If all your current strategies and dating methods are not really working out, it could be time to give “prioridating,” a try!

Basically, priori dating is all about prioritizing yourself and your primary needs in order to find and build a healthy, lasting relationship. Historically, many people have dated based on a list of wants—many of those wants being superficial or not thoroughly thought through—as opposed to core values and relationship-sustaining needs that will impact your future.

So, instead of trying to find someone who checks every box on a long list of “must haves” (and similarly, trying to be the perfect fit for someone else’s list), you’re trading all that nonsense for what really matters.

What actually is prioridating?

Think of it as zeroing in on the one thing you absolutely need—your nonnegotiable, so to speak. Your focus is fulfilling the most important need, and that’s it.

If your priority would be safety, kindness, easy communication, or support, or whatever it is, prioridating begins with “determining your priority, getting clear on your number one most important core value, then becoming confidently and unapologetically vulnerable about it to align yourself with that priority.”

And now you are thinking: Don’t we all just want someone hot? It has actually been proven to no longer be the case. According to Match’s 2021 Singles in America study, 22 percent of people don’t really care about “physical attractiveness” in a partner, which is a 12 percent increase from 2020. On the flip side, 84 percent of singles want someone they can confide in and 83 percent want to be with someone “emotionally mature.”

After this whole pandemic thing, people completely reevaluated their concept of relationships. With so much time spent chatting and connecting in isolation, people realized the value in qualities like humor, open-mindedness, and effective communication over more superficial traits like physical attractiveness and lifestyle.

The difference between prioridating and settling

It’s important to note that prioridating doesn’t equal settling. You’re simply putting your time and energy toward what really matters. “Focus on what you will experience and not what you won’t experience or what’s missing. Once you identify your one most important need, align your conversations, expectations, activities, associations, and choices with that.

Think about it: Does someone’s height, status, or sense of style really determine whether they’ll be there for you through good times and bad? Sure, if you just want a casual fling your big-picture priority might not matter as much. But depending on the type of relationship you’re after.

Stop pretending to be the perfect!

In the end this never works! Authenticity is key! Focus on putting out the realest version of yourself and being up front about what you want.

How to start prioridating

The best thing about prioridating is that it’s v easy to do once you get your, ahem, priorities, in order. “Focus on aligning your life to your main priority.”

If your main priority is to live a life of adventure, then go do adventurous activities, join communities that bring like-minded adventure-lovers together, connecting with adventurous folks online, etc. Essentially, you want to create a life that integrates your priority.

In order to do this, you’ll likely need to do a lil soul searching to figure out your core value(s). “Dating and being in a solid partnership starts with you, and is a great opportunity to really get to know yourself. Think about the times you’ve experienced pure joy, what activities make you feel in your element, and when you’ve felt the safest and most at peace.

From there, it’s simply a matter of fully and vulnerably living your core value(s). Align with that from the types of people you pursue, to what you talk about, where you go, what dating apps you join, and how you view the future. Don’t shy away from the value, but instead, make it core to who you are as a person.

Prioridating doesn’t necessarily mean the first person who comes along with a matching main priority will be *the one*, but it does mean folks whose core value(s) align with yours will likely be much more well-suited to long-term commitment. Ultimately, once you define and align with your priority, you have a better chance at discovering and fulfilling your needs—first (and most importantly) within yourself and then within a partner. Win-win-win.