Mindy Fox, one of the relationship experts at YourTango, offers the following tips for singles who want to be smarter while dating. She says, “if you’re looking for a few tried-and-true dating tips that actually work, I sincerely recommend you give these tips some thought.”
1.) Meet in public on a first date and keep it short.
We all know meeting someone for the first time should be done in a public place for safety purposes, but I love Fox’s idea to set a time limit for your first date. She suggests going to a coffee shop on a first date, which is a popular idea for good reason. Coffee dates don’t last that long, and it’s easy to keep things light (read: not physical) since chances are you’ll be meeting during the day. More than one woman has set out on 100 coffee dates to find true love …
2.) Listen to your gut.
Fox says, “Is he/she being honest? Does he/she seem authentic? You want to go into the date from the viewpoint of analyzing the situation with a critical eye. Physical chemistry isn’t everything and besides, the novelty will always wear off over time.”
3.) Don’t ignore red flags!
This seems like an old-fashioned notion at this point, but I think Fox is onto something when she says, “If your date can’t get past a few dates without being impolite or inappropriately sexual, it’s time to sever the cord and move on.” Don’t overlook bad behavior! If someone behaves badly early on, things will only get worse once you’ve been together for a while.
4.) Spend three to six months getting to know your date.
Fox says “it takes three to six months of dating (with a date at least once per week), to determine if someone is right for you. Resist the urge to decide that this person is the perfect match for you, because you can only really get to know someone over time …. So, no matter how intensely you feel, remind yourself: ‘I am just getting to know this person enough so I can find out if I want to take it further.'”
This can be very difficult to do, especially if you’re really yearning for love, but this advice is super sound. Slow and steady wins the race! And fast and dramatic will always head you for a crash.
5.) Talk to someone who can give you an objective perspective.
Fox suggests that while talking to friends about your dating life is great, talking to a therapist is even better. “A therapist can help you stay objective, avoid making cloudy decisions and can help point out your blind spots. Having an objective ear can really make a great difference between making smart decisions versus impulsive ones,” she says.
6.) Know your pitfalls.
Fox says, “Know yourself. If you get overly attached after you have sex, it’s smart to wait.” Ummmm, yeah. I think this is a huge pitfall for both men and women, but women especially. We tend to think that sex is no big deal, until after we have it, and the oxytocin release that happens as a natural part of sex gets you hooked to the love drug whether you wanted it to or not.
If all you’ve ever done is jumped in head first while dating, you know what it’s like to get your heart broken. Fox’s tips are meant to help you find your ideal partner faster with minimal heartbreak along the way. She says, “Dating is about getting to know new people, then breaking up and repeating this process until you meet your true match. Try not to spend too much time with the wrong person. The more time you spend with the wrong person, the more attached you’ll get and the more hurt you’ll be when the relationship ends.”