When it comes to dating, there is no shortage of ‘helpful’ advice; there’s an ocean of books, blogs, friends, and strangers sitting next to you on the subway eager to share their thoughts about your dating life. And some of the advice actually is helpful, but it’s often buried under tons of advice that one could reasonably categorize as, well, less helpful. (A decent argument could be made for including ill-advised and deranged among the possible descriptors, but that’s a different blog altogether.)
My point is, dating can be a nerve-wracking business; getting it ‘right’ is really important, and figuring out how to do that can be really tough. I don’t have all the answers, but being a great date is a good start.
Here are four tips to becoming a great date:
- Prioritize your own development. You don’t need a date to do this, but doing this will definitely make you a better date. Don’t expect a date to hold you in a higher regard than you hold yourself. Great couples are intentional about valuing one another…learn how to do that by practicing on yourself!
- Identify your core personal beliefs and values before you start trying to figure out what you want in a date. A great date lives out their values and they seek the same trait in the people they date. Does your life reflect your values? It’s a great topic to ponder in step one. A word of caution: great dates don’t begin with a Manifesto of Personal Beliefs. Identifying your core beliefs will help you clarify what you’d like in a date, but it is primarily about creating a framework of personal agency.
- Be curious. Great dates think more about getting to know their dates than they do worrying about what their date thinks of them. Listen; ask questions; make eye contact; and for the love of all that is pure and good in the world, put down your stinking phone. Gift them with your time, and your attention…it’s the kind of behavior characteristic you’d expect from a great date. After a date, ask yourself: did they seem really interested in me, or did they seem to be working really hard to get me to like them?
- Remain calm. It’s a date, not a renegotiation of the Geneva Convention. It’s easy to be blithe when it’s not my ego being raked over the coals, but we can sabotage our own efforts by putting too much pressure on ourselves. The goal is to get to know one another, and decide if you’d like to go out again- not to convince them to like you. Some people just won’t get you, and that’s alright; your personal worth isn’t determined by the outcome of a date. Don’t allow the pressure to make your date great keep you from being a great date!
GROW Counseling is offering a unique program focused on encouraging individuals to date wholeheartedly. We want to help individuals understand the core components of healthy relationships, the way their individual traits are reflected in their relationships, and the techniques for applying core components and individual traits to the modern dating world. To learn more, please visit our website!
Written by: Jill Howgate