Yesterday we discussed how dating can be so complicated and why it seems like times have changed when it comes to dating. Honestly, I miss the courting and the attention that used to be given in dating.
That is why I am a big advocate for some of the items below. I hope these ideas help you un-complicate your dating life:
Know what you need in a relationship. It is important to know what you are looking for in a relationship prior to beginning a relationship. This is a good way to align your values and what you look for in a mate. Knowing what you want ahead of time will help you not sacrifice the quality of your dating partners.
Know what you give to a relationship. Don’t exaggerate who you are in the relationship. It is okay to be honest and genuine about what you bring to the table. Trying to be someone you are not will give a false idea to the person interested in you and you will pay for it later. Be able to be truthful about what you are good at and what you are not good at.
Pay attention to red flags.You have no idea how often I hear. “Yes, but,” when asking a direct question to a friend. The conversation goes like this…
“I thought you wanted to date someone who was hard-working, finished college, and was closer to your age,” said me.
“Yes, but, well, he actually lied about his age (giggles) and he then told me later that he wasn’t as old as he said and by that time we had really connected. He doesn’t have a full-time job now, but he has plans to start school again because he wants to be a lawyer,” said anonymous friend.
“Oh, okay, so he lied (red flag) and he doesn’t have a full-time job (red flag) and he wants to be a lawyer, but he still has to complete the undergraduate school he dropped out of (red flag),” said me.
Knowing what you need in a relationship and partner can help you to keep your eye on the prize when you begin to see red flags.
Walk don’t run. Too often people try to jump into relationships. There is little interest in the dating part of it or our expectations get the best of us. Until you are in someone’s inner circle, they may not adapt to you the way that you want them to. They have no obligation to keep in contact with you or hand you a resume that includes their whole dating past. Try to take it slow and enjoy getting to know someone without putting too many expectations on them in the beginning.
Limit your distractions. Unless you are a doctor on call or expecting a baby (which I hope you are not if you are dating) you have no reason, zero, none to bring your phone into the restaurant or dating venue with you. I get that we are so glued to our phones, but there are lots to be said about making a quality and genuine connection with someone. If you cannot go for two hours without your phone, you need some self-reflection as to why. I remember dates that were so good that I lost track of time and we spoke for hours. A ringing or beeping phone will only distract you from the one thing you are trying to do in that evening : have a genuine connection with someone.
The Cynical Therapist came to be when two therapists became friends. SoulMates or Kindered Spirit Animals… Call us what you will…. We are two bad*** chics Licensed to teach you how to grow into your full potential and add some humor along the way.
Laurie Wilson and Elle Anzalone are both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in Huntington Beach, CA.