A lot of people dating these days have questions about how to go about getting to the sought after boyfriend and girlfriend stage. With the Tinder-age and the online-dating generation, the idea of dating multiple people is now commonplace. The problem with this is you aren’t really sure when you start dating someone if they are just dating you or several other people? You don’t even know if they’re looking for a monogamous long-term relationship? These questions can lead to a lot of problems as dating becomes more and more complicated.
Below we’ve listed some ways to help you navigate the treacherous dating waters to help you get closer to the relationship goals you have.
1. Know What You Want – If you don’t know what you want out of dating and a relationship, how the hell are you going to articulate that to another person. If you have a clear goal of wanting your next relationship to be a long-term one be sure to articulate that especially in your online profile. Too many people are walking around hoping for that all-exclusive relationship, but are afraid to ask for it. Now don’t get us wrong, maybe don’t write in your profile that your biological clock is ticking so loud you can’t hear anything else, but you can make it clear you are not looking for a short-term dating experience. By doing this you already save yourself time by weeding out other people who aren’t looking for the same thing you are, leaving you with those that at least have the same intent you do, and intent is a big deal.
2. Get Clear On What You Want – Now that you’ve set the intent for a long-term relationship, get clear on who that is with. We’re not talking about the things like how tall they are, what they do for a living, or how big their bank account is (all this changes over time anyways). We’re talking about getting clear on the things that really matter. Things like core values and what you really need in a person and relationship to get along with them. It’s easy to list out a long list of wants, but that list might not even make you happy. In the end we usually only need about 5 traits in a person to make it work, the rest of the work is up to us (you really can’t find everything you need in one person and their job isn’t to make you happy, that’s your job).
3. It’s Your Job To Decide What Makes You Happy – As you think about what you’re looking for in a relationship, really make sure you’re clear on who you are and what makes you happy in life. If you’re settling in your life you’ll settle in relationships, and that won’t lead to a good outcome. So get happy about your life, find things that make you excited and identify exactly who you are, and be true to that. Once you start to compromise your happiness in life, you’ll do the same in partners, and in the end you might be upset with the outcome.
4. Dates Are Not Interviews – For the first few months of dating someone new try to have fun with it. It’s not a job interview where you need to fill the position of partner as fast as possible. In the first few months you’re just trying to see if you can get along with this new person. The best relationships are the ones where you can talk for hours and time flies, you can have fun together, and compromises comes easy, the less drama the better. So this is all you’re looking for at the moment. In all honesty this can be hard to find so if you do find this chances are the rest of the items you’re looking for will line up or won’t matter in the end anyways.
5. Check The Baggage – Look, if someone has lived a life chances are they have a romantic past and that past might include some baggage. Let’s be real you lived a life too so you probably have some as well. The trick here is recognizing it, you’re probably going to bring a part of your baggage into the relationship, and chances are your partner will too. But if you can recognize the baggage you’re bringing into the new dating experience you’ll be better equipped to ensure that you don’t have baggage overload ruining something before it even begins.
6. Bringing Up Exclusivity – So when is the right time to bring up exclusivity? Well I think this conversation should really be a natural progression. If you are head over heels for someone, in the right place mentally and emotionally available you shouldn’t want to date other people and you should want to get to that next level of exclusivity with the person you are dating. Let’s get real who really goes out with someone they are crazy about, has a great time with, and really enjoys their company only to say, “hmm this is really really fantastic, but let’s just keep dating around to see what happens”. The rule of thumb here is usually in the first three months of dating exclusivity should be brought up. If you’re still dating someone for over three months, and they’re content to keep dating as things are and aren’t concerned with exclusivity then chances are they aren’t in the same place you are, and you need to let them go to find someone that will be with you exactly where you are.
Wrapping It All Up – At the end of the day the hardest part of the dating process is asking for what you really want and deserve. You don’t want to be too picky over things that don’t matter or are changeable (jobs, looks, and status fall into this category). But you do want to be picky about the right things like how someone treats you, the right intent someone might have when dating you, and how they truly feel about you. Because in the end this is what you’re going to have left, just you the other person and hopefully a lifetime full of great memories full of unconditional love, passion, and fun.