Those in the dating world often have specific reasons for dating. It is not only in the interest of dating itself, or just to have a little enjoyment or companionship. Frequently, there are clear objectives—from trying to have a little fun to finding a suitable partner for a long-term relationship.
It is important for those who have entered into the dating scene to remember that there are two basic approaches to dating: the right way and the wrong way.
The wrong way of dating can have huge effects on your future happiness. By following a few tips, it may help you avoid some of the more common mistakes:
- Prepare! Do a little homework. Learn as much as you can about the person you are about to meet. Look for the potential in your date, any way you can, even before you decide to meet. Talk to friends and those you respect. Get some feedback about your situation and the possibilities for the future.
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before your date. Sometimes when you are dating online, you must travel to meet. Suitable preparation is necessary to be well rested—that way you can be at you best, ready to showcase your charming personality and sense of humor—the essential factors for successful dating.
- Look your best. First impressions are everything, and can influence our opinions of our date. It takes a long time to overcome a bad first impression, if it can be done at all.
- Be reasonable about your expectations. Decide you are going to have fun before you meet for your first date. Make sure you both are comfortable and entertained, and do everything you can to make the date enjoyable. Continue to do so, even if you don’t feel there will be any further relationship. As in life, it is always good to have a positive attitude. Good will and respect is the best way to offset any disappointment over not finding your soul mate.
- Don’t be impatient. Give it a chance to flourish! Always try for a second date—unless there are substantial misgivings about the person’s attitude, behavior or values. The first date can be a very stressful experience, and different people react differently. It is known of many couples that started off disliking each other, only later to enjoy a long, secure relationship.
- Be persistent! In the beginning, don’t expect to be swept off your feet. To fall head-over-heels for another on the first date is a nice dream, but in reality it is a rarity. It is very unlikely that strong chemistry will happen instantaneously. Long-term relationships have passion, but also mutual respect blossoms in time. Usually it takes some time to recognize the real deal.
- Ask appropriate questions. Don’t just make small talk—although a little couldn’t hurt—be curious and ask pertinent questions. Most dating has a purpose—from a little fun for a week or so to a lifetime commitment—and the answers should help realize that purpose. But don’t give them the third-degree! Try to understand your date’s lifestyle, motivations and values. Ideally, they should match yours.
- Let your heart be your guide! As your mother would say… when you know, you know! It’s true! Be determined in your dating goals, and keep dating until you find the right one. This is not a race—although there are many who will insist it is. If your mind and your heart maintain that your date is not the real thing, then respect them and be graceful. Let them know clearly and kindly how you feel. There is nothing worse than leaving the other person with false hope, wondering about their future.
Online dating is a wonderful way to find a mate who shares your same values, standards and principles. But it does not have to be stressful or a chore. With a little mindfulness, respect and good humor, online dating can be fun… that lasts a lifetime!