Anyone who has been around can tell you, one of the most difficult thing is meeting someone that you can connect with that you absolutely care about. Dating has become so complex that some persons have elected to give up. More and more when you talk to people, they are settling for a partner who alright, but that connection that make the hair on your head stand up is not a feeling you can connect with so easily. Most of my friends who were single and looking during the COVID period has confessed that it has gotten worse, and the art of dating is dying. People are hooking up, they are settling, because most are tired of waiting for what they consider as ideal and fun.
We are all very different and people should left to decide what is ideal for them, that is correct, but what I am about to share has nothing to do with your individual preferences, but rules that can prevent you from being in a relationship that is toxic, settling for less than you deserve, and just kicking it until you set yourself up for heartbreak.
1. Date a number of persons
Ouch! I know what you may be thinking, but if you know the definition of dating then you will understand what I mean. Most persons go on a date, feel connected and then they commit. You are setting up yourself for heartbreak when you take that approach. Even if you do not commit, you do things on the date that is saying you are ready to commit to this person. Be careful of what you say and do, there is a point of no return and if you go there, then you find yourself at a stage that says very little about the person and both your feelings are all tangled up without having a comprehensive knowledge of this person you are getting in with. Too many of us get in and then we have to make major adjustments because our knowledge of the person stops at they way they hold your hand, kiss your lips, they drive a really expensive car, work at one of the leading companies in your area and I could go on about this, but nothing about the person’s character blending with your character.
2. Spending time is Important
So your first date was great! You cannot wait to call the person up and so you both are on the phone until your eyes are swelling, you go on the next date, you feel the connection and you spend all day with this person. Why not rush things along? this is going great, the microwave era has taken effect. The shorter the date the better it is, just enough time to connect and enough time to analyze, but not too much time that your feelings are making all the decisions.
Make connecting easy, do not stress yourself out on a bad date, keep it simple and go. If you keep doing this for a while, you will be able to decide that this is the one after a while. We all made that mistake and especially those from a church community. You are seeing with a person for a while and the question is, “When you are two getting married?” Your answer is, “We are just friends” and you can see the curious look. Some of us guys are labelled as Casanovas when we are seeing talking to multiple women and are frowned upon, when all we are doing is dating and analysing, and then we make the same mistakes, we settle because we want to protect our image. Get over that, it is your life, take control, date and take the time to get to know someone, that is the best way to do it.
3. Be honest on your Date
We do have the tendency to hide our true feelings, to put on the best we have and display what you think the person wants to hear about us. Be honest on your date and say why you are dating. You are enough and if someone cannot accept your true feelings, that person cannot be your friend, let alone partner.
Rejection hurts and so we do everything in preventing someone from seeing what we think is the ugly side of us, but if someone is not prepared in dealing with the ugly side of us, then let them go, it is good riddance.
4. Let the Ex stay as the X
The worse is to go on a date to listen to someone talk about their ex and how evil the ex was. Talking ill about your ex just says more about you than the ex. If you are a divorcee and is trying to date again, then there is no obligation to the date to talk about what make you a great catch and your ex was just a joke! Move on with your life, build on a foundation that is based on the present and future and just learn from the past, but you do not have to dwell there. If you find yourself still healing and fighting to get the closure then maybe you need to give yourself time before dating.
5. MAKE IT ABOUT YOU
We sometimes focus a little too much on what the date is bringing to the table, but if you can focus on enjoying your date, doing the things you like and being you, the date will go well every time. Invite the person out to where you want to go, do not wait to be invited out to somewhere that you know you will not like, if your date wants to go watch a horror movie and you do not do well with horror then maybe that is not the person you need to be going on a date with. That may sound harsh and lack the compromise, but remember, it is a date and if you are not going to be comfortable in the space that you have agreed to share then do not break the rules, do not compromise.
6. Have clear boundaries
Do not wait to be on a date and then explain your boundaries. Make it very clear that you are not going to be eating whatever your dating is eating, you are not going to be drinking whatever your date is drinking, you are not going to be having sex before the right time, you are interested in and the list goes on as to what your are comfortable with.
The more you understand your boundaries the better the date will turn out to be. You maybe tempted to prolong the date because it started out great! Most times that is when the mistakes are made, know when you should call it a night. Be firm about your boundaries, and do not compromise, you will resent yourself for this.
7. Be on time
Being on time helps you be cool, calm, and collected, and you make a great impression by showing the other person you respect their valuable time. By arriving early, you allow yourself a few extra minutes to think through your argument, and you appear more confident, poised, and in control. It may seem very trivial but it is absolutely important, people will respect you so much more when you show them that you respect their time.
8. Put Away the PHONE
Nothing quite throws off a special moment like the shrill squawking of an alarm or call. Out of respect of your date, take two seconds to set your phone to silent. If you can, agree to put both of your phones away in your bag/pocket. Make things simple – if you’re both comfortable with it, just tuck the phone away.
That is going to be very difficult for some of us, but I can guarantee you will learn so much more about a person in a short period of time by just getting rid of the phone for a few hours. Phone addiction is the obsessive use of a smartphone. The behavioral addiction is often dubbed as “nomophobia,” or the fear of being without a mobile device. There are over 3.8 billion smartphone users in the world. I would like to think that this is a growing phenomena one that will prevent a good and healthy relationship.
Always be on your best behavior. Help your date out and make them feel comfortable and happy to be with you. And always remember to thank your date, even if they don’t go out of their way to thank you!
Being a gracious dater who knows how to treat a potential partner can make your date feel better, and makes you a better person.