Finding someone to date is difficult enough. Finding someone with whom you can be happy for the rest of your life can seem impossible. Take your time, socialise with your friends, and look after yourself. Date, but date in a calm manner. Commit, but do so with caution. Love cannot be hurried.
Dating in Part 1
1. Make an effort to be visible. The more time you devote to dating and socialising, the more likely it is that you will meet someone you like. Attending social events organised by your friends, taking classes and chatting with classmates, and signing up for dating sites, apps, and services are all ways to put yourself out there. Be daring and open-minded; for example, try speed dating.
Mutual friends are the most common way to meet a future partner. Spend time with your friends and ask them to introduce you to people they believe you will like.
The second is in public places. This can range from bars to concerts, poetry readings, and gallery openings, as well as church gatherings.
The third method is through work. Consider joining a co-working space if you work from home. When possible, pay visits to the home office and attend conferences. However, if you regularly work together, be cautious about asking someone out because it may complicate your work life.
The fourth method is to use dating websites or apps, and the fifth is to use social media. Sign up for dating websites such as OkCupid, Tinder, Grindr, and Hinge.
2. Invite people out. If you know someone in person, ask him or her out on a date. Ask directly so that they understand what you’re saying and can respond directly. Ask on the way out to avoid awkwardness. Say something as you leave a situation “I’ve enjoyed talking with you, but I must depart. Would you like to meet for dinner soon?”
You can call if you are too shy to ask someone out in person. But you’ll have to ask for his or her phone number.
Send a friendly message if you found the person you’re interested in online. If you want to get a better feel for the person, message him or her 2-5 times before asking him or her out.
If you’re asking a friend out, make sure there’s plenty of room for a “no.” Make sure you ask your friend out before you get so worked up that a rejection would ruin your life. Go for it when you notice yourself crushing.
If it’s not too painful, stay friends. The person who rejects you may end up introducing you to the person with whom you stay.
3. Date in a relaxed manner. If you’re worried about finding “the one,” you might scare your dates away. Plan dates in the same way you would any other event: an activity you might enjoy doing with another person, and a friendly commitment to having a good time at the meeting. Concentrate on the date while on it.
Ask open-ended questions, actively listen, and be truthful in your responses.
Be sincere. When asked a question, tell the truth. Worry about appearing phoney rather than being judged.
Keep your phone away from you. Concentrate on your date!
Don’t waste your time worrying about whether or not your date is a good match. On a first date, you can’t tell anything like that. Instead, concentrate on the date’s conversation and activity.
On your first few dates, don’t say “I love you” or discuss long-term commitment.
4. Be considerate. If you’re looking for a life partner, put your best foot forward when dating. Don’t try to dominate your date or play mind games with him or her.
Putting your date down or criticising others on a date will demonstrate to your date that you are insecure or cruel.
Even if you have a feeling you won’t want to go on another date, try your hardest to enjoy the one you’re on. Take good care of your date! Even if you won’t see him or her again, he or she deserves your courteous and friendly attention.
5. Make a date that you will enjoy. Dates don’t always have to consist of dinner, wine, and eye contact. Make a plan for something you’d feel more at ease doing. Get some coffee and go for a walk in the park. Visit a local museum to see an exhibit. Meet at a diner and sit at the counter for breakfast.
Inviting your date to a party or other social event is a good idea. If you get nervous when you’re alone, try hanging out with a group.
Accept your date’s suggestions. If you are asked out, let that person choose the date. Don’t dismiss the possibility of enjoying a new location or activity.
Part 2: Setting Yourself Up for Success
1. Get a college education. Many couples meet during their undergraduate or graduate studies. It’s a place where people share interests, spend time together, and get to know one another as coworkers and friends. If you’ve already graduated or are unable to return to school, consider taking extension classes in subjects that interest you, such as cooking, foreign languages, dance, or business.
Not only is school a great place to meet a potential mate, but getting an education can help your future relationship last longer. Couples with a college education are less likely to divorce than their less educated counterparts.
2. Take good care of yourself. Your mental and physical health have an impact on who will date you and for how long. Exercise on a regular basis and get a full night’s sleep every night. Consume regular meals and snacks, and avoid soda and refined sugar. Visit the doctor on a regular basis.
Take extra precautions to protect your mental health. Consult a therapist if you are too shy, depressed, anxious, or insecure to date.
3. Take care of your physical appearance. Look your best if you want to attract a partner. Keep your clothes clean. Shower frequently, but only use shampoo three times per week. Brush and floss your teeth after eating to keep your breath fresh and your teeth looking healthy.
Dress to your liking. Fashion choices will vary greatly depending on your preferences, but in general, wear clothing that fits your body, is clean, and is not excessively worn out.
