So here you are in the dating game. Whether you hate dating or love it, most women are still looking for that special spark that ends in a marriage proposal. But with the divorce rate telling society, “good luck, you’ve got a 50/50 chance,” finding a lifelong mate can be as daunting as mastering quantum mechanics. Not only that the stats get worse as you add more marriages to your portfolio. You seem to be finding love in all the wrong places. What’s a girl to do? Fortunately, it only takes a bit of training before playing the game and winning. Here are six basic tips to help you stay focused on the purpose of dating – to marry well.
Tip #1. Set the priorities that are right for you. Like everything else worth pursuing, it takes work. This is a huge life altering decision. Know what you’re looking for and set some criteria. If you go blindly into the dating world you can very well expect to be blindsided by the first handsome fellow that glances at you. It won’t be long before you confess he’s the most wonderful man you’ve ever met. With that in mind, it will be so much more difficult to break it off when you discover he’s not able to keep a steady job, lives with his sister, and has that sweet little bundle that visits twice a month – yikes! Remember, the mother of that sweet bundle is part of the package. Are you prepared to be in the middle of that triangle for years to come? It’s important to know what you don’t want as well as what you do. Make a short list of absolute musts or must nots to keep you focused. Write them down. Here are some examples:
a. He must be physically fit (because you love being physically fit).
b. He must make X-amount per year (this should reflect his earning potential).
c. He must love pandas.
d. He must want or not want children.
You get the idea.
Tip #2.Where to look. When you go to the grocery store, do you look for laundry detergent in the bread aisle? No. You look for things in their proper place. Determine where you will find this person that’s right for you. Now that you’ve got your priorities in hand, this should serve as a starting point for the best places to search. Are you looking for someone younger or more mature? Someone who likes sports, or likes the arts? Ask yourself, ‘where can my guy be typically found?’ If you said this guy must be vegan, then it’s not likely you will bump into him at a wild game cookoff. Fortunately, with online dating finding a mate with the same or similar characteristics has become so much easier. But not all dating sites are the same. Before choosing one, do your research and read reviews. Know what kind of site you’re jumping into. If you’re looking for a quality guy, go to a quality site.
Tip #3 Safety. Safety. Safety. I can’t stress this enough. There are weird people out there. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the excitement that you forget to play it safe. Many men use dating sites as a jumping-into-bed platform. Don’t be a statistic. If you chose the online dating route, be sure you learn about safe online dating guidelines. Have your safety rules in place. Write them down. Here are some examples:
a. Always have a BFF to keep you accountable and to share your dating journey for moral support.
b. Set a time limit on first conversations and first dates.
c. Start your conversations as you would with a new friend, open, pleasant, but cautious.
d. Always let someone know if you’re meeting your new or fairly new date in person.
Keep the list going. The more the better but don’t go overboard lest you come across as a party pooper. A BFF is a great person to help you with this.
Tip #4. Personality Matching. One of the great features of quality online dating venues is the personality profile. This could potentially save you from a lot of wasted time with the handsome bodybuilder who believes dating only two girls at a time is a “commitment.” What you basically believe about things should match as closely as possible with your potential new lifelong mate. Personality is very important. It’s a set of core beliefs that can stand the test of time. And forget about trying to “fix” someone’s personality trait that doesn’t mesh with yours. They were there before you and will likely be there after you. Why jump on a sinking ship? If certain traits are bothering you and start keeping you up at night, move on! You’re ‘gut’ is trying to tell you something.
Tip #5. Ask, Listen, Verify. Dating can be such an exciting time. It can be like buying a new pair of beautiful shoes. You’re so enthralled by their beauty that you don’t think about how they will kill your feet after an hour. Be a smart dater. Be inquisitive. Ask important questions as the relationship moves forward. But don’t wait too long. Listen to what he says and what he doesn’t say. Verify if you can. Have you looked him up on social media? Did he tell you that all those girls on his Facebook page are just his friends? Is that voice inside telling you, ‘that’s a lot of friends.’ Don’t just listen to him, but listen to that gut feeling too. Women typically have sharp intuition. If something hasn’t seemed quite right, move on. He has plenty of friends to see after the date is over.
Tip #6. Stay the course and don’t be discouraged. Unless you’re absolutely desperate to sabotage a perfectly good single lifestyle, take your time and make good decisions. Stay the course within the priorities, criteria, guidelines, and safety measures you have set. Looking from the inside-out takes time, effort and courage. When those 6-pack abs turn to beer belly, the flowing locks can only be found in faded pictures, and the income potential changes in unexpected ways, what is left is what you married. If the qualities you found are the ones left behind after the glitter has faded, then you will never lose your man.
Keep in mind that the smart dating man may be doing the same thing when looking for a serious relationship. He has criteria too. So, if you go on a date and think everything went well but you don’t hear back from him, don’t worry about it. It wasn’t a right fit for him, which means it wasn’t a right fit for you. Be thankful he made it easier on you and move on. You don’t want to just marry, you want to marry well.