By Dr. Weldon Green
In part 1 of this series, we discussed Guidelines 1-3, here are are the 10 guidelines discussed in Part 1.
1. Have a plan for the type of person you want to date
2. Have an end game in mind
3. Be honest to yourself and about yourself when creating your online profile
4. Be deliberate in your approach to dating
5. Don’t compromise your values
6. Do your due diligence
7. Be open to new ideas and experiences
8. Meet online but date offline
9. Don’t rush the process
10. Know when it’s time to step away
If you missed part 1, I encourage you to take time and read it by clicking on this link. Let’s get into part 2.
GUIDELINE 4: Be deliberate in your approach to dating. I can’t express enough the importance of being prepared and focused on what you are trying to achieve. If you implemented Guidelines 1 – 3 and were successful in connecting with someone you would like to meet in person, prepare for the date like you would an interview. By that I mean think about the questions you would like to ask the person you are meeting, and not be under pressure during the date to try and think up questions you want to ask them. When you are looking into their bright eyes and admiring their well-maintained physique, your mind will draw a blank on the questions you want to ask. The questions you ask should focus on the things that are important to your decision making and that may be in your “Needs” column. I suggest you write the questions down and review them before you meet face to face.
My wife and I still laugh about our first date. We had a wonderful time and engaged in meaningful conversation. But she noticed how deliberate I was with the questions I asked. I admit, I was not as smooth as I thought I was with my questions. But I was sincere in my approach, and she appreciated that. I had an endgame in mind and my questions were aimed at helping me cut through the weeds and find the right mate and eventual wife.
Remember, it is a date and not an interrogation or job interview. So, relax and enjoy the interaction. But remain focused on the purpose of the date – meeting and finding the mate that you desire to be with. Listen to what they say, be honest about the answers you give in response to their questions. Also, be open minded about their beliefs and life goals that are different than yours. It does not mean they are wrong, simply different.
Guideline 5: Do not compromise your values. Adults experience peer pressure just like adolescents. Peer pressure can cause you to do something you do not want to do or that you think is not right. Do not allow the person you meet online to convince or pressure you into thinking that to meet with them or continue to date them, you must go to places or engage in activities you don’t feel are appropriate.
Remember, be true to yourself. If that is what it’s going to take to be with that person, then you are not going to be happy or fulfilled in the long-term in that relationship. You may have to accept that this is not the idea mate for you, if they are trying to pressure you into doing what they want you to do. To help you resist the pressure, you should decide before you go out on the date, what you will or will not do or places you will not go. It will be tougher later once you are in their presence and the pressure to impress them is on you.
Guideline 6: Do your due diligence. It is common for organizations today to research a candidate’s online social media activity, to aid them in deciding if the candidate will fit in with their company’s culture or if they will be a good representative of the company. This is not an invasion of privacy, because the person has posted their information or activity on a public platform, making it public information. This may sound a little intrusive or sneaky, but if it helps you avoid wasting time going out with the wrong person, you will be glad you did.
Doing your due diligence on the online activity of a potential date will give you valuable insight into what a person believes and what type of activities they are into. If their belief or activities are things you are opposed to or feel they are inappropriate, then you may want to reconsider if this is the right person for you or if you should go out on a date with them. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you can change the way a person feels or thinks. Be willing to accept that is who they are and if it concerns you now, it will aggravate you even more so later.
Guideline 7: Be open to new ideas and experiences. I call this becoming a 2.0 version of yourself. This openness is part of the process of enriching your life and relationship and becoming a desirable partner. I am not saying try to be someone you are not and do not want to be. I am advising you to be open to becoming the type of person you would like to be in a relationship with, because that is the type of person they will be looking for as well. If you want to be in a relationship with someone who is athletic and like outdoor activities, be willing to step out of your comfort zone and engage in those type activities with them. But, if you have no interest in those type activities, then an athletic, outdoor activities type of person may not be the mate for you.
The 1.0 version of myself was very regimented, practical, and time sensitive when it came to planning trips or activities. If it didn’t seem like something a practical person would do or didn’t fit into the timeline I had set up, it was an issue for me and caused me to be uptight and inflexible. But that is not the type of person I wanted to continue to be or be in a relationship with. After a couple dates with Debbie, she told me about a ski trip she and a group of friends were taking in a couple of weeks and asked if I wanted to come. The 1.0 version of myself would have said, “No, I’ll see you when you return”. But Debbie was the type of person I wanted to be in a relationship with. So, I had to be willing to try something new, be spontaneous, and step out of my comfort zone. So, the 2.0 version of myself said yes! We had a wonderful time on the trip, and it set the stage for a great relationship. We got a chance to spend a lot of extended time together and observe each other in different situations and with other people, and I became close with her friends.
In Part 3 we will discuss guidelines 8, 9, and 10.