Dating is a topic that can be draining for some to hear or exciting if they have finally found the one. For some women and men they may feel unprepared to date or discover themselves struggling in particular areas if already dating. Do I appear to be describing you, or is the topic of dating just weighing on your mind lately? If so, you're going to want to continue reading this post. With so many factors to consider one must also remember the importance of staying focused on the goals when deciding to date.
This blog post was created in collaboration with Tim Behling who is the founder of SUCCESSTEAM. SUCCESSTEAM is an organization whose sole purpose is to build and develop within our aspiring generation by providing a platform of support on route to accomplishing dreams and goals. (Be sure to click the link to learn more).Tim and I are sharing our perspectives on this topic outlining vital steps to consider as you look for potential partners and provide several key concepts to stay goal driven.
Katrina Leggins, Mental Health Therapist
Phase One | Building a Personal Foundation Before Meeting a Potential Partner
The moment you decide to put yourself out there in the dating scene should also be the same moment you ask yourself an important question, "Am I emotionally prepared to add another person into my life right now?" How you think and feel about yourself speaks volume. You don't want to bring any extra baggage when you're already aware of the struggle it's been for you dealing with it alone. Instead, use the time to reevaluate the areas that need improvement. Make sure you take all the time you need to heal spiritually, emotionally, and physically. If not completely prepared, do not feel forced to make this commitment. You want to make sure you stay goal-driven as you transition through this process. It's also equally important to ensure you set the right (realistic) expectations and create boundaries for potential partners. Ultimately, how you see yourself is what you attract in others to see. A high level of self-love and appreciation helps to embrace who you are as a person; flaws and all. This also helps avoid placing too much pressure on you when small mistakes are made. You must leave room for error, understanding there are things we can't control, but can learn how to rationalize and grow from them. When it comes to attracting potential partners, you don't want to find yourself in a co-dependent state. Taking time to work on your inner self will aid in avoiding this issue as well. Building a personal foundation will help to create a balance and keep you focused as you go through the process of dating.
Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Commitment to Date a Potential Partner
1. What am I unwilling to accept from another person?
2. Have I healed from my past trauma?
3. What exactly am I looking for in a relationship?
4. Am I still dealing with my Ex (emotionally and physically)?
5. Am I ready to share my space?
Phase Two | Understanding the Importance of Effective Communication on the First Date
Once you have taken the time to work on yourself inside and out, you are now ready to move to the next phase. Let's just say you have decided to put yourself out there and have met one, or maybe two possible partners. What's next? Well, at this point it's all about getting to know one another, and the best way to do that is by communicating. Communication is crucial as we all have heard before, which is an accurate statement. Getting to know a person requires time and needs to be intentional. This needs to be through face-to-face contact, talking on the phone, e-mailing, text messaging, etc. (you get the point here). Keep in mind that you don’t want to limit how you communicate, you can’t solely get to know someone through text messaging. As you communicate often, you will start to see the commitment and interest level of the other person. What you discuss should hold substance. It's a great idea to ask questions related to what you are looking for in a potential mate while being honest and respectful. This is the time when you state what your expectations are so the other person doesn't get the wrong impression. The first conversation, in theory, needs to be focused on what personal goals you've set and should ideally be an equal exchange of information from the other person.
Five Important Questions to Ask When You Initially Meet a Potential Partner
1. What are your beliefs, expectations for dating (marriage), and life goals?
2. Do you have children or want children in the future?
3. What was your upbringing (past life) like, what are the relationships like within your family?
4. What led to your singleness, what occurred within your previous relationships?
5. What do you like to do for fun or what type of things make you happy?
Phase Three | Staying on Track With Your Goals While Being Attentive to Each Others Needs
As you step into the dating scene and find yourself actively pursuing (or being pursued by) someone else, it should not become a distraction to the goals you've already committed to. This is where balance should come into play and also having support in what you do. You don't want to find yourself getting so caught up in a relationship and begin to fade away from your purpose. You also don't want to entertain someone who doesn't support your goals. You can have a meaningful relationship while living in your purpose, but it's a decision you have to make sure you are willing to commit to. Meeting the needs of others is a lot of work and with that can come many disagreements and arguments. There will be sacrifices you have to make especially if the person you are talking to begins to move in a stronger direction.
Five Areas That are Important to Maintain While Dating a Potential Partner
1. Pay attention to your partner's needs and support each other's goals.
2. Create a schedule so you both can spend adequate time with each other.
3. Be honest about your feelings
4. Communicate daily
5. Have fun, laugh, and always stay true to yourself!
Tim Behling, Founder of SUCCESSTEAM
Part One | Building Dateable Credibility
Before dating or pursuing a partner and making yourself available to be pursued, one must ask the question, "Am I even datable?" Or, "Will I add value to the type of individual that I'm looking to date?" This answer, realistically, will aid in the accomplishment of the first step to dating while staying goal driven and that is to focus on your self-development before anything. You must build your credibility to be considered datable by your type. Too often, individuals allow themselves to partake in foreshadowed disasters of relationships as they are dating outside of their credibility. This could mean they are dating outside of what they truly need in their life, just to have a relationship, or they have not pushed themselves within the realm of personal accomplishments to be pursued by the type of partner they deserve. In simpler terms, life will not allow you to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right until you are Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Three Ways to Build Credibility and Bring Value to A Relationship
1. Build Your Professional Resume' – Acquire the skills and abilities to secure employment, participate in community service, and build a solid network of like-minded colleagues.
2. Outline Your Dreams and Goals – If one can successfully communicate what their dreams and goals are to their potential partner then one can also discover how to connect with their partner.
3. Build A Financial Foundation –Being able to build an impressive line of credit, have a solid savings account, and a reduced amount of debt and bills allows your partner to feel at ease when it comes to questioning your financial maturity.
Part Two | The Talking Stage: The Purpose and Benefit of Meaningful Conversation
The "talking" stage, over the transition from one generation to another, has suffered a major facelift as currently, we have misinterpreted it as being general conversations instead of focused conversations. Yes, we do need to partake in conversations regarding our favorites and how we feel about the last episode of Power; but this is also the time to discuss the outline of each other's dreams, goals, pet peeves, and core beliefs, as well as where you both stand with some of the most controversial subjects and issues that impact our daily lives. The "talking" stage deciphers between whether or not the individual you're interested in can be the individual you can give your heart to. The objective must be the pursuit of real, in-depth conversations.
Three Topics to Discuss During the Talking Stage
1. Current Goals, Aspirations, Dreams, and Accomplishments – Take time to highlight your high points while listening to theirs. Remember, you're selling yourself; it's marketing at its purest. You need to position yourself as the best candidate in their eye view.
2. Beliefs – Touchy subjects are often avoided in the mist of initial conversations, but how else will you know if an individual is worth your time? By avoiding subjects such as religion, politics, sexual preferences, financial status, parental status, and the overall outlook on life; we leave ourselves open to falling for the exterior of a person but rather who they are.
3. Past History – Once we know what someone has been through, we can understand what not to take them through and what they will not allow. By discussing this early and often, you will find yourself coming to know that person quicker than expected while also deciding whether or not their baggage is light enough for you to handle.
Part Three | TBH: Am I Even Ready For a Relationship?
The most challenging aspect is to align yourself with the commitment to sacrifice for the relationship. Making that shift from single-life to coexistence can be shaky if one has not prepared mentally to do so. You must understand that being in