Most women I’ve met want a long-term relationship with a man. However, dating can often become frustrating largely because of misguided expectations and perhaps low self-esteem. I hear from women that it’s like a jungle out there. It often seems like there are many more beautiful women to compete with for very few single men. Beyond the surface of looks – which we all know is very important but many may not like to admit – understanding yourself and what you want in a relationship is the key to dating.
Before you begin dating, here are some questions to consider:
1. What are your values? For example, if honesty is very important to you, getting to know someone before getting too serious will help you assess if that person is truly honest. Lies are hard to keep up and eventually will come out.
2. What are your interests? If you love to swim and your boyfriend hates water, you could have a problem. Be clear on your must have commonalities but understand you may not find someone 100 percent like you so be realistic as well.
3. Which type of people do you enjoy being around? What do you value in your friendships? Long-term relationships are basically best friends with benefits so you should be looking for a partner that can be your friend first.
4. What is the type of man you see yourself with on a long-term basis? Get clear in your mind of how you see your partner. For example, how they treat you and type of work that they do. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you really want, your trial and error rate will be much higher. Doesn’t mean you’ll find the 100 percent match, but at least you’ll know what you can and can’t compromise.
Now before you jump head first into the dating world, drop all of those expectations and go out and simply have fun. If you immediately see the potential date and think, “well I visualized myself with a tall, dark and handsome man and this guy is short, blond and average so I don’t want to bother,” you may be throwing out the funniest, most loyal and caring guy out there. Remember what you want beyond the looks. A great looking guy can look horrible in a matter of a few minutes if his personality is arrogant, rude and self-absorbed, so just sayin’ give a guy a chance.
Next, the reality is if the guy thinks you are attractive, more than likely he’ll want to at least try to get into your pants, despite if he thinks he’ll want to date you again. So don’t give it up on the first date. Make a man work for it. Get to know him and go out a number of times to see if you think it is someone you’d like to date more long term. Unless you are also looking for just a bootie call, forget the first or second date romp.
Lastly, be realistic. There is no perfect man; none of us are perfect. That’s why you need to get real with yourself on what you must have versus nice to have. If you want a GQ model looking guy with a great job and fat salary that will treat you like a princess and dote on your every need, I think you are living in a fairy tale. Attraction can grow based on your common interests and personalities so don’t buy into the Hollywood drama of love at first sight. Often times the immediate lustful attraction has no substance and will bite you in the end.
Love, like friendship, takes investment in time, attention and trust. Get to know people with an open mind and you may be surprised how things can blossom beyond your imagination.
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