Dating, when you hear that word it can elicit all kinds of responses: excitement, fear, anticipation; dread. The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines dating as:
1: to determine the date of <date an antique> 2: to record the date of: mark with the date3 a: to mark with characteristics typical of a particular period b: to show up plainly the age of4: to make or have a date with
1: to reckon chronologically2: originate <a friendship dating from college days>3: to become dated4: to go out on usually romantic dates
No matter how you define it, we all want to date. The question is why? There are so many answers to this question. We date for love, we date to find stability in our lives, we are seeking marriage, we want excitement; we are tired of being alone. When surveyed, people gave the following reasons for dating:
Dating is fun recreation.
Dating is a way to gain social status.
Dating is an opportunity to learn about another person.
Dating is an ego boost.
Dating will eventually lead to marriage.
No matter which way you slice it, dating is necessary. This report is going to give you some secrets to dating that will hopefully make your life a little easier no matter what your age. So, let’s begin.
Remember, age is just a number.
You can date and be quite good at it no matter what your age is. Age is simply a state of mind. You’ve seen couples in love getting married. Remember, the two high school sweethearts? How about the two 70 year old widows who decided to marry one another? The need for love and affection is a human factor not an age factor. We crave an emotional connection; we crave a physical connection. This is not simply a sexual desire. It’s our need to connect to another human being. So don’t let your age determine whether or not you will date.
Smiling triggers all sorts of pleasure sensors. Think about it this way, you see two very attractive people across the room. Both have the same alluring qualities. You can’t seem to choose one over the other. One is just sitting there with that blank look while the other is smiling. As you sit and look at them both, you find yourself being pulled more and more to the one who is smiling. Why? Because smiling is like a magnet. It pulls on your heart and makes you feel warm inside. You smile back. You just can’t help it. Smiling is welcoming; inviting. So smile. Not some cheesy smile but a sincere, heartfelt smile that says, “Hi”.
Communication is Key.
Imagine the world if there was no communication between us. What a boring world that would be. Communication is the key to making any relationship work. When you are dating, it is vital. Communication will help you learn about one another to see what things you have in common. When dating, begin with simple conversation. Find out what the other person likes. You want to know more about them and them about you. Do they like sports? If so, who is their favorite team? Does she like horror movies over drama? This could be helpful when renting or going out to a movie. However, communication is a gradual process so you want to start out small. Don’t start immediately talking about religion or politics. These are topics that can be considered “hot buttons” and if rushed could be the end to what would have been a good date. You want your conversation to flow naturally. So take your time and let the progression just come. Remember, if things go well you should have plenty of other dates to get in there and talk about things more in depth.
Dating is often looked at as a means to an end; something that must be done. We all think of finding that special someone who will be our soul mate; our best friend. They will be the one person who will bear witness to our lives. This will include the good, the bad and yes, the ugly. It doesn’t take years to get to know someone. Sure, you’re always going to discover things about each other as the days and years pass but you can get to know the basics in less than 30 days. Dating helps facilitate this process. Dating is a garden and the time you spend together are the seeds that will fertilize the relationship and make it grow. If you take time to tend to your garden, you’ll notice when the weeds start to grow and you can remove them immediately so that you’re garden will blossom and continue to bloom. However, if you don’t invest in your garden then the weeds can quickly take it over and choke out everything that is beautiful about it. Let’s continue with some tips that will be sure to help you make your dating life a success.
When dating you are going to come across many people. You will come across different cultures, different senses of humor, different clothing styles; different outlooks on life. That is part of getting to know one another. Sure, you want to find someone like you. Someone that you can share things in common with. However, just as we are different as human beings, so our traits will be. No two people are going to be exactly the same. Even two twins are different when you get to know them. Be respectful of those differences. They are what makes a person unique; an individual. So you can agree to disagree if need be.
Take Your Time.
A relationship shouldn’t be rushed or hurried a long. Dating is the process by which you get to know someone so why would you want to rush it? Often people are too eager to get in and impress. If you rush the dating process then you can rush the relationship into a quick end. You need to take your time and let the process flow as natural as a flowing river. You want a relationship to evolve on its own; in its own way. So enjoy the process and the rate at which it moves.
While communication is key to facilitating a relationship, you also need to have the ability to listen. Remember, communication is a two way process. Listening shows that you care enough about the other person to really “hear” what they have to say. Listening makes the other person feel interesting and desired. So if you sit there and talk about yourself all night, what are you really learning about the other person? Nothing. If you don’t give them time to speak so you can hear what they have to say, then you’re not taking their thoughts and feelings into consideration.
