You’ve met the man of your dreams. Congratulations!! Now you’re officially dating him and would like to know some tips to keep the dating ship afloat. No worries, we got you covered. First off, there’s no one-fits-all formula for a long term relationship. What works for me may likely not work for you. However, there are some basic tips to keep in mind while dating someone. These dating tips should be used in addition to things you already know that work quite well in your relationship. With that in mind, here are some dating tips for you:
1. Be authentic
A relationship built on lies and pretense cannot stand. Being authentic is one of the foundations of a healthy relationship. Right from the first date before the relationship goes further, be yourself. Pretending to be someone you’re not can be mentally & physically exhausting. Let’s say you pretend right from the first date, and he ends up dating you for years or even getting married, how long will you continue to act like someone you’re not?
Your values, personality, and all your uniqueness should not be hidden just so you can impress him. When you show him your true self, you are giving him a chance to appreciate who you really are rather than who he thinks you are. But if you pretend to be someone you’re not, you may hurt him and ultimately lose him. Be
2. Be on time
This is not only a dating tip but an essential life tip. The way you don’t like being made to wait for hours is exactly the way someone else feels each time you show up late for dates and appointments. In the early days of dating, you may want to spend extra time dressing up and looking good. Do that while being time conscious. Plan ahead and add a few minutes for possible emergencies such as wardrobe malfunction, traffic, etc. If you end up running late due to other emergencies, call ahead and inform him. Being late without prior notice makes you look inconsiderate and come off as someone who does not value his time or yours either.
3. Pay attention
During the early months of the relationship, being fascinated with almost everything your partner does or says comes naturally. You want to know more about his habits, hobbies, likes, etc. But over time after you have found out these things, your fascination may decrease. At this point, you must resist the urge to stop paying attention. People change over time and with each change comes new habits, preferences, interests, etc. His preferences last year might most likely not be the same this year. What better way can you find out these things than by paying attention and having real conversations with him? Pay attention. Put aside your phones and other distractions and discuss anything at all. Be fully engaged and don’t reply with just a word. Get to know him each day.
Paying attention helps you understand his needs and adjust accordingly to do little things that make him feel loved. This could be as little as getting him the latest book from his favorite author or doing something really important to him. By paying attention you also get to know when he’s worried, upset, or stressed even if he doesn’t say a word. This dating tip improves intimacy.
4. Relationship or Fling?
After some time, it is important to find out if he sees you as a fling or as a relationship. You can find out through his actions and behaviors or by simply asking him directly. If you are not in any of his future plans, only calls you up for sex, haven’t introduced you to anyone in his life, or refuses to commit to future plans, chances are that you’re a fling. Find out where you stand in his life.
5. Know his deal-breaker and tell him yours
Before things get too serious, know his deal-breakers and tell him yours. Deal-breakers are limits or boundaries which matter to each of you and should not be crossed. They are expectations or particular traits that cannot be overlooked. Some people’s deal breakers could be no cheating or lying, while to others it could be not to date someone that does not want kids, someone that smokes, or someone that is not willing to explore adventurous sex. Discuss your boundaries and his, and know where each of you draws the line.
Communication is one of the pillars of a healthy relationship. It comes in two ways: talking and listening. Rather than allowing resentments to build up, talk about your feelings; whether you’re hurt, upset, or moody. Assuming your partner knows why you’re sad or upset when in fact he may not know, only creates distance and breeds resentments which might break your relationship.
Express your feelings clearly without throwing blames or negative words around. Saying “You hurt me when you did this”, “I’m sorry I snapped at you. I’m just having a bad day” “You seem upset. Is there something wrong?”, can save you lots of headaches and emotional baggage. As you talk, also listen to him. Don’t listen to quickly counter. Listen to understand before you reply. You may not always agree on every issue but talking about it and listening will help you release pent-up emotions which may cause issues in the future.
Also, communication applies to positive emotions. You love him, tell him. You miss him, tell him. Send him a random text or call him to let him know you’re thinking about him. You appreciate something he does for you, tell him. You may not know how much hearing this might mean to him. Talking about your feelings helps you acknowledge those feelings, free up your emotions, and deepen your connection with your partner.
7. Take Action
When words, apologies, promises, and intentions match actions, you create trust. This is because your partner can count on you doing exactly what you say or promise. When you promise a thousand times to work on an attitude or habit that keeps causing issues but you barely make any effort towards it, you take away some of the confidence he has in you. You tell him you love him a million times but your actions demonstrate the opposite, the trust goes down a bit. You apologize for a mistake you made and promise not to do it again, but you never follow through, the trust goes down further.
