those surveyed made a deliberate effort to "put themselves first." The survey also found that the advances of 32% of single men were not returned because whoever they'd set their eyes on wanted to "focus on themselves." Here's how you do can harness MCE yourself. 

Focus on creating authentic connections while dating

Meaningful connections add a lot to our lives, whether it's in a dating context or friendships, and when an exchange lacks authenticity, it can soon start to feel exhausting. "Dating can be draining, and one of the biggest pain points is feeling like you're wasting time and not creating those authentic connections," shares dating expert Kate MacLean

Burnout is something singles feel often, especially in the context of online dating (via BBC). In fact, there are recommendations for what you should and shouldn't be doing in online dating so you can keep things interesting. MacLean explains that the best thing about Main Character Energy (MCE) is that it "takes a lot of the pressure off when dating." Warning signs are more easily spotted when the focus is on yourself and what you want out of the dating experience.   

Have you always wanted to try paragliding? Do you love going into random bookstores and picking up a treasure while you're in there? MacLean suggests that you find ways to enjoy your favorite activity while on a date with someone new in order to make the experience enjoyable and meaningful. That would be time well spent when compared to worrying about the ideal reply to a message. "If the date doesn't work out the way you intended it to, at least you knocked that activity off your bucket list!" she adds.

There are some things you can be doing in order to focus on yourself

You may have heard this over and over again by various experts in the field of psychology, but if you don't build a meaningful relationship with yourself, the entire experience of dating can seem stressful (via Elite Daily). Romantic aspirations are only one part of what makes your life unique. It's important not to forget the others, like your relationships with family and friends. 

Journaling, creating a bucket list of things you want to try, and thinking about the areas in which you want to grow as a person are all great ways to bring the focus inward, according to Healthline. Our values play a big role in shaping our identity as well and these can sometimes get misplaced because of difficult life experiences, so finding a way to come back to them is also an important step in the journey of focusing on yourself. 

Dating can be stress-free and fun. The key is to understand what's important and what's not.