Dating can have extreme highs and lows. When I take a look back on some of my relationships that didn’t work out, I noticed one thing that they all have in common, I was not open about my needs early in the dating process. I was just a go with the flow type girl and most of the times things didn’t flow my way. What I’m sharing with you today are four conversations that I believe we all should have at the beginning of the dating process. These conversations give your possible partner an understanding of what you are looking for and what they can expect from you.
With situation-ships on the rise, dating with purpose is very important. I want you to be open and honest with the person you are dating when it comes to the type of relationship you are looking for. When my boyfriend and I started dating I was open about wanting a monogamous relationship that would possibly lead to marriage. I was not asking him to marry me or telling him I needed to know if he could see himself marrying me. I was letting him know that if he wasn’t dating with the purpose of marriage I was not the girl for him. I was not afraid to walk away either, and neither should you. On the flip side if you know that you are just looking to have fun, date around and not commit, just be honest about that want. There is nothing wrong with just dating. There was a time in my life where I was just enjoying getting to know new people and trying to figure out what I really wanted. That is what dating is about meeting people and figuring out what you are truly looking for in a relationship. Again, just make sure that you are honest with the person(s) that you are dating. Never take anybody else’s choice away from getting what they want from a dating experience.
If someone is not looking for the type of commitment you want do not be afraid to say “Ok that’s not what I’m looking for but I wish you well on finding someone who is looking for that type of commitment.” And don’t think you can convince or love somebody into the type of commitment that you are looking for. They have to already want it to work for it. Now that we are on the same page about the type of relationship that we are hoping will develop, let’s talk about setting dates.
THE WEDNESDAY RULE
Yes, I said setting dates. Time is one of the most valuable things that you control in your life. Early on my aunt taught me about setting boundaries and valuing my time. Even before I had the urge to date, she would give me advice. My favorite piece of advice is what I call the Wednesday rule. The Wednesday Rule is a simple rule but it can take some time to get use to doing. The rule goes as such, all weekend dates must be planned by Wednesday night. So, if (s)he wants to take you out on Friday they must make plans by Wednesday night. If they call on Thursday night or Friday morning they have to be put on the waiting list. You will have to give them a “Sorry I have plans already, but if anything falls through I will let you know.” Even if you do not have plans, don’t always make yourself easily available to people. This not only says my time is valuable but also if I’m of any value to you, you will make spending time with me a priority.
Here is one way you can bring up the conversation with the person you are dating, ” Hey I know we are both adults and may live busy lives, I just ask that if you want to go on a date during the weekend you let me know by Wednesday night. This way if my friends and family want to plan something I can give you a heads up if I’m not free, or I have a better idea how to plan my day.” Bomb! Simple, easy, and not rude. This way they know if they didn’t call you by Wednesday night, Thursday morning you would already be confirming other plans with other people.
With calling, texting, and face-timing there are many different options when it comes to communicating. You have to be open with your preferred method of communication. My boyfriend hates talking on the phone, but I love a good phone conversation. During our dating phase, we talked about it and found a compromise on how much we would do of both, calling and texting. Making sure that we both got what we needed in this dating process. In my previous blog, I talked about not taking phone calls after 9 pm during the weekday. I wanted to be honest with him because I wanted him to be aware of my availability. You may have a communication preference, but have you ever made it known to the person you are dating? Or are you just a go with the flow type of person.
Don’t be afraid of talking about solving conflicts, before you have a disagreement. For me pausing and taking some time to myself after a disagreement is very important. My boyfriend, on the other hand, likes to talk about things as soon as they arise, which doesn’t work for me. We did not talk about our conflict solving style which caused an issue during our first argument. Now I state why I’m upset, then I take some time to myself to think. After a preset time frame, we come back and talk about it. This is what works for us, but you have to talk to your future partner to figure out what will work for the two of you.
INTIMACY & PHYSICAL AFFECTION
Feeling safe with someone is super important. Talking about intimacy can help you to get to know someone on a different level. You know how it is in the movies. It’s the end of the first date, they are on the stairs and he goes in for a kiss and they bump heads. Super Awkward. Talk about your expectations. If you like public displays of affection let them know. Some people are not into making out in public, but they are ok with holding hands and a simple kiss on the lips. Also, talk about sexual expectations. Everybody has different wants and needs. If you are not into sexting and explicit pictures popping up in your inbox, make it known that is not what you are in to. Don’t wait until the situation happens and you now began to look at that individual in a different light. You may have a time frame set up before you even thinking about sex or want to practice abstinence before marriage. Talk about it. Remember I said time is the most valuable thing you have. You don’t want to date someone and they can’t handle that pressure.
Dating is the time you take to get to know someone. Ask questions early so you can get a snapshot of the person you are out with. Remember people change daily, but most things are concrete. These are just some starter conversations to help give you something to think about. Make sure whoever you are dating respects you, your time, and wants similar things.