5 Steps To Dating When You’re Ready To Get Serious About Finding Love

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Woman learning how to date and find love
Love

Are you clear on how to date, so you’re in service of your relationship goals?

No one will fault you if you’re just looking to have a good time. Dating as a social activity is very different from dating when you're serious about finding love.

The problem is that many women use the same strategies, disregarding their goals and desire for a serious relationship.

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If you want a true soul partnership, to live alongside your beloved, raise children, and spend a lifetime together, then how you date must reflect those goals.

It’s essential to make adjustments to your dating strategies when you're ready to meet your soulmate and create a life together.

Here are 5 steps to dating when you're serious about finding love.

1. Slow down.

Sit down and take a good look at your usual dating strategies. So, take inventory of where you currently stand.

Hooking up with someone or quickly deciding to go exclusive if you don’t really want a long-term relationship is OK. But if you want lasting love, it's best to take your time from the very beginning.

Attraction is enough when you’re just looking to have fun, but it's not enough for love to last. It's only one part of a bigger equation that makes a happy and healthy relationship.

Plus, attraction comes from a part of your brain that's not looking for the best match for your long-term success, it's only looking for what feels familiar.

Your subconscious mind looks for a match to the love program written for you when you were younger, which includes your limiting beliefs about love, your mental and emotional patterns, and your behavioral strategies for giving and receiving love.

This program is created from the dynamic in your family of origin and, depending on your childhood, may or may not be the most effective strategy for love to last with an ideal partner.

When your subconscious recognizes a familiar pattern, it sends out a signal saying, "This is familiar!" It's easy to confuse what feels familiar with excitement and attraction.

Have you noticed that when you feel an intense attraction to someone, it doesn’t work out? For a time, it may feel great, but eventually, you end up without the lasting partnership that you desire.

When you slow things down to gather more information about who they are and what their values consist of, you're in a position to make better choices about whether or not to continue dating, based on the dynamic between the two of you.

2. Date more than one person at a time.

When you're not rushing to exclusivity, you can learn a lot more about yourself and a potential partner.

Dating more than one man at a time is a very useful skill that opens up the possibility of dating more types of men, rather than sticking only to ones you find attractive.

Attraction is not a requirement for a date, but it's necessary for a long-term committed relationship. Dating more than one person at a time allows you to discover a lot about your ability to be authentic and be yourself when dating men you have a strong attraction toward and men you don’t.

You can track your patterns and course correct so you don’t make the same mistakes, leveling up your dating skills. You become better at finding an ideal partner, instead of just a short-term hookup.

When you juxtapose the experience of being on a date with someone you’re hot for versus someone you’re just lukewarm about, it highlights where you can improve your selection process.

Do you lose yourself and sacrifice your needs and wants when the attraction is intense? Maybe you start pursuing him and twisting into a pretzel to get him to like you?

Notice the difference in your internal dialogue and in your behavior when you’re hot for him, versus when you aren’t. This way, you have valuable information on how to avoid the relationship dynamics that never work out for you long-term.

Finding an ideal partner is the goal, and you only find that over time. Taking this time to be upfront instead of being on a dating hamster-wheel will save you time in the long run.

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3. Speak how you feel and make requests.

Do you secretly hope that the right guy will just magically know what you want and need, so that you won’t have to tell him? Have you met that extraordinary guy who gets you and is able to read your thoughts?

This unrealistic expectation is wreaking havoc on your love life, because no one can read your mind or know what you need and want.

The foundation of soul-satisfying, long-lasting love is communication. It begins the moment you start having any kind of dialogue, whether it’s in-person or over text.

Being authentic by speaking your mind about how you feel and making requests leads to lasting love and successful dating.

There's no magical unicorn of a man who gets you and always knows how to make you happy. Releasing this fantasy allows you to open yourself up and turn hope into results by learning to express yourself and take responsibility for your own emotional life.

Plus, most men are attracted to women who know what they want and ask for it. A man who's interested in a relationship with you will want to know how to please you, while a guy who's only interested in something casual will never be convinced that he should marry you.

Talking about how you feel and making requests also teaches you a lot about who he is and his capability of meeting your needs.

Does he get defensive? Does he dismiss your feelings or try to manage them? Or is he able to hear you and acknowledge your feelings? You won’t know what he's capable of if you don’t speak up.

When you become a master of how to communicate — even when your emotions are heated — you have the key to create a lasting, loving connection with a man who's your ideal match for life.

4. Don’t iron out conflict.

No long-term relationship is without conflict or disagreement. Don't you want to know if you can navigate conflict with this guy before you give your heart away?

Too many women want to be easygoing and ignore possible issues early in the dating process. Don’t be confrontational or disagreeable, but don't iron out conflict when there's something important at stake.

You’ll discover so much about him and his ability to communicate when there's an issue between you. Also, conflict can be a doorway to a deeper connection with him, because navigating conflict together is the key to sharing a life together.

When you're authentic while dating, you'll never doubt whether you should stay or go because it will be obvious to you. Even when conflicts arise, you’ll learn so much about him and your ability to weather the storms of life, or if you should jump ship and move on.

5. Discover if he shares your values.

The biggest arguments in marriages have to do with sex, money, and children. Irreconcilable differences is one of the most common causes of divorce.

Knowing that you're both on the same page goes a long way towards making your relationship last. You need to know that the two of you share similar values before you make a lasting commitment.

You have differing strategies for coping with life’s challenges. If you share the same values, you can work through those differences. If you don’t, then those conflicting strategies can tear you apart.

To discover what he values, pay attention to where he spends his time, energy, and resources. He can say he values family, but if he isn’t making an effort to include you in his family or to learn about yours, then you can’t ignore that.

Take time to observe what he values. Share the bigger vision of what you desire in your relationship. Be open to the fact that the two of you may have conflicting strategies.

Lasting love doesn’t have to be something that you stumble into by accident. So, increase your chances of making love last for a lifetime by approaching dating in a new way.

RELATED: 11 Mistakes Women Make That Destroy Their Chances Of Finding A Good Man

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Orna and Matthew Walters have been soulmate coaches for over a decade and helped thousands of readers create long-lasting love. Download a complimentary copy of their ebook, Recognizing Mr. Right, along with a guided program on self-acceptance from their website.

This article was originally published at https://www.creatingloveonpurpose.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.