By Laura Molloy

Do I like them or just the idea of them? 

A question we often ask ourselves as we fawn over a new crush. It can be difficult to determine whether you really like someone or just the idealised version of them. 

Here are 6 tips for figuring out if you’re ignoring a new set of red flags once again, or if you’ve actually developed a genuine connection in this cursed era of dating. 

You can’t accept their flaws

True feelings are all about accepting the other person for who they are, at least that’s what I think Lizzie was talking about in Pride and Prejudice. Now tolerating toxic behaviour is one thing, but if you’re already getting the ick from the way they hold a glass or when they send you heart eyes, I hate to break it to you bestie, but they’re probably not for you. 

You want to change them

Again, liking someone is about liking that person! Not someone they could be. If you can’t stand the fact that they shop in Lidl instead of Aldi, they’re unlikely to change their habits now. Don’t wait around for them to fulfill a fantasy. Instead, walk away and find someone who you can do the shopping with, or even better that does it for you!

Lowering your standards 

Love or hate the Sprinkle Sprinkle Lady, she is correct about one thing. High standards are a must in today’s dating. If you know you’re a D4 girly at heart, leave your country folk on their farm and go get yourself a Blackrock boy. Never settle!

They disappoint you 

Believe it or not, you are actually meant to enjoy dating someone. Despite the emotional gymnastics Sally Rooney has us accustomed to, dating is supposed to be fun. If you dread their company to the point you would rather stay at home and swipe on Tinder, it’s probably time to end things.

You can imagine being with someone else

Do you keep going to cringey karaoke nights at your college bar, hoping to see the fit person from your course? Are you really searching for books in the library or are you searching for a new crush? If you answered yes to either of these questions or even hesitated, it’s clear the person you’re seeing literally isn’t what you’re looking for.

You don’t want to be alone

Yes, I know exam season has you feeling lonely. You’ve spent countless nights in silence in the library. Being cuffed for the summer sounds nice. It’s the chance to make your ex-situationship from last semester jealous. But in all honesty, dating someone you’re not that into will feel much worse than the exams you sat (even the ones you passed).

Dating can be fun but it’s not everything. If you’re heading into the Summer single, get excited about all the possibilities that await you.

Remember, happiness doesn’t come from other people. It comes from day drinking in the sun.