It was 5:30 am on a Sunday morning and I’d had next to no sleep….
I shared recently my relationship with dating, and as I mentioned I have learned a lot about dating from my personal experience.
During these experiences, I became curious about the hurdles people experience and the psychology of dating and also started to do research for my clients.
Here, I want to share with you 19 dating Dos and Don’ts:
- Be honest with yourself about what you want from dating.
- Don’t look for an outcome, enjoy the moment and the possibility of meeting new people.
- Be safe (and I don’t just mean in regards to contraception). If you do decide to meet someone from an online connection, let a friend know of their name, phone number and where you will be meeting them. Then check in or text them from your date.
- Be open-minded. Yes you may have a ‘type’ you’re attracted to, but don’t judge a book by its cover.
- Always meet in public places first.
- If you choose to go down the online dating road, when putting up your profile photos, don’t include any with your children in them.
- Trust your gut and don’t give out any information you don’t feel comfortable with.
- If you have connected online, always TALK on the phone prior to meeting up. To be honest, at the very least this will eliminate unnecessary meet-ups. Some people can send engaging texts, but this is not always the case when you speak with them. On the phone you will get a better sense if there is a connection or not.
- A lot of the time the other person you are meeting will be just as nervous as you are and come across awkward, so again, try not to judge them on the first date – you could only hope they’ll offer you the same courtesy.
- I mentioned being honest with yourself, but be honest and upfront with your new connection too. Let them know what you’re actually looking for and ask them about what they want. By being upfront, you’ll have a clear understanding what they want and it can alleviate pressure on the actual date.
- Set yourself a limit – no more than a few alcohol drinks on the first date. You’ll thank us.
- Make your first meeting during daytime hours and just for a coffee or a drink, rather than dinner. If you hit it off – great. If not, you can leave after 30 minutes and don’t have to sit through a long dinner when you know there is no spark.
- Don’t expect a man to pay. It’s 2016.
- It may be pertinent to tell them (when you’re being upfront) that you’re divorced or separated, but there’s no need to go into dramatic detail. Try to limit your conversation about your romantic history on the first date.
- Do share your interests and values, and ask of theirs.
- Do be open to different types of meetups. Instead of a drink, why not try a walk? Or even a visit to a gallery?
- Do take the time to dress up (and that includes nice lingerie). I’m not saying this for your date’s sake, but when we dress up (including the undergarments), it makes us feel beautiful.
- Do try to be positive and not dwell on the negatives if they throw you a curveball during the conversation (you can deal with them having six cats…probably).
- If you make a connection and you like them, send them a text to say thank you. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to wait days for them to contact you.
The reality is, most of the people out there are just like you, whether it is to look for a long-term relationship, a friend, a hook-up or something in between.
Most are just as new and unsure as you – maybe a little nervous or unclear of what they want – yet put themselves out there in order to find out or find the one to suit where they are at. Being single again and dating is a process for most, not just you.
Remember it’s always good to connect with yourself before you go on a date. That way, you’ll connect with some amazing people, and you will learn more about yourself along the way.