Dating is a tool. So use it wisely. There is a little thing called the “Law of Attraction”. Attraction pulls you to a person. When you get past the attraction, what is there? When you ask someone what drew them to someone you typically hear, “I was attracted to them”. Attraction only takes you so far though. That is why dating is so important. Once you get past the “looks” of someone, what else is there?
Honesty is vital to any relationship. Too often growing up we heard, “Be honest but only to a point”. What does that mean? Not being totally honest brings with it a sense of mystery. Yes, it makes the other person crave more. However, when asked what was important in a relationship, honesty was rated at the top. However, there is a difference between being honest and brutally honest. You want to be honest but you still want to show respect for the other person. So be careful not to be so honest it hurts. Be tactful in what you say. “Say what you mean and mean what you say”. Remember that little phrase growing up? Well it is true, so keep it close to your heart as you date.
Never Lead Someone On.
Not all dates will end up being “the one” you’ve been looking for. Just because you like someone doesn’t mean that you are destined to be together. It could mean that you’re just going to be good friends. If while dating someone one you find out that the “spark” is just not there then be honest and let them know that. You can let someone down in a way that still shows them respect and genuine care and concern for them. By pretending to care more than you do can give another person false hopes. You don’t want to waste someone’s time and yours. Remember though that you can still have “friendly” dates.
Be On Time.
There is nothing worse than being late for a date. Being late can say more about you then you want it to. Being late could be considered rude and show lack of respect for the other person’s time. If you want your first impression to be self centered and inconsiderate, then be late for your date. If you continue to be late for your dates it can make the other person feel like you don’t truly care about them. While this may be far from the truth, being late can give off the wrong signal.
Set Your Fears Aside.
Don’t let your fears consume your dating relationship. Too often our fears can consume us. We ask “why do they want to date me”, “what do they see in me”; “what sets me apart from everyone else”? By constantly asking yourself as well as the person you’re dating these questions, you are opening a can of worms that says “insecure”. Nothing is more of a turn off then someone’s insecurities constantly surfacing like a plague. That’s exactly what will happen to your relationship, it will be “plagued” and can mean certain doom. So set those fears aside and let the relationship progress naturally. If this relationship is meant to be, you’ll see maybe your fears weren’t so valid after all.
Don’t Be Desperate or Needy.
Just as your fears can ruin a relationship, so can being desperate or needy. We all want and need companionship but sometimes that desire can turn you into a desperate person who “longs” for a relationship. Sometimes that longing can turn a possibly good relationship into something ugly. Desperation can cause you to act and do things you wouldn’t normally do. Again, let the relationship progress naturally.
Try to Avoid Being Annoying.
Often times, people don’t realize that they are being annoying. Sometimes your actions can have an adverse affect and can be taken the wrong way. What kind of things can be considered annoying? Well take a look at what some things people have said:
Someone who constantly controls a conversation or constantly interrupts the other person when talking.
If you’re a male, be considerate of how you are looking at the woman. Staring at the other features of a woman can be very annoying.
Be considerate of annoying habits like constantly tapping your foot or other habits you may have. While normal for you, this can be annoying to someone else. You don’t need to stop the behavior but try to be aware of your actions.
Don’t burden the person with your pessimistic attitude. This outlook can be very contagious and the person may soon become a pessimist when it comes to dating you.
Have a Positive Attitude.
Just as a bad outlook can be contagious, so can having a positive attitude. You have to look at each date as a learning experience. Whether good or bad, you learn from each date you go out on. Be optimistic about your dates. Even if you are not the ideal match for each other, you can still be good friends. So let optimism be your guide.
Just Being Friends is OK.
Although we look to dating as a way to find our perfect match, often, dating can lead to other things. Sometimes your search for the one true love can actually lead you to some of the best friends you can have in your life. While the emotional connection may not be there in the “love” sense, it can be there as two friends who genuinely care about one another. So while you may not meet the love of your life, you may find someone to take trips with or go to the game with. Cherish that.
Don’t Rush Things.