Wear colours that flatter you, or if you can’t figure out what your colours are, wear black and neutrals.
4. Take care of yourself. You will not find someone who loves you if you do not love yourself. Pursue your life goals: a job you enjoy, friends who treat you well, hobbies you enjoy, and good communication with your family. Take care of your mental, physical, and financial health.
Treating yourself well demonstrates emotional stability, which is an extremely appealing trait.
5. Maintain your friendships. Friends are the most likely to introduce you to your future life partner. They are also the people who will guide you through the ups and downs of dating, who will cheer you on when you meet someone you like, and who will be your companions when you are lonely. It’s difficult to date if you’re lonely, and it’s difficult to appear confident and attractive if you’re lonely and desperate for companionship.
Take care of your existing friends. You are not required to be a social butterfly. Keep your social commitments, return favours, and tell your friends what you like about them.
Finding Someone to Stay With, Part 3
1. Make a plan for what you want. Consider what you most desire in life: companionship, children, financial stability, a strong community, artistic success, the ability to live up to your principles, and the ability to have fun. Consider where you want to be in three, five, thirty, and fifty years. Instead of asking yourself, “What do I want in a partner?” ask yourself, “What do I want in my life?”
Examine your relationship to see if it serves your life goals. If it doesn’t, consider whether you’re willing to go without certain things for the sake of the person you’re with.
Adapt to what you discover. Most people aren’t very good at knowing what they want. You may have found your life partner if you find someone who supports you in your desire and broadens your horizons—someone you care about enough to change you.
2. Be the best of friends. Romance is not a good predictor of what makes a relationship last a lifetime. Rather, genuine respect, enjoyment, and care for your partner will see you through to the end. Don’t make a lifetime commitment to someone until you’ve had the opportunity to become close friends.
Look for overlapping senses of humour and the ability to laugh even in the most mundane or difficult situations.
Respect your partner’s point of view. If you don’t like how your partner thinks, you’re not going to like talking for the rest of your life.
Share common interests. You don’t have to do everything together, but you should share some interests and ways of relating to others.
Be on equal footing. Unhappy relationships are those in which one person dominates. If one of you treats the other in ways that would not be tolerated in the opposite direction, you’re going to have a problem.
You and your partner should have mutual trust, support, and respect. Your relationship is strong if you share these bonds.
3. Fight with care. Relationships are brittle at first. Check your urge to flee after the first fight. Fighting may appear to be the end of the world, but it is natural and a part of all healthy relationships. Improve your fighting skills. Instead of “you,” begin sentences with “I.” Instead of blaming your partner, express your feelings.
De-escalate your conflicts. If an argument is becoming heated, connect with your partner to de-escalate the situation. Stop arguing and start listening before reaching out. Try holding hands or hugging if you two can touch when you’re scared. Make use of humour. Suggest a scene change.
If you’re on a date and you have a fight, for example, ask your partner out on another date. Move to a different venue or different seats and greet each other again.
Fear of a breakup should not prevent you from speaking your mind or discussing contentious issues. Instead, remain calm and ask your partner to do the same.
Avoid bringing up controversial topics that have previously sparked fights unless you have a compelling need for a specific change. You are less likely to persuade your partner of your point of view and more likely to irritate him or her. Winning isn’t as important as your relationship.
For example, if you and your partner have argued about a friend who is important to you but drives your partner insane, bring up the subject of him remaining in your life.
Don’t, on the other hand, argue that your partner is incorrect and that your friend is annoying. Your partner is irritated by your friend, and the annoyance will grow if you argue.
4. Explain your feelings in stages. As you go on more dates with someone, you may begin to feel a growing need to declare your intentions. You may find yourself constantly wondering how your date is feeling and whether he or she is as serious as you are. Don’t press for answers, but do let your date know how much fun you’re having.
After a date, tell her how much fun you had.
After a few dates, tell your date that you are thoroughly enjoying your time together.
Check in with your date when you feel ready to date exclusively. Assume you like her and want to date only her. Inquire if she is interested.
Give her time if she isn’t ready. People move at varying speeds.
On the first few dates, try not to say “I love you.” When you fall in love with someone, hold on to that beautiful energy for at least a month.
If you’re dating someone you really like and they say “I love you” before you’re ready, tell them you’re not ready yet but you might be soon. Assume you are committed to continuing to date.
5. Allow yourself plenty of time. Divorce is more likely if you marry when you are young. So will marrying someone you’ve only recently met. Invest in your friendships if you are looking for company. Date with affection, not expecting every relationship to last, but respecting and enjoying the people you date.
When you meet someone you like, wait at least three years before proposing marriage. You’ll be more likely to stay together if you get to know each other over time.
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