So I have had a number of conversations recently about dating either directly with people, both male and female, or a friend has told me about someone who is having dating issues and frustrations.
Now let me say this straight off the bat, I don’t consider myself as a dating expert, what I am going share are ideas, observations and thoughts that are based on my past experiences and my knowledge of human behaviour. I am also sharing ideas and experiences that friends and other people have shared with me, all of these ideas come from people who I would consider to be in successful, loving relationships, myself included.
I genuinely hope that you get some value out of this article and ultimately find LOVE.
If you are reading hoping to discover the secrets of one night stands, unfortunately have just wasted 30 seconds of your time and might as well stop reading and open up your tinder app instead.
Please SHARE if there is something that resonates with you, or if you have a friend that might be struggling with the dating scene and could possibly benefit from a few of these ideas.
First Impressions Count.
We make assumptions about people within the first few seconds of meeting them, we take the initial information that is presented, our minds automatically fill in the blanks and makes an assumption as to what the person is going to be like. With this in mind it is essential that you put your best foot forward during those initial moments. Yes your appearance matters, this doesn’t mean you need to be dressed up to the nines, you want to be dressed and groomed so you feel comfortable and confident in yourself, you also need to dress to suit the environment where the date will take place.
What is really important is the way that you hold yourself, you want to look approachable, friendly, upbeat and excited.
Have open body language, make eye contact, smile and when you speak make sure you speak in an upbeat and happy way.
Casual First Date.
Avoid trying to really hard impress the other person by making the first date some super lavish affair at the best restaurant, this puts unnecessary stress into the date for both people involved. Instead make that first date a more casual affair, maybe a cup of coffee or a light lunch in a cafe, by doing this you are able to focus more on the other person.
With it being a casual date you will probably find it will be more fun, you will laugh and smile more, which will leave a better lasting impression.
Aim for relaxed and fun on a first date.
Pre date Mindset.
This, I feel is one of the most important pieces of advise, it is a dangerous trap I see a lot of people looking for love fall in to, especially those who seem to constantly end up with bad dates and are reaching the point of desperation.
What happens, is before someone has even gone on the date they create a story in their mind about what happens every time they meet someone, or every time they go on a date. It could be that every person they meet turns out to be a nutter, or every person they date comes with a truck load of emotional baggage.
This story that you are telling yourself automatically sets your mind off in search of things to confirm your story, so rather than see the good and positive things in your date, you are automatically trying to confirm and fulfil your story by seeking out the negatives.
It is hard to do, but you must stop comparing your date to your story, go on your next date with your mindset living in the present, seek out qualities you like in the person not the negatives, when you do find yourself doubting ask yourself is this thought justified or is it being falsely generated from my past story.
Be Interested Rather Than Interesting
Naturally you want to impress your date with all the wonderful things you have done and hope to achieve in your life, however the better way to impress your date is to be interested in them.
Ask questions to demonstrate you are interested in them as a person, what are their interests, what are their passions, their hobbies, ambitions and goals, what type of coffee do they drink. As humans we are ego driven and when someone is willing to listen to our story it makes us feel good, and that good feeling is then credited to the listener… which is YOU.
By being a listener rather than a talker you are also going to find out much more about the person, which will give you insights to decide if the two of you might be a match.
Obviously you do need to talk about yourself and reveal who you are, otherwise you are going to come across as weird and probably untrustworthy. When you give a little story about yourself, always end with a question like “and what about you, where is the best place you have been in the world”.
Another little point here is try a make a few of your questions quirky, ask fun questions like, “if you had to describe yourself as a pizza topping what would you be” or “what was the silliest thing you did as a kid”. Quirky questions are going to make the interaction fun and could even get you laughing, which means your having a good time.
Don’t Play Hard To Get
This is a stupid idea, yet its recommended in so many dating manuals. By playing hard to get, firstly, you are not being the authentic you, and secondly you are closing the doors on the ability to create rapport and build a relationship, in addition to this, playing hard to get can make you come across as arrogant, a jerk or a bitch.
Yes, you need to have boundaries when you start out dating but boundaries are different from playing hard to get. If you go on a date and you have fun, let the person know, tell them you would like to see them again. If they text you after the date, you don’t have to wait three days to reply, so you don’t look like you are waiting by the phone, reply when it feels right to you, think of it like text conversation with a friend. I would say that in the early stages try to avoid long text conversations and instead try to meet in person even if its just for another coffee, face to face interactions are far more productive in creating a relationship.
Show Some Vulnerability
Showing a bit of vulnerability makes you human and also makes you more trustworthy, it will make your date feel safer and probably get them to open up too. When we share this type of information it makes us feel closer.
Now I am talking about a little bit of vulnerability here, don’t get all heavy on your date. It could be something as simple as saying “I was actually a little nervous about meeting you today"
Don’t Rely On luck Or Fate
Some people think true love is all about fate, that they don’t need to look for love, and that one day their perfect partner will just happen to magically appear through some kind of mystical love portal. If this is you then you might be in for a frustratingly long wait.
If you are looking for love you need to get out meeting people, now, I am not meaning that its like some crazy man/lady hunt, just being out where other people will be and making conversation will open up opportunities. Hang out with new groups of friends, go and do an activity that you have never done before like a cooking class, you could find a group on Facebook that share an interest of yours and has local meet ups, there are so many options out there these days to meet new people.
If you just keep going to the same places with the same people, you are not opening yourself up to new opportunities and are limiting your options. Look at it like this, someone fishing with a just a rod and line can often spend hours waiting for a single bite, and even then it might end up being a bit of crappy old seaweed or worse case they don’t get a bite at all, however the person who goes out with a boat and a great big net, catches hundreds of fish quickly and then has the ability to choose the best fish and throw the rest back in to the sea.
Don’t Set A Deadline For Getting Intimate
This is another one that many rule books have strict rules about. Don’t set a deadline on intimacy, its going to be different for every relationship. If you are looking for a lasting relationship rather than a one night stand, that moment when you do get intimate, you want it to be enjoyable and meaningful which means that you need to established trust between each other. For some people this might be just a few dates for others it might take a lot longer. Basically when it feels right for you is the time to take it to that level.
Relationships Need Goals Too
Finally, like everything in life you need to have some kind of direction, a dating goal in mind, otherwise you will feel like you are not making progress, or that you are moving around in circles.
You need to have it clear in your mind what you are hoping to get out of dating, it might just be someone to hang out and have a bit of fun with, or it could be you want to find someone, you will marry and have kids with.
By knowing what you want to get out of dating it is going to help you filter through the potential candidates for love. Obviously you don’t want to go into your first date with a printed checklist, but by knowing what you are after, as you get to find out more about your date you will quickly be able to determine if it could be a match.
As I have mentioned, I don’t see myself as a LOVE expert, what I have shared here are some of my personal experiences and thoughts about dating, also experiences that other people have told me about during conversations and their solutions to the dating minefield.
You may only take a couple of these tips, you make take them all, but definitely give a few a try, it cant do you any harm.
Please share if you found this useful or if you know a singleton who might benefit from trying some new ideas.
Thanks for reading, good luck in your quest for love and until next time,
- Take action create your love story.