The first step towards having a great relationship is going out on a first date. Dating is an important ritual and precursor to building a relationship. It gives you the opportunity to get to know someone and see if there is a mutual interest in taking things to the next level. For some, dating comes naturally. For others, just the idea of dating makes their heart palpitate. Some people seem to be dating someone new all the time. For others, the notion on how to even find someone to date is perplexing.
So for those of you that find dating either impossible, improbable, or just plain nerve racking, here are my tips on how to make dating easy and fun.
- The first thing you need to do is to find a person to date. The easiest and fastest way to do this is by going online or joining some kind of formal dating service that basically guarantees you a date. I promise there are tons of people out there for you to date. Make it easy on yourself. Instead of trolling the ocean, go to a stocked fishing pond where there are hungry fish waiting to be hooked.
- Get in the habit of dating. Dating is a skill just like any other activity. Some people may be naturals but most need practice and feedback in order to build their confidence and proficiency. If you haven’t dated a lot or haven’t dated in some time, plan on going out of several first and second dates. I promise you, you will not only survive but may even learn to enjoy the ritual.
- Get an attitude check. Dating should be fun. Be friendly and open to learning something new. Do not rush to judgment. At this point, your only goal should be having a good time getting to know someone. Every person on the planet has an interesting story to tell. Everyone is unique. If you are fun, friendly, and approachable, you will create a positive experience even if you decide to pass on a second date.
- Take the pressure off. Do not date with the end in sight—at least not yet. Don’t worry if your date likes you or not. Don’t worry if your date is your future spouse or not. At this point, everyone should be on good behavior and putting their best effort on creating an enjoyable meeting. If you had a good time but aren’t sure if he or she is for you, give it another try. People rush to judgment too quickly and I guarantee a lot of great men and women have gotten away because of it. Some of the hottest romances started out with a small flicker. Attraction grows. Don’t underestimate the power of time and attention.
- Be smart and take care of yourself. If you feel unsafe in anyway or are treated in a manner that is disrespectful, call it a day. Too many people suffer through an evening and tolerate rudeness because they feel they need to be polite or stick it out. Always meet someone new in a public place and feel free to end the date whenever you so choose. While these occurrences are usually the exception and not the rule, they do happen nonetheless. Don’t ever allow someone to make you feel bad for setting limits and taking good care of yourself.
- Lastly, if you feel like you need a break from dating, take it. There is nothing wrong with having a quiet night at home or enjoying time with friends and family. Being single and unattached has its benefits. Enjoy them.
If you or someone you know is having difficulty dating, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help. Dating can trigger lots of issues that may be getting in your way. Take the time to explore what there is to learn about yourself and others. As always, I’m here to support you in creating strong and powerful relationships.
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
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