Putting the zing back into your love life
By Jo Price
Too many rules, sometimes not enough rules! Being single can be great fun but it isn't easy and it’s always nice to read about other people's views on the dating game.
I write because I want to share the general views on being single and dating. This is not a tried and tested formula.
There are definitely more than ten steps and maybe they should be points as all of these will not apply to every individual. The aim here is to provide a few useful tips and hints which will hopefully help someone make the right decision.
Never jump from one relationship to the next.
No matter how tempted you are. You need time reflect on the past relationship and resolve any issues that are likely to affect a new potential partner.
For example a friend of mine who shall remain nameless has never been single. Every relationship that ended a new one would begin within a matter of weeks. That was until recently after nine years of being in four different relationships back to back she finally realised that she would never find her life partner until she truly understood what she was looking for.
For too long she had taken advantage of a convenient opportunity. So now she is free and single and spending some time for the first time focusing on her.
Too often I have heard male and females alike say that the best way to get over a past relationship is to start a new one. I disagree all you are doing is delaying the grieving process and using the new partner as a diversion.
There is a difference between knowing what you want and having unrealistic expectations.
A number of my black male friends have described first dates with some black women as grueling. Now, I know what it is like to feel like you don’t want to waste time with another man who is going to turn out like the last deadbeat, so we get to the nitty-gritty and fast.
However, if it’s real love that you are looking for why should how much a guy makes a year make any difference at this stage?
All that happens is that you give off the impression that you are a gold-digger. Ask questions that truly matter, find out what the person values are, where they see themselves in the next five years. Find out something that will you bring you closer to knowing them.
Ok, so you have been single for a while and for the umpteenth time you have been asked out by someone who really isn’t your type. Some people would argue that you should just go for it – it’s not like anyone else is asking!
I would advise against it. Successful dating means setting realistic match criteria. The person may be funny and might able to hold a decent conversation but so can your best friend. If you date someone that you are not really interested in, it will end in tears for both parties.
There was a guy who really adored a girl. This girl on the over hand felt that he was sweet but he would never get her knees to tremble as she just did not like him like that – he was not her type.
He was persistent and finally got her out on a date. They dated for a while but then she began cheating on him. This was out of character for her so she ended it because she hated the fact that she had turned into a person she didn’t even like.
He was devastated and so was she. A potentially good friendship ruined. Successful dating means dating the right person for you. Trust your instincts.
Be Patient: This is while you’re on the look out for your next romantic encounter and while you are dating. Think of it this way; while you are single focus on the things that you neglected when you were in a relationship.
I know it sounds strange, but for me my first few weeks of being single I cherished the time I had to pamper myself. Taking the time to get my toes done, a facial, took a girly holiday.
Don’t rush things once you have started dating. I dated a guy once (who shall definitely remain nameless!) who wanted me all to himself within the first month. Said he loved me in the first two weeks and resented any time that I spent away from him.
Obviously that didn’t last. However it could have if he had taken things easy. By being too pushy all you are doing is spoiling a perfectly good opportunity to be happy with someone.
Everyone has individual tempos. If you find yourself with someone who is at a slightly different pace to you, adjust yours, as by forcing them to change theirs you run the risk of pushing them way.
Keep things simple and fun! The key thing is to laugh and to get to know your date in a relaxed environment. Slowly introduce them to the things that you enjoy doing and things should naturally progress. Keep the vibe upbeat.
Yes, your last partner may have been a no good cheating son/daughter of a gun but is it really fair to lay that on the new person?
Being honest is essential but been too honest too soon and you will deter your potential partner I assure you.
Enjoy dating for what it is - dating. It is meeting people and socialising and spending time in the company of stimulating individuals.
This may be little controversial and in my opinion should really be step one. Look in the mirror and judge yourself honestly. If you are dissatisfied with what you see, how on earth do you expect to impress the right person?
Step it up, get your act together. Begin a regime of looking your best. Join a gym, read health magazines, get fit and start a diet. Get your hair cut or styled and begin a new regime of good grooming or beauty treatment. Though it will not find you a date in itself, you will feel a million times more confident about yourself and confidence radiates beauty.
This is a step which will depend entirely on your values and what your long term goals are when dating. I would argue that be you male or female, never ever make yourself too available in the early stages.
People like mystery and the thrill of the chase when dating. In keeping with this do not sleep with your dates early on if you want them to progress, keep sex until later.
The longer a person is made to chase and fall for you within reason, the more likely that love may blossom. Peak too early and you have little left to offer and emotions may never have had the time to develop.
Find new interest then work out in advance where in your area you are likely to meet people and join gyms, drama/dance groups, anything where you are likely to meet potential partners. The kind of partners you are looking for.
Bars and clubs are good but if you are on the look out try and say sober as Mrs. Perfect by night may turn out to be an extra from the Adams Family by day!
Choose environments that you can feel natural in so that if you do meet someone they will get a true picture of you. I know it’s a cliché but you will not meet people by staying at home in front of the TV.
The Internet is fast becoming one of the best and most accepted ways to meet people.
They call it online dating, but it should really be called online meeting, since you don't actually date until you physically get together. It is, however, a vast pot of interesting people and opportunities.
There are ways to meet people online safely and with great success! Don't rule out any method or avenue, and try them all: speed date, people at the gym, through friends, or online - even family set ups. Do it all!
Be happy within yourself. If you are truly at peace real love will find you.
Jo Price will be writing regular features on dating and relationship for The New Black.
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