As previously stated, dating is the beginning for many, down a long road that leads to a long, lasting relationship. You want to let the dates lead the way, not you leading the way. Often in a relationship, the two people may not be on the same level of progression. If you move too quickly to progress the relationship along, it can back fire on you. You know you’ve seen it before. You begin to talk about the relationship and where you see it going and then “BAM!” the lights in the house go off. The person you’re talking to begins to back pedal. They appear uncomfortable. When two people are not on the same level in the relationship, if one person wants to move forward while the other one doesn’t, you can inadvertently move the relationship backwards. Earlier we discussed how honestly is important in a relationship. In this situation, you can be honest without being overbearing or pushy. Tell the other person how you’re feeling. Let them know that you are not being pushy but only wanted to let them know where things stand for you. You want them to know how you are feeling but that you are not trying to rush things. People can respect that. However, if you are constantly badgering them about the progression of the relationship then it can cause the relationship to tailspin and eventually end.
The Rule of Exclusivity.
We all know that men and women differ. It’s human nature to be different. As an individual, you may see dating in a different light then another person. Some people may feel that after dating someone three or four times that they are exclusively dating that person. However, the other person may not feel that way. Just as with not rushing things, you don’t want to jump to the conclusion that you are an exclusive couple. Again, be honest with your feelings but don’t get upset if the other person doesn’t feel that way. You have to remember that a relationship doesn’t make you who you are. So even if the person is not ready to date you exclusively, that doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It just means the person isn’t ready for that level of commitment yet.
Be True to Who You Are.
Dating is about getting to know one another. Finding out the things you have in common and don’t. Seeing if you’re compatible with one another. If you are being what the other person wants you to be, do you think that the relationship will last? Some people think it will. The sad reality is the relationship will eventually end if you are pretending to be someone you’re not. If you constantly laugh at the other person’s jokes even when you don’t think it’s funny can lead the other person to believe that you two share the same sense of humor. When you’re not being true to yourself then you are undermining the relationship. You’re weakening the foundation you’re trying to build. The truth is that if you have to change who you are to be in a relationship and fuel the other person, then perhaps the relationship is not for you. You should feel free to be who you are and know that it’s acceptable.
The Art of “Not” Giving In.
Just as you need to stay true to yourself in a relationship, you also need to learn the art of “not” giving in. Yes, you read that right. Dating is a two way street. Each person gives and takes equally so that the relationship balances out. In this sense, you will complement each other. However, you don’t want to get into the habit of constantly giving in to the other person’s requests. Again, dating is a two way street. So, your needs will also need to be considered. While dating, if you constantly are doing things the other person wants to do, how fulfilled will you be in the end? Not too fulfilled. Dating is about meeting each other’s needs and discovering the connection between the two of you. This will entail doing things you want to do as well. The relationship should be 50/50 not 80/20.
Dating is often a scary thing to think about. Yet dating is something we all crave. In the beginning, dating is going to seem scary yet exciting. It’s going to be something you will look forward to. That initial spark fills your heart and you like the rush of it all. As you date someone and get to know them, often that spark can fade. What started out as an intense flame is now a flicker. Does that mean the end of dating or the relationship all together? No!
Accept the Natural Progression.
Dating takes a relationship through stages. It’s during these stages that you begin to find out if there is a connection between the two of you. In the beginning, the unknown and getting to know one another is exciting. Each day holds something new to learn about one another. As you move through the dating stages, you will eventually move into a physical connection. The passion is like a raging inferno that is fueled by each date. A kiss, a touch, it all says so much. What is also understandable is that while the flame may never die, the intensity with which it burns can vary over time. Dating and relationships progress naturally. The more you date, the more comfortable you get with a person. Dating turns into a relationship. In the beginning the dates are the catalyst to seeing if a real relationship can evolve. You need to be mindful of the natural progression of dating into a relationship and accept this progression. Even if the relationship doesn’t evolve into the other person being “the one” it’s o.k. If you accept the natural progression of things then you will be ready for whatever comes your way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Outside the Box.
Who says there is a finite rule when it comes to dating? Who says you have to do this or do that when it comes to finding a date? What works for one may not work for another. Dating today is more then what it was fifty years ago. There are so many different avenues to dating. Don’t be afraid to explore when it comes to dating. You can meet people to date in all sorts of ways. Sure, you can still meet people through friends and family. They are always sure fire ways to meet someone to date. However, have you considered going outside the box when it comes to meeting people to date? Where can you meet people to date? Well let’s look at some places people have said they have met the people they dated:
At a restaurant
At the movies
In a grocery store
At the park
At a club
At a sport/entertainment event
Through a hobby
What does this list show you? It shows that finding someone to date doesn’t have to follow the traditional, “old school” methods for dating. People are all around us. So, finding people to date are everywhere. The possibilities are endless. See someone in the produce section of the grocery store that you find attractive or interesting? Approach them. What’s the worst that can happen? That’s right; you walk out alone just as you did when you came in. What’s the harm in that? Again, take each step as a learning experience. You have to take the good with the bad. It’s all about the approach you use. Being kind and considerate when approaching someone is a great start. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box when it comes to meeting people. Again, the possibilities are endless.
