You may have a prepared plan as to what you want out of the person you date, but make sure you’re focused on the right things.
“So many of my clients shoot people down before they ever have a chance to meet because of their ‘requirements’ for a new partner,” says McNeil. “Not every woman has to be a perfect size two in order to be a fit.” Instead, make a list of must-haves based on what a potential new person values – “their character, their ability to take personal responsibility for their behaviors, and sense of genuine concern for their needs,” continues McNeil. “Then you are more likely to find someone who is actually a good long-term fit.”
“The common denominator in all your relationships is you,” says McNeil. “If you feel you give more than you receive in relationships and they often leave you feeling disappointed, frustrated, victimized or resentful, you may have difficulties setting healthy boundaries in relationships.”
If you find yourself feeling that no matter how hard you try, nothing you ever do is good enough, or you catch yourself walking on eggshells out of fear about how your partner will respond to you, it’s time to do some work on yourself.
15. Evaluate Your Beliefs About Dating
Your beliefs about the dating landscape you’re in can impact whether or not you’ll be successful. Meaning, if your internal monologue consists of feeling like women never notice you, that you have to be a bodybuilder in order to get any attention or that all the good ones are taken, it’s time to challenge that thought process.
“Our beliefs create our reality, so really examine what thoughts you think on a regular basis about dating,” says relationship expert Kat Trimarco. “What if these beliefs weren’t true? As you choose different thoughts that are more in alignment with what you want to experience, these new thoughts over time become your beliefs and shape the new experiences you’ll have. Your willingness to see things differently will open up doors to meeting new people.”
16. Have a First Date Plan
When you’re going on a first date with someone you barely know, it can be tempting to leave the date up to chance. As Aaron explains, taking initiative to thoughtfully plan out a first date can really work to your advantage.
“Having planned for the date shows forethought; it signals to your date that she or he is important and worthy of your time,” he says. “Pre-planning also shows leadership, a fine strength to demonstrate. Share the plan as a way of keeping your date informed of what will happen, but also to get agreement that the plan will be pleasing to them.”
17. Incorporate an Activity Into Your Next Date
If firing questions back and forth at a bar on first dates isn’t getting you anywhere, Aaron suggests planning a date that focuses on an activity both of you enjoy.
“A date that incorporates a physical element adds a source of conversation,” says Aaron. “Taking a walk, riding bikes, going bowling, exploring a location, dancing, and climbing stairs to see a beautiful view are all examples.”
18. Listen More Than Talk on Your First Few Dates
“I often tell my clients that the people you date will generally tell you who they are within the first few dates,” says McNeil. “Allow yourself to have potentially uncomfortable silences without rushing to fill the void. Let the other person share the responsibility of creating a space that feels mutually acceptable, and see if the other person is aware of your needs during conversations.”