After two marathon relationships from 16 until 31 years old with some dating in between, I have found myself open to the possibilities of meeting people with a new type of excitement that I’ve never felt before. This is because the fear has lifted. It’s not an issue anymore if my date will or will not like me—frankly it’s no longer of consequence. When I commit to showing up, it’s because within our time spent together, it’s an agreement we both have made to see if there is a mutual spark. At the very least, it allows the both of us to learn something from each other even if in fact it will also be the last time. We owe each other nothing and if it’s meant to proceed forward naturally it will and if not, it will simply fall away. It’s the personal freedom of approaching life itself with ease; in all aspects that make or break the daily experiences worth living. Although conversations regarding feelings can bring up uncomfortable pauses, a loss for words, and at times be too revealing, it’s actually better to share this moment of authenticity—for better or for worse. Here is why.
1.) Whether you are embarking on your first date or 10th, there is a reason why both of you have accepted the possibility of getting to know each other. Why not make the time worthwhile and enjoyable together? By being more at ease, your date will be too and this could lead to richer conversation, flirtation, and outright fun and laughter.
2.) If you are not feeling it, be gentle but firm. Instead of making it seem like he/she did something wrong or you’re simply not into them, remember that they have the right to be treated with dignity and respect just as you would like to be treated too. By being honest, you are allowing both you and your date to move on to find a better match.
3.) Don’t take anything personally. Really, don’t. Everyone has certain ideals, standards, and expectations that they place on themselves and on others. If someone off the bat interrogates you or expects you to be someone that they want you to be, don’t take it as a sign that you’re not good enough. Rather it’s merely someone projecting an altered state of reality onto you or simply trying to cut to the chase. Evaluate the situation and decide whether or not it’s time to walk away sooner rather than later.
4.) When someone decides that you are not a good fit for them, again, don’t take it personally. There is someone who is awaiting them just as there is someone else who is awaiting you. There is no need for chasing, convincing, pleading, and devaluing yourself—especially giving your power away to a complete stranger.
5.) If you truly have interest in the person that you’re seeing and both his/her actions and words also match up with yours, allow your time together to further open up naturally instead of forcing it. Respond to calls/texts promptly or when you become available and continue to get to know each through conversation when you’re not in each other’s physical proximity.
6.) Honor what feels right and don’t feel that you must do something or say something that goes against your values, morals, and integrity simply to please another person. If you are ready to open up in whatever context that it may be, do so with ease. But if it feels forced, the insincerity within yourself and towards another will only lead to confusion and possible hurt.
7.) There is a first time for everything; a date, a car or subway ride together, going to the park, dining out in a restaurant, holding hands, being intimate, and sharing personal information. The beauty of getting to know someone and them going to know you is that you’re both putting yourselves out there and you’re experiencing it together—the playing field is level.
8.) If you like them, then just tell them. It’s better to be upfront and honest rather than to play coy and aloof. Chances are if you’ve been spending time together and in regular contact within the first few weeks of dating, they will reciprocate the sentiment. And if in fact, it’s quite the opposite that one of you or perhaps both does not have such feelings, get out of the grey area and into the light of clarity. Why stay in the dark?