Perhaps you have been out of the dating world for a while, or maybe you have been dating again for some time. Either way, the rules of dating may seem vastly different than they did when you were dating earlier in life.
Fortunately, the rules only seem different. In reality, not much has changed. Below I will share my list of 10 strategies for successful dating. You may find these strategies old-fashioned or counterintuitive, but they work.
1. If you are a woman who generally pursues men first, stop and allow men to pursue you.
Likewise, if you are a man who waits for women to ask you out, take the first step and ask them out instead. A woman pursuing a man sets up an uncomfortable power dynamic that is difficult to change later.
2. Early in the relationship, stay away from verbal foreplay.
Engage in sexual-type talk only after you know each other well, at least a few months into the relationship. These types of conversations can become the central focus of your interactions, making it harder to experience other parts of your relationship.
3. Don't have a sexual relationship until you are committed to and love each other.
This may seem old fashioned; however, relationships are partnerships. Although sexuality is a part of a relationship, it is not a good foundation on which to build one. If you build your relationship on sex, it will most likely fall like a house of cards.
4. In the beginning, limit your time together.
See or be on the phone with each other in moderation. How is a house built? Brick by brick. How have you developed friendships? Over time. Does an intimate relationship deserve any less?
5. Spend more time courting in person rather than by e-mail or phone.
Electronic communication has an aspect of anonymity and safety. It allows for a false sense of closeness. If this is your primary mode of communication, you may feel awkward with each other in person.
6. Be yourself at all times in the dating process.
Doing so allows both of you to clearly see if the relationship will work. If you are compatible, you will discover more things to like about each other. If you are not compatible, you will be able to find out sooner rather than later.
7. Be clear from the start about how you want and don't want to be treated.
It is better to know how your new partner responds to your boundaries and standards.
8. Be aware of who your new partner is.
At the same time, don't automatically assume he or she will disappoint you in the same ways you have been disappointed before. Give your partner a chance to treat you well, rather than testing to see if he or she will cause you pain.
9. Accept your new partner as he or she is -- or don't engage in the relationship.
If your partner's behavior bothers you but doesn't bother her, you can be sure that this behavior will continue. If you can't accept how your new partner is now, rather than hoping for change, it's a sign that you should get out.
10. Enjoy. Have fun. Connect. Learn.
Dating is wonderful. It's a chance to meet new and interesting people and do fun activities. It's an opportunity for growth. If you do it gently, without jeopardizing your emotional well-being, it will add sparkle to your life.