When next you make a promise, do you think he will believe you?. That’s the power of actions. Always follow through on your promises and words. This not only builds trust, but also reflects your integrity and the value you place on your partner.
8. Get to know the people in his life
When he introduces you to people in his life such as his friends, family, or even co-workers, keep an open mind and get to know them. The fact that he introduced you to them means that he’s serious about you.
Also, his friends and family are people he spends most of his time with when he’s not with you, and getting to know them can help you know more about his lifestyle, hobbies, values, or a part of him you haven’t seen before. If you have introduced him to your friends and he hasn’t reciprocated, you can talk to him about it and let him know you would like to meet them. If he doesn’t agree right away, don’t stress it. Maybe he has gone through a bad experience introducing his exes to his friends. Give him some time, and find out if his reasons are valid or not.
9. Be present
Be emotionally and physically present. No matter how busy you are, try to spend time with your partner not just over the phone, but physically as well as emotionally. Make out time for dates, provide support when he needs someone to talk to, accept his support when he offers it, express emotions, and recognize his own too. Show affection, show interest in what he says, don’t hold back. If at any point you find yourself getting detached in your relationship, understanding what caused it can help you resolve it.
10. Remember important dates & plans
Don’t miss out on birthdays, anniversaries, or celebrating his successes and other milestones. Forgetting important dates once may not be a big deal to him but when your forgetfulness becomes a habit, it could reflect how low you place him and your relationship on your priority list.
Mutual tolerance is another essential dating tip. No one is perfect. We all have habits, strengths, weaknesses, and personalities that make us different from others. Accepting these differences and flaws helps you understand that nobody, including your partner, is perfect. He will make mistakes and do things that may hurt or annoy you, but tolerance will help you accommodate his flaws. Tolerance does not mean agreeing to everything he says or accepting abuse, irresponsibility, or other serious issues. Learn to differentiate between things that matter and things that do not. Talk to him about his habits you have issues with, listen to his view, and decide if what you see as an issue is really one. So when next you’re fuming over his snores or loud chewing, ask yourself if you are ready to break up with the man of your dreams over his snores.
12. Know his love language
In Dr. Chapman‘s book “The five languages of love“, he talked about how everyone has a love language that works for them. Know your partner’s primary and secondary love language and express your love to him in that language. This will make him feel loved and valued by you. To know more about how to identify your partner’s love language, see this Understanding The 5 Languages of Love (Simplified For You).
13. Spice up your sex life
This dating tip is one you most likely know already. Sexual satisfaction goes both ways. Just as you expect him to satisfy you sexually, you have to put in work too to pleasure him. Find out what satisfies him and deliver it. Be adventurous. Try out new positions and scenarios. Buy sexy lingerie. Take your sexual experiences out of the bedroom to the shower, the car, and other places. Explore your sexual boundaries and know what works.
14. Zero abuse tolerance
This is one dating tip you should never joke with. If you experience any abuse in your relationship, please leave or get help. Maybe you’re hoping he will change or you even blame yourself but you need to understand that you are not responsible for your partner’s abusive behavior. You deserve to be safe and happy, and there are people who are willing to help you. Talk to friends, family, or support groups who can help you.
On your own part too, do not abuse your partner. Abuse of any kind; whether verbal, emotional, or physical should neither be inflicted nor endured. It can come in different ways. Constantly throwing harmful objects at him and injuring him when you’re upset, is abuse. Insulting him or putting him down and making him feel less is abuse. If you find yourself unable to stop doing this, please seek professional help.
15. Resolve petty fights before they fester
Petty fights and misunderstanding can build up over time and cause big issues when they remain unresolved. It could be something as small as laundry disagreements or forgetting to turn the lights off. During fights, resist the urge to say things you don’t mean just to hurt your partner. Learn to address issues and misunderstandings, accept responsibility when you’re wrong and apologize.
16. Don’t nag
Nagging has more to do with the feeling of being unheard in a relationship than the issue you are nagging about. When you ask for something and get no response, resist the urge to nag him. Nagging can increase feelings of irritation and anger which is unhealthy for your relationship. Change the way you talk to him about things you want him to do and also let him know how you feel when he ignores you. This will yield better results than nagging
17. Let go of past hurts
Hurts and wounds from your past relationships, childhood trauma, etc can affect your current relationship if left unchecked. Most times, lack of trust, fear of commitment, and some other issues all come from your past experiences which you haven’t let go. Old wounds not only affect the way you view the world and your relationship but also affects your behavior. Don’t allow the hurts of the past to steal the joys of today. Make a conscious effort to let them go and seek help if necessary.