Note: As published in this month’s (April 2012) issue of Total Fitness Magazine. Grab a copy today!
Dating is a tricky business. Yes, it can be fun – which can also translate into a lot of calories ingested in the process, so remember to keep the fork off that chocolate lava pie, dinner date after dinner date – but for some people, it can also be the single source of epic frustration that can potentially render the heart scarred for a long period of time.
There are those who are blessed with excellent gene pool and seem to have a natural knack with charming men and women off their socks with a mere smile or fluttering of the eyelids; there are those who evoke the same response with smart quips and perfectly-timed compliments and punch line; and then there are those whose dating life seems to be a never ending reel of horror and disaster films. Whichever category you fall under, remember that dating is an art and a skill and we will all have our share of bad eggs – but with a little work, our dating life can easily undergo an upgrade.
Try these tips and see how your dating life eventually takes on a more positive spin.
1. Give yourself a makeover. Dating is as much about you as it is about the other party. You cannot demand for good looks, social graces, witty repartee, and all that jazz if you yourself are not willing to make an effort. It doesn’t mean you have to alter yourself and become someone unrecognizable, but at least work on your flaws and don’t fall into this trap of ‘what you see is what you get’ claptrap because believe me, doll, if he sees a lot of bad things, the last thing you would see is his back as he runs away from you – fast.
2. Open yourself to possibilities, date outside your usual type. Did you ever stop to think that perhaps one of the reasons why your dating life always has the same bad ending is because you are stuck with the same type all the time? Monotony breeds dissatisfaction which, in turn, can open up to a whole tub of worms. So shake it up, invite the world to see your versatility, and claim exctement as your middle name.
3. Take your time, take it slow. Remember, it is ONLY dating for now so don’t go jumping the gun and planning your wedding just as they are serving dessert. The purpose of dating is to open yourself up to a great deal of wondrous possibilities of friendship, which can potebtially blossom into love, and perhaps later on, a lasting commitment. These things take time to grow, just as you, as an adult need time to grow up.
4. Get mentored. Let’s face it, we’re not all blessed with an active flirting gene and sometimes, we do tend to get signals all mixed up. In dating, body language is important. We may be saying something verbally but our body language is screaming something else altogether. Enlist the help of a friend or acquaintance whom you know has a berth of dating experience and knowledge under his/her belt. At the beginning, it will seem unnatural but after a few dates, you will find your own style and revel in it.
5. Be sincerely curious about people. Dating is an exercise in getting to know the other person, and for this reason it’s important that you’re able to communicate your interest. Sometimes two people are just right for each other, but they never get to realize it because both are holding back or too focused on themselves to show true interest in their mate. Try not to hog the limelight too much. Ask him/her questions; be curious about the person sitting in front of you. Disclose a little about yourself, something that can pique and intrigue your date. Sometimes even if a date doesn’t lead to romance, the good conversation can be worth the evening’s entertainment. At least this way, if you two don’t work out you could gain a friend for life.
And lastly, be the person you yourself would want to date. Show the world that you are worthy of being loved and cared for. Even if it’s casual for now, don’t make it a habit to casually sleep with every single man or woman you go out with. Think of the damage this can do to your self-esteem both in the short and long term. If your ultimate goal is to have a nurturing relationship, by all means have fun but don’t sacrifice your values for it.