Here are the 5 steps for getting more clarity throughout the dating process.
1. Shh! Keep things private
Don’t talk about your dates with too many people. You need a minimum of one person to talk things out with, and ideally no more than three. Too many cooks spoil the broth – and will end up confusing you. These might be a spiritual figure in your life, a parent, a married friend, or a mentor. Sharing things with all your single friends also makes it difficult. They may not have any more clarity than you do! If you talk to too many people about the person you are dating, it becomes very difficult to have clarity because everyone’s voice will be chiming in your head and your own office will drowned out.
2. Get to know strengths and weaknesses
You only truly know a person wel when you can identify the good and the not-so-good about them. Write down five things you like and five things you dislike about the person’ you’re dating – this can help you decide if there is a real potential for a relationship vs infatuation. People who are infatuated can only see the good in the person they are dat- ing. Being able to see the person as a human with faults is a sign that you are genuinely getting to know them.
3. Own your timing
It’s challenging to have clar- ity when too much time passes between dates. It’s also hard to have clarity when the date is very long. My rule of thumb is to go no more than five days between dates, spend no more than 3-4 hours on each date. And commit to yourself that you will give it two or more dates before saying “No”. Of course, there are exceptions to this – if you need to, you can end things after one date. however , by committing to giving it a few dates before deciding whether or not to continue, you won’t have to spend time after every date weighing the decision – yes or no? This means you will be able to relax more on each date and just be in the moment.
4. Spice it up
Try to see the person in different contexts by doing different activities on each of the five dates. It’s easier to have clarity when you see your date in new situations. Whether it’s winning (or losing!) a game and seeing their reaction, exploring a new place together and seeing how adventurous they are, or overcoming a challenge together that is new to both of you, it can help you get to know each other and decide if you can imagine a future with them.
5. Keep physical touch out of the equation
When it comes to clarity, this point is the most beneficial. Touching before marriage.
As soon as touching is involved, your clarity goes out the window. People often ignore red flags because of a physical connection. It’s not a conscious choice; it’s just the way our brains and bodies work. Once physical touch is introduced into a relationship we can’t undo it, and it’s unnecessarily confusing to figure out why you’re staying in a relationship. Is it because of what you value on the inside, or how they make you feel on the outside?
People often stay in failing relationships because of this. You can end up wasting years with the wrong person because chem- istry and infatuation took hold before you were able to realize there was no substance there for a real relationship. With the divorce rate so high, it’s time to look at the way we date and see if there is anything that we can change to make a positive impact on the way we choose a partner. Dating without any physical touching ensures that what you like about the person is who they really are on the inside, greatly reducing the chances of losing your objectivity.
Making the biggest decision of your life is much easier when you know your decision is based on what you value in another. With my clients, I have found that when there is chemistry without physical intimacy, the connection is much stronger. When physical touch is removed, deep intimate conversations are born. If you’ve never tried dating this way, now is a great opportunity to try something new.
May these ideas maximize levelheadedness and minimize confusion in the dating process.