Online Dating Can Be Fun.
With the progression of modern technology, the world of dating has been opened up to a new realm of possibilities. With the internet, it is possible now to meet and chat with people from all over the world. Mr. or Ms. Right could be a few blocks away but in the normal realm of things, you’d never meet. Now with the internet you can meet people who are right under your nose or clear across the globe. For many, the thought of online dating is scary because the person is not right in front of you. What you can’t see scares you. Although this is a natural reaction, you also don’t have to be afraid of it. Online dating can be done quite successfully. The key as with anything is to just be safe. People new to online dating have said the thing they fear the most is being “exposed” until they are ready. What does that mean? Well with anyone, whether face to face or online, you have to feel comfortable with that person. You don’t give someone a key to your home on the first date right? Well the same goes for online dating.
The internet can bring deception. So many people want to know that the person they are talking to online is truly who they say they are. With the development of online dating sites, this concern has been taken into consideration. With many of the current online dating sites, your anonymity is a priority. With many of these sites, contact is made via an anonymous email address the site provides. This protects your name and information until you are ready to give that information yourself. Plus, if you have someone contacting you via this email address that you don’t want to, then most can block that person from sending you messages. Look for a site that has TRUSTe certification. The certification is awarded to sites that adhere to established privacy principles and agree to comply with ongoing TRUSTe oversight and consumer resolution procedures. These are privacy principles that embody fair information practices approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as the Federal Trade Commission and other various organizations that respect a person’s right to privacy.
Online dating can be fun. After all, you can chat with numerous people and never have to worry about how you look. You could be sitting at home in your favorite pajamas or boxers and chat with people. Online dating allows you time to move a little more slowly because the added pressure of being in front of someone is not there. Online daters have stated that online dating has allowed them to really open up to who they are and has really allowed people to get to know them as a person before actually meeting them face to face. For many, this has allowed them to get past the physical factor (even if they are attractive) and move on to what’s important, who they are inside. Remember, not all the rumors are true. Online dating is not just mass murderers looking for their next victim or married people looking for their next fling. It’s singles looking to find someone to connect to. You just have to always remember to be safe no matter what the situation is. Choosing to date online does not mean that you are a loser. Years ago, that was the stigma associated with placing ads online but now the popularity of this form of dating has grown by leaps and bounds. This is evident with the numerous dating sites out there. For some, the online medium offers them an easy outlet to meeting people in their otherwise hectic and crazy life.
Don’t Be Afraid to Flirt.
Flirting are those unique little ways we tell another person that we are interested in them. These can vary but all have the same affect: attraction. Start with something simple like eye contact. You know, you’re on one side of the room and their on the other side. In a room full of people you spot each other. Your eyes lock and engage the other. Give them a slight smile that says “I’m interested”. Again, remember to be yourself. Just because you’re playing the flirting game doesn’t mean that you need to pretend to be someone you’re not. Remember as well that your body language says a lot as well. So look at your body language and ask “what is it saying”? Also look at the body language of the person that you are flirting with. Make sure you are reading them clearly. Flirting can bring back the child within. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We often get so caught up in being an adult that we forgot how fun it was to be that flirty child who embraced dating and flirting.
Remember, Nobody’s Perfect – Not Even You.
The search for perfectionism can be detrimental when it comes to dating. We all have an image in our head of who the perfect person for us is. We all want the fairy tale come true. To find the one person who will complete us “perfectly”. The thing to remember is that there is no “perfect” person out there. Sure people can come close but the nature of being human brings with it flaws. Everyone has flaws that are going to drive you nuts. If you are constantly looking for Mr. or Ms. Perfect then you may be waiting a while; sometimes a lifetime. Cherish that there is good and bad in everyone. When you become accepting of the things you see as perfect as well as the flaws in the other person, then you can truly make dating fun and rewarding.
No matter what your age, cultural background or race, we all seek love and affection. Dating is a fun and scary event all the way around but it can be done and be done successfully. All it takes is the time and effort you put into it and following these simple, yet effective secrets that can mean the difference in one date or two. So……happy dating!