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Dr. Wendy Walsh
These are hard times for love. Dating seems to have become a stand-alone activity instead of a courtship ritual designed to carefully select a partner for long-term compatibility.
If you are one of the serious daters out there and are looking for more than a sexual high and a short-term fling, there are three proven ways to ensure your dinner and a movie is also an interview for the job of best friend and lover.
People looking for a fling are free, wild and available, rushing into emotional disclosures long before a secure trust has been established. If you are truly looking for a mate, bite your tongue before blurting out every sordid detail of your life.
People who use long-term dating strategies contain themselves and unveil layers of themselves slowly and carefully.
If you are asked a sensitive question, it’s perfectly OK to say, “It’s too early for me to disclose that. When I know you better, we can talk about that.” This is an honest statement with boundaries.
“Above all, keep your
eye on the prize.”
Cross-cultural research is pretty clear. Fast movers tend to crash and burn easily. In fact, one study showed the hotter the sexual chemistry early on, the worst the relationship outcomes.
Another study showed having sex within 30 days of meeting guaranteed you a 90 percent breakup probability within the first year.
If you are in the game for courtship and hope to find someone who will go the distance with you, there will plenty of time to swing from chandeliers in a French maid’s costume. Slow down the physical relationship and dating will instantly become courtship.
If your dating life has become one of drive-by dates for quick cups of Joe or a gulp of a martini at a busy happy hour, there’s a good chance you’ve lost focus. For romance to grow into something serious, it should feel special.
That doesn’t mean you need to break the bank with every date, but if you are interested enough after a couple phone calls, then add some pomp and pageantry to the romantic memories you are creating.
Pack a romantic picnic. Have a champagne toast on a rooftop garden. Do something really special for your date, something you could pay a stranger to do but want to sacrifice the time by doing it yourself.
Above all, keep your eye on the prize. Long-term married people live longer, have better health and accumulate more wealth. Try not to get distracted by the giant bandwidth of sexual opportunities technology has provided.
Avoid love attention deficit disorder by being thoughtful, kind, compassionate and remembering to talk about the things that matter like the three Fs – family, feelings and future goals.
Photo source: tumblr.com.