Originally published on: https://leannehalyburton.com/category/dating-and-relationships/
Fancying the pants off someone should be fun! Dating, and becoming a little – or a lot – infatuated, should be an exciting part of a process that eventually leads us to join forces with someone we can imagine ourselves waking up next to every day (and, vice versa, of course) – not the beginning of an intense and insecure drama!
So, how can we make the experience of dating work in our favour? How can we ensure that we don’t fall head first into confusing or increasingly complicated situations that have no chance of developing into anything worthwhile? Well, to start with, here are 7 nuggets of dating-world wisdom that can help you to keep your s**t together!
1 – Keep it light
– and don’t allow yourself to become prematurely involved in a love interest’s issues and struggles; when, and if, there is real evidence to suggest that the situation is developing into something more meaningful, you could be more willing to listen, and to share – until then, don’t believe that immediate ‘opening up’ is a good sign! Too much dumping, too soon, is neither romantic nor emotionally intimate, and it reveals something very important: that your love interest has a bit of a ‘victim’ mentality!
2 – Keep your dignity.
Don’t allow yourself to be lured into overtly sexual banter before you have experienced actual time with your love interest, on more than one occasion… and after you have genuinely recognised a mutual, emotional attraction. A little bit of lighthearted flirting is harmless, but set your own boundaries… and if your love interest consistently pushes against them, close him or her down! They are revealing something very important about themselves: that they are immature; that they are disrespectful; that they are only looking for a bit of gratification; that they are severely lacking in social graces and awareness!
3 – Keep it interesting.
Ask your love interest the kind of questions that lead to expanded conversation, rather than yes or no answers. If you come to recognise that talking with them is akin to getting blood from a stone, days or weeks in, the odds are that they are not just shy; more likely, they are boring, hiding something, or just plain disinterested! And if they find it easy to talk about themselves, whilst consistently forgetting to discover more about you, they are revealing something very important: that they are largely self-interested and self-centred!
4 – Keep it cool
– at least until you feel that things have genuinely reached a consistently comfortable level between the two of you. If your love interest immediately wants to see or communicate with you every five minutes of every day, or talks of big plans for the ‘future’… or worse, claims to be in love with you… they are revealing something very important: that they are lonely, insecure… and probably a tad desperate!
5 – Keep it ‘real’.
If there is a lot of ongoing chat, and a lot of promises that are quickly followed by excuses, your love interest is revealing something very important: that, more likely than not, they are blaggers… all hot air and BS!
6 – Keep it friendly.
If squabbles, or even arguments, suddenly occur when communicating with a love interest, something very important is being revealed: that either you are not compatible with one another, or that your love interest is an awkward, moody individual who has not learned how to communicate maturely, or is someone who easily switches to defensive mode… and maybe even all three!
7 – Keep it fun!
As I said at the start, dating is supposed to be enjoyable… it is, after all, an exploration, a journey – the ultimate goal being a loving, mutually supportive relationship (loving being the key word!). For some, the journey is short, for others there are a few twists and turns in the road; either way, the process will be far more pleasant if we remember that, as we are looking for love, then we need to be loving, to ourselves, and to the process itself!
So, all you have to do is to keep your dignity, keep it light, interesting, cool, real, friendly and fun (I know, I know – ALL!)… but I reckon that none of it is actually too hard to do, and it provides a strategy that could save you a huge amount of time and emotional energy. Think of it as a relaxed but conscious filtering process… a bit of weeding in the garden of love!
And if you need a bigger helping of dating-food-for-thought, check out my free booklet (now available as a blog, on my blog site), Attraction and Dating: How To Successfully Navigate The Honeytrap (132 minutes reading time).