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We’ve all been on dates that seemed a little lackluster. Too often, we have more of those experiences than dates that truly woo us. Do you wonder why those dates were like that?
Here are some of my explanations for why some dates are “just OK” as well as my top steps for making your connections successful and into the long-term relationship realm.
I’ve mentioned communication a lot during my dating coaching sessions with clients as well as in most of my previous advice articles, but it really is pivotal in terms of creating momentum and sustaining excitement within a relationship.
We always want to feel like our potential partner is thinking about us, even if we don’t hear from him. This is especially true in the dating app game when we have so many “banked” options.
I can’t tell you how many guys I would start a conversation with on a dating app, and, by day three, if I didn’t get a response, I wiped them from my prospects. I wanted to know that they took dating seriously, and it wasn’t just a hobby of theirs that they get to it whenever they are bored. I think having so many options on dating apps has diluted our excitement to meet just one good person at a time.
Once you find that one good person, it’s important to establish a nice cadence of conversation. Hopefully, that rhythm yields a date within five to seven days of when you guys first started chatting.
Once you’ve established that in-person chemistry and compatibility, it’s still important to keep things alive. Checking in on how his day is going and coming up with another good date idea is a great example of keeping things going strong.
I find it very rare these days that someone is over communicating. I hear more stories from clients about the guys who “waited three days to text me back because he said he was busy.”
Looking at your potential partner’s friend circle and lifestyle are two ways to determine if there’s compatibility. I always tell my clients that it’s important to like a partner’s friends, and vice versa. This has proven to be true, too, because a lot of times, as a professional matchmaker, I hear clients say “I want to date a guy who I can just leave in a room of friends, and he can be comfortable.”
Not everyone gets along, but, as long as there is a mutual understanding and respect, your relationship will flourish. In most of my longer term relationships, a majority of my friends genuinely liked my partner. For the relationships that only lasted less than three months, well, I’m sure you can guess the reason why.
Your friends are a reflection of your character, and vice versa. I have such a vast hodgepodge of friends of different ages and with different professions and personalities, and I want my ideal partner to be a chameleon of sorts. Look at your friends to identify the words you would use to describe them and decide if it’s important to you that a romantic partner fits in.
I’ve also always been a huge advocate of my clients having similar lifestyles with their partners. Typically, you’ll be able to cue into someone’s lifestyle based on their photos and what they mention in their dating profiles if you are dating online.
If you don’t have this wealth of information, one of my favorite questions to ask on first dates — and to be asked on first dates — is “What are you passionate about?” The first two to three things he mentions are things he thinks about or does a lot. If someone asked me that question, I would say fitness, cooking, and helping people. So, if a date cringes at the thought of taking a hike or working out with me, having many major dietary restrictions, and/or volunteering with me early on a Saturday morning, we’d never get along.
You need to know what you’re passionate about, and you need to determine how important these passions are to you. Life is about compromise, but too much compromise can just be demoralizing, depending on the priority you assign to those passions.
Be a participator, though, and give it a good thorough shot even if something is out of your scope of expertise or interest. Your other half should be able to recognize and appreciate that.
Let’s say things have been going really well with you and your new partner, and there have been talks about finally moving in with one another. The timing of this is case by case, but I would say, on average, this stage happens around one year of dating. If you’re ready, that’s great. You will learn a lot about each other and grow closer.
However, if you aren’t ready, you aren’t ready. That’s OK. A good way to practice living together and determine how you two will handle it is to travel together a lot.
I recommend you go on at least three big trips before shacking up. This is a great relationship lesson to see how the both of you are when you’re out of your comfort zone and how you both deal with stress together. There also can be the budgeting of time and money on trips, so that can be a way to see how you may manage life together.
In dating profiles, I see a lot of “someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously” verbiage. But I wonder how that dynamic changes when someone has made a poor choice on timing, and now the both of you may miss your flight and not have that perfect tropical vacation you wanted. These types of situations will give you a true glimpse into what it may be like living with this individual. It will be an adjustment, but hopefully not a painful one.
The commonality I see in strong relationships is gratitude. Your partner should always feel respected and cherished by you. A successful relationship has to have both in some capacity. You should also always feel respected and cherished by your partner.
Some of these acts of gratitude are obvious, while some are unspoken. You can learn more about gratitude in relationships here.
Another amazing dating tool is identifying your Love Languages and learning how you both perceive, receive, and give love. Learning to think like your partner — which is a more selfless mindset — can allow the relationship to organically grow into something special. Good luck out there!