Dating should be a positive experience, not something you dread or drool over. Keeping yourself centered, having a level head and bringing a great attitude always wins the day. I find that the art of dating is losing some ground, especially among younger people. Dating requires two people to bring their best forward. Each person holds responsibility for making the date enjoyable, regardless of whether it leads to another date or not. It's not about manipulation. It's not about ego satisfaction. It's about treating someone the way you would like to be treated. It's about getting to know someone and enjoying some time together. So instead of focusing on how to meet and keep that someone special, I'd like to get back to basics.
Here are my top 10 tips for creating a great dating experience for yourself and your date. Note: I know these tips may sound like common sense, but common sense seems to be in short supply these days. So put your attitude aside and ask yourself how many of these tips do you follow on a regular basis. You just might be surprised.
Be on time. No one likes to be kept waiting especially if they are feeling anxious. Be respectful of someone's time and willingness to spend time getting to know you. Don't be late.
Dress appropriately. Show up in attire that is appropriate for the occasion and puts your best foot forward. Don't show up like you've just rolled out of bed and could care less about this meeting. On the other hand, be appropriate—don’t overdue any unnecessary exposure—you have plenty of time to decide if your date deserves to see your full sexy self. Dress with respect for both you and your date and the plans for the day.
Relate, don't interrogate. Your date is not on an interview. Don't spend the time asking questions that are geared toward your check off list. Relate to your date as a person you want to get to know. Be present and have conversations that are authentic and relate to what is happening in the moment.
Smile. A smile goes a long way. It shows that you are friendly. It makes a person feel welcomed and comfortable. Make sure you smile a lot and hopefully, your date will smile back!
Don't tolerate any rude behavior. If your date is more than 15 minutes late and hasn't called, leave. If your date says or does anything that is disrespectful, rude or creepy, end the date. No need to be polite here—just get up and go.
Don't split the bill. If you're the man, pay for the date. If you're the woman, expect the man to pay. I may sound old fashioned but I still believe in the concept of courtship. I'm not sure how this works in same-sex relationships, but I'm sure there's a way to determine who is the courter and who is the courted. Regardless, the same rules apply.
Be a good listener. While it's great to share things about yourself, it is equally important to be a good listener. Listen with the intent to discover something interesting about this new person. Give your date your full attention; don't check your cell phone or see who else is there that you might find interesting. Be fully engaged no matter what.
Let go of any expectations. Focus on having a good time and getting to know someone new rather than hoping that this person will be your next boyfriend or girlfriend. People tend to decide within the first five seconds if they are attracted to someone or not. Once they've decided that this person is not for them, they close the door to any possibilities. Let go of your expectations and just enjoy the time together. You just might be surprised. Some of the hottest romances started out fairly cool. And if nothing else, you might just find a new friend or networker.
Proceed with caution. As much as you may like this person, understand that you don't really know who this person is at all. Take your time getting to know him. Be willing to shift your impressions as you get to know her better over time. It takes time and shared experiences to truly know who someone is. Remember, the same goes for him or her in regards to you.
Don't rush into sex. Take your time getting to know someone before you become sexually involved. It makes your first sexual experience together better. It allows for some tension to build and ensures that no one is there just to get laid.
So the next time you go out on a date, try to implement these 10 tips. Let me know how it goes. Are your dates a positive experience? Or do you find a lack of dating etiquette? How is it out there? If you or someone you know needs help in dating, finding love and creating strong and intimate relationships, don't hesitate to contact me. I am here to provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve.
As always, I’m here to support you in creating a transformational life and strong and powerful relationships.
P.S. And don't forget to catch my radio/TV show Pathways to Love w'Julie Orlov LIVE every Sunday 1:30pm PST on LATalkLive!
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at www.julieorlov.com/quiz
Create Relationships in Your Life That Work—learn more at www.julieorlov.com
More dating advice from YourTango: