If there is one topic women seem to love talking about, it’s men, and it’s dating. I’m not saying women don’t talk about hundreds of other intellectually simulating topics, but the one we keep going back to is men.
Having been single a lot of years, there are some insider secrets I have learnt. I have been fortunate to have been coached by Married At First Sight’s resident psychologist John Aiken who has taught me much of what I know now. Here are some of my insights;
Know what you want;
We generally know where we are at in our lives in terms of what sort of relationship we are looking for. Whether it is a casual fling, a friend, or a relationship you want, know in your heart of hearts where are you are at and what you are ready for before you step into the dating arena. If you have an on-line profile, select the settings that truly reflect what you are looking for, and when you go on a date make your intentions clear.
Everyone reveals themselves early; On the first 2 dates or so with someone new, we are all putting our best selves first. But this is where if the right questions are asked, you can see some of what and who a person really is. Low self-esteem, addiction issues, challenges with ex-partners, difficult children and financial problems are often obvious on those dates if you know what to look for and what questions to ask.
Ask and you shall receive. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions and speak your mind early. If you want a child or to get married, say it up front. If you are ambitious, put it on the table. Want to see the world? Say it. Your primary wants and needs are unlikely to change so you might as well find out what your prospective partner thinks before you enter into anything with them. This flies in the face of much dating advice that says “hold back, don’t be too full-on too soon” but to me, that is delaying the inevitable, and why waste time?
Don’t jump into bed too soon. Once you are naked with someone, the dynamics change. Seratonin, oxytocin and dopamine kick in, and if a woman is having orgasms with her new guy, levels of these hormones can soar, and she may not think clearly for some months. This means whilst you may be having great sex, you can easily date someone completely wrong for you in terms of a relationship and not realise for a long time.
Don’t wait too long to jump into bed. I know that might sound like a contradiction to point 4, but if you wait too long, the initial attraction can wane and you may never get it back and sit forever in the friend zone. I have had this happen multiple times.
Don’t change for someone else. Women are often guilty of trying to become more like the person they are dating. I witnessed this when I did triathlon. Muscly triathlete guys would meet beautiful girls who would try and get into the sport – and it just wasn’t for them. Differences are what can bring people together and create admiration, interest and respect. You need some commonalities and shared values but you don’t have to be joined at the hip. In fact, that dynamic is unhealthy.
If you are uncertain, take time out; The early days of dating can be exciting, fun and confusing. Feeling uncertainty at times is a natural part of the process. When you do, the best thing to do is take time out to be alone and sit with your feelings. Ask yourself what you are feeling, then why you are feeling that way. The right outcome will become clear in time.
Renae Leith-Manos travels the world writing (www.renaesworld.com.au). She has had a colourful media career as a journalist in many magazines and newspapers, and spends her time writing, consulting to new businesses, running, doing yoga, swimming & cycling.
She's likes healthy eating, but thinks chocolate cake is just as important as kale chips.
She spends most weekends hanging out with her gorgeous twins.