Dating today is like leaving the house without your phone. You know that feeling of being totally lost in the world without being able to Google every single question you can think of through the day…like you’ve just lost your safety net. This is how dating feels now, like driving in an unfamiliar territory without any device to help you navigate. It used to be that there were norms for dating and set pathways for how relationships were to unfold; however, today anything goes. So here’s a list of 5 dating tips that every dater needs to know.
These five dating tips are areas that you MUST get to know when dating someone. These five areas will best predict what someone will be like in a long-term relationship… because at the end of the day, that’s what is important to figure out. It’s way too easy to be fooled by someone’s first impressions! So how do we get to the bottom of what they’re really like and what they’ll be like in 6 months…1 year…10 years…Read on my friends. These five areas are based on a summation of the decades upon decades of relationship research…you’re welcome!
- Family Background. Ask any married person if they see their in-laws in their spouse…seriously, spouses will morph into their parents from time to time…freaky! This is one of the most important things to get to know and not just “oh what did your mom/dad do for a living?” but the real deep stuff like “how did you know your parent’s loved you? Each other?” and “what kind of husband/wife were your parents?” and “what are some things about your family that you want to be different in the family you create?” These questions will give you insight into what your partner will be like, what their expectations are and on and on.
- The Conscience. This is the hidden gem of figuring out a partner. The conscience is what helps someone enforce their moral code as well as transports them into another’s perspective. You will be impacted every day by your partner’s conscience. The trick is to pay attention to small things (e.g. do they call when they say, do they act consistently with how they talk, how do they handle things that are important to you…) and see what patterns emerge. We will all have a lapse in our conscientiousness from time to time, but if there is a pattern of small offenses, it is a big deal!
- Compatibility. Everyone should know about this one. Think about values, beliefs, lifestyle and personality. Also, not just what is similar but how your differences fit together. Do they make each of you better? or worse?
- Examples of Other Relationships. People tend to have scripts for how they treat others..like how do they treat people “below” them…or people who have authority over them…or their dog…or their kids, etc. At one time or another these scripts will play out in how they treat you. So don’t just pay attention to how they treat you on a date, pay attention to how they treat others. Oh and PLEASE make sure you ask about their exes, do not avoid this topic, it can shed light on some really important stuff. So get in there and ask those tough questions.
- Relationship Skills. Relationship skills are basically communication (speaking and listening) and conflict resolution skills. These areas will impact all aspects of your relationship like how easy is it to get to know your partner, do they reveal much of themselves to you? Or how do you work through conflicts? Do they listen to your perspective? One important note of caution: skills can be misleading. Some people have really refined skills but a poor conscience and other’s have poor skills but a great conscience. A well-functioning conscience is ALWAYS a safer bet because someone who has great relationship skills without the healthy conscience can be really manipulative and cause a lot of heartache (perfect example: the partner who always is flaking but then repents with some grand gesture).
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If you are done with dating but know someone who may find this helpful, please don’t forget to share the love!