Out with the old, in with the new: 4 ways to date better
You’ve been following the old rules of dating, and what do you have to show for it? A bunch of
1. Fix yourself. I know, I know, you’re perfect just the way you are, but hear me out. Thinking about why you do certain things in a relationship can help you out going forward. Are you a poor communicator because you detest all forms of disagreement? Do you have problems trusting people because of a previous bad relationship? Are you jealous because of your insecurities Nope? Flawless? Ok, cool...but just double check.
2. Think about who you want to date. The old criteria for picking someone to date are smart, funny and nice, right? You’ve just described a dog. Be much more specific. Focus on values and lifestyle more than specific activities. Also, rank your preferences. My wife loves wine and I love hip hop. We are happily married as I drink scotch and she listens to country. What are some things we agree on? How we want to contribute to the world and the type of community we want to live in. Sweat the big issues, don’t get hung up on the small stuff.
3. Talk about the big stuff kinda early. Blasphemy! The old rules say don’t talk about anything serious in the first couple of months. Well, to hell with that. I’m not saying a first date should be an interrogation-you’re just getting to know someone at the basic level. But by the third or fourth date, start to subtly work some bigger topics into the conversation. Discuss current events as a way to get a read on where they stand on social issues that are important to you. Talk about your relatives so you can get some insight into their future family plans. Too often a person shelves these topics for fear of scaring someone off. Unfortunately, it means you end up spending lots of time with someone you have almost no chance of being with for the long term. If you want a minivan full of tax breaks and soccer players, don’t sleep with someone for a year only to find out they never want to have kids.
4. Hit eject if you aren’t getting what you need. Simple concept, I know. But from personal experience it’s an easy move to screw up. This step is based on the foundation of the first three. Once you are confident that you’ve eliminated most of your baggage and know what you want, it becomes much easier to properly evaluate whether or not you should be staying or going. All aspects of the relationship are not equal. Don’t allow the less important parts of the relationship to guide your decision making. If joking around a lot is really important to you, don’t hang around with a guy who is tombstone serious just because he has a nice family who likes you. One is more important than the other. There is always social pressure to stick it out when the boilerplate characteristics of “smart and nice” are present, but don’t fall in to that trap. You deserve as much or as little sex/laughter/exercise/drankin with your partner as you want. Wasting your time in a subpar relationship means you might be missing out on someone who is much better aligned with your key interests.