Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dating 101

Dating can be an exhausting proposition. After ending a very long term relationship I took a foray into the singles scene and was going on anywhere from 1-3 dates a week. I have since decided to take a break from dating and focus on myself. But I learned some things along the way and I would be remiss to not share them.

There are a couple types of dating; serious dating and casual dating. Serious dating is when you intend to find a person to seriously date, and enter a long term relationship. Casual dating, is really just dating for dating's sake - not looking for anything serious. Casual dating is a great way to explore new restaurants, enjoy pleasant company and generally appreciate the company of men with no intentions of commitment. Plus, you can take a tour of all kinds of great restaurants, at zero cost to you. It is important to note, that if you would like a second date, you must engage in the first date kiss. If you refuse the kiss, there will rarely be a second date. Only the most chivalrous or persistent of men will bother spending more time on you. And if at the end of the date, the man says "keep in touch," he has no intention of seeing you again.

Some tips on double booking dates in one night. I recommend an early dinner with the first date, and a later dinner and drinks with the second date. If you time it right, you can try about 4 establishments in one night, 2 establishments per date, one for dinner, one for drinks. This is a great opportunity to check out the scene at different establishments at varying times to see when they are busiest or what age groups of people show up when.

If you are dating with the intent of entering a serious relationship, I would recommend quality over quantity. I think the phrase "its a numbers game" does not mean you have to test out every single person to make sure they are right or not right for you. If there is no chemistry within the first 10-20 minutes of conversing with that person, there probably will not be any chemistry, ever. Plus, its exhausting going on dates with people who you really see as more of a friend than a potential mate.

Do not feel bad if you need to take a sabbatical from dating. Dating yourself can be just as fun. Going out for happy hour, or a classy restaurant alone is a great way to get to know yourself, feel comfortable in your own skin, enjoy great food, and network with like minded people. Strike up small talk with the people next to you, or bring a book to read. I also recommend not over-drinking at the bar or restaurant. In fact you can easily turn 1 drink into 2, with the same amount of alcohol. For example, if you usually order a martini, which generally has 1-2 servings of liquor, you can ask the bartender to use a single shot in two glasses and just add a little extra mix. Or, ask for you drink in a tall glass, single shot, so you can sip longer, with the same amount of alcohol. Or abstain from alcohol altogether and order a soda water with lime - make sure they put it in a drink glass, not a water glass, with the bar straws so no one will know the difference. Or simply order a tea at the bar, which, by the way, is just as relaxing as imbibing liquor, but even better, because there is no hangover or blood sugar upsets.

Dating yourself, and meeting new people can be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend your time. Going out alone, and spending time with good friends is the best way to truly be comfortable with yourself and attract the right partner in the long run. And while you are not trying to meet someone, that just may be when that special person, shows up.

Have any great tips or experiences to share? Please comment!