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  • Davina Tiwari

5 Dating To-Dos


A woman getting a piggy back from her partner and they're smiling at the camera with a beach scene in the background.
Photo by Hoàng Chương on Pexels

***Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical, legal, or health advice and is not a substitute for mental health services


If you're new to the dating world, have been in it for awhile, or are just getting back into that scene, it can be overwhelming at times. You may be experiencing so many emotions, and feel a little unsure about how to navigate these experiences. This is completely understandable.


While there's no right or wrong way to date, there are some tips and ideas described below that might be helpful as you go through this exciting yet uncertain journey. Consider the suggestions below and you may also have your own ideas to explore - hopefully these strategies have a positive impact on your dating life!


1. Consider your needs and wants


Think about if the personality, mindset, values, beliefs, interests, and goals of the person you are dating are compatible with yours.


For example, do they have a similar approach to you in terms of their outlook on life and how they treat others? Is being of the same religion or faith or cultural background important to you?


Would it matter a great deal if you have different interests or is it ideal for you if you have related interests to bond over? Do you share similar short-term and long-term goals in terms of education, career, family, lifestyle, where you want to live in the future, etc.?


Thinking about your needs and wants and how they mesh with your partner's can help determine if you can envision a long-term relationship together.


2. Take time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings


Reflect on how you feel when you are with them and after a date. Your inner thoughts and feelings could be good indicators about if they are a good fit for you.


Consider:

  • Do you feel emotionally safe? Seen and heard? Validated?

  • Do you feel physically safe with this person?

  • Can you trust them?

  • Do you feel excited to see them - and does this feeling linger long after the date is over?

  • Do you think about them when they aren't with you or if you see or hear about something you know they would like or enjoy?

  • Do they give you a sense that they feel a similar way about you?

These are all good questions to ask yourself in the early stages of dating and beyond.


3. Communicate your feelings


Be open about how you feel. Avoid mind games and assumptions. Check to see that you are both on the same page in terms of the relationship.


If there are differences in terms of the level of commitment or if there is a lack of clarity about how the other person feels about you, then this is something that needs to be spoken about openly.


Get really clear on if you are looking for the same type of relationship early on to hopefully minimize the risk of heartache down the road.


4. Introduce them to loved ones


When you're ready, introduce your partner to the important people in your life to see how they connect. Be open to hearing objective insights from your friends and family. too.


What do your loved ones think about how well your partner fits with who you are as an individual? Do they think your partner complements you? Do they feel your partner treats you well? Are there any red flags that they have noticed? Can they see themselves spending more time with your partner in the future?


And what did they see, hear, or notice that led them to these conclusions?


It's important to keep in mind the objective points from your loved ones - not necessarily points where your partner is being dismissed simply because they are different than what your loved ones are used to or are comfortable with.


Reflect on any objective and factual points to see if this helps you feel more grounded in the relationship - or if there are new perspectives for you to consider.


5. Resolve issues


Talk through challenges together to reach a compromise or mutual decision that considers both of your needs. Are you able to resolve issues in a respectful and considerate way? Or are you left feeling disregarded or that your opinions or needs don't matter or aren't as important as those of your partner?


Working through issues in a mutually beneficial way is important as healthy conflict management allows you to cope with life stressors as your relationship continues to evolve and change over time.


Summary


I hope this list of dating to-dos was helpful for you, whether you are early on in dating or if you have been in a relationship for awhile now. Remember - no two relationships are exactly alike but these suggestions can be useful as you try to figure out if your partnership is one that you want to continue to pursue now and possibly in the future.


Wishing you well on your journey.


Davina Tiwari MSW, RSW, CSFT

Registered Social Worker and Certified Solution Focused Therapist



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