5 Dating Tips for Men Who Want More Than Just a Hookup

Setting boundaries, using dating apps as a tool, and more.

  • These tips could be for anyone. The reason I’m framing them for cisgender men is because the ways many of us were raised and socialized hold us back in particular ways when it comes to dating. The reason I’m framing them for cisgender, heterosexual men is because I’ve never dated a man. I don’t know the nuances of dating in the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • There’s nothing bad about having sex outside of a relationship or hooking up — as long as it’s consensual. Spend some time doing what I propose in tip #2 to see if that’s what you truly want during this phase of your life. If that’s the case, these tips aren’t meant for you.

Tip #1: Meditate/journal/think about what you want in a partner beyond physical attraction

Boys and men are bombarded with images of the ideal female body on TV, social media, and in porn. Women are supposed to be in shape yet curvy, with a large butt and big breasts. Men are often shamed by other men for being attracted to anything outside of this norm.

Tip #2: Make more friends so there’s less pressure on dating partners to meet all of your emotional needs

This one might as well have been first. It’s that important.

Tip #3: Think of dating apps not as a crutch but as a tool to get more dates and practice

Years ago, after I broke up with someone, a friend asked me, “So, are you on the apps yet?”

Tip #4: Set boundaries to protect what matters to you

This one will serve you way beyond dating. Setting boundaries — if you’re not familiar with the idea — means to recognize your needs and communicate them to others.

Tip #5: Be honest about what you want and ask for consent

As I’ve written about before, I used to experience “performance issues” in bed. It showed up when I was on first or second dates and having sex for the first time with someone.

Download my free ebook on how meditation made me less anxious and transformed my life.

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Jeremy Mohler

Writer, therapist, and meditation teacher. Get my writing about navigating anxiety, burnout, relationship issues, and more: jeremymohler.blog/signup