This is the conundrum of the singleton looking for a partner; not those who are comfortably solo. It was certainly my dilemma. For the