Dating can be a very frustrating experience. I'd like to share with you some dating advice for men and women that could jumpstart your next date!
Don't you wish you could go onto your favorite online dating website and punch in all the characteristics and qualities of your ideal mate and then, abracadabra that person appears custom made for you?
If you are smart and focused, dreams can come true. First, you need to figure out the information that you would need to input into that computer.
1. You must be honest with yourself and know yourself well.
Consider what your values are while you sit in a nice, quiet place. Values are what you treasure - they are the things that are really important to you. Reflect upon your peak experiences in your life. What made them peak experiences? For example, I love skiing where I am enjoying the beautiful pristine nature and having the feeling of flying down the slopes. My values here are nature and the feeling of freedom.
Another peak experience is giving my husband his recent birthday party. I sent out festive invitations, picked a fabulous restaurant, all our close friends were with us, and my husband was thrilled. The party was a hit! From this, you can see my values are accomplishing something out of the ordinary, being with our close friends and my husband's happiness.
To know yourself well, you also need to get a firm handle of what goals you have in life. What do you want to accomplish in the next year? The next three years? What's your 10 year plan? If you had all the money in the world and nothing to stop you (i.e., any family obligations you may currently have), what would you want to do? What's your top 20 list of the things you would like to do most in the next 10 years?
Why consider all these relationship questions? The reason this is important, is that you want to choose to date people who have similar values as yourself. Also, if you have a life goal that is in conflict with the person that you are dating, this may be a deal breaker. For instance, one of my clients loved the New York area and wanted to live there. The woman he met through an online dating website lived in the Boston area and wanted to remain there with her family and friends. Although there was an attraction, the relationship did not work out because they had different goals on where they wanted to live. The worst situation is to be dating a person for a couple of months before discovering that your goals are totally opposite. For instance, a big dividing point in dating is whether or not you want children. This is a common relationship issue among those who are in the single parent dating category. I had a client who desperately wanted children and dated a guy for several months before finding out he was adamant against having any more children. He was divorced with two children. He didn't want anymore responsibility. She had already fallen in love with him. It was a difficult choice for her, but she had to break up because she knew her goal was to have her own family.
2. Know what your true "must haves" are for a relationship.
Make a list of the things you must have in a relationship. It's okay if your list is 5 items long or 30. It's your list. It may be wise to question whether your non-negotiable is truly non-negotiable or just a want or desire. For instance, some of my "must haves" for a partner were he had to be a non-smoker, had to like (love?) cats, had to be the same religion as I, to have no addictions (alcohol or drugs), and have a steady job and is financially responsible and would support me in my endeavors. Some of my desires were, it would be great if he played tennis, enjoy cultural activities, likes the beach and lived in the DC area. However, I could compromise and live without the last group or find other people to enjoy these things with.
By knowing your "must haves", you will be able to skip over dating people who do not meet your real needs. This will save you time and heartache in the long run.
3. Choose wisely the people you date
Based upon the above knowledge you have gained about your value, needs and wants, it best serves you to decide carefully to choose with whom you spend your time. It is also important to be open to date people who seem like they would be a good match who may not totally "wow" you at first. Some relationships are like smoldering fires and they grow hotter and brighter with time. In contrast, those relationships that are like bonfires at first, may be based on lust and don't usually last very long.
Actually, there have been studies that have shown that women on their first date with a guy may not have been crazy about their dates, but for some reason decided to give the guy a second chance. Many of these women did actually marry the guy!*
Do pay attention to your internal warning signal or your whacko alarm! If something doesn't seem right when talking to the person over the phone, or by your email interactions, then don't pursue it. Your instincts are usually on target.
When you meet someone where your values mesh, then there is a feeling of familiarity. It feels comfortable and you find that you understand each other well. Then add on the same life goals, and shazam! The relationship will just click. It's that simple. Don't waste your time with cute, but inappropriate people unless your time is of little value to you. Choose your dates wisely, and you will have a more enjoyable and hopefully successful dating experience.
4. Be the most attractive you!
Next we're going to talk about your image. Your image matters. According to my research, sloppiness and poor grooming are the top dating turnoffs. Therefore, it is important to make yourself the most attractive person that you can. No matter what you have to work with, one may be able improve with regards to hair, grooming, clothes and weight. Actually, several of my heavy clients that have gotten married. They are able to carry their weight, they have beautiful faces and dress to make the most of their shape. Here are my suggestions:
- Exercise and workout several times a week. Use a trainer if you need discipline or find a workout buddy. - If weight is an issue for you, then find a diet or a diet program that is easy for you to stick to. You may want to consult a nutritionist. - Get a makeover! Hair and makeup for women and hair and grooming for men. Find your own Fab-Five! - Have your wardrobe reviewed by a friend with good taste or a wardrobe consultant. Women, you don't want to look too frumpy or too trampy. Strive for simple elegance. Some dating advice for women is to remember, a man wants someone they feel comfortable bringing home to meet Mom. Men, you just need to look neat, be well-groomed and dressed in something nicer than a rumpled tee-shirt and jeans!
5. Keep your relationship expectations realistic!
Nothing will scare someone off faster than to start talking about weddings and family stuff too soon! However, don't be afraid to communicate what you are looking for in generalities. For instance you may say, "I'm looking for a relationship that will lead to marriage." If that statement scares away your date, then, so be it! The right person will say, "I want this for myself too and I am looking forward to getting to know you better". The only expectation placed on the relationship is the one of getting to know one another better.
It's better to have a pleasant surprise of everything working out than to be disappointed by out of proportion expectations.
If you implement these five steps, you will see an improvement in your dating experience. At least, you will be pointing yourself in the right direction. Remember, no matter how frustrating dating may seem, it is important to keep a positive attitude about both yourself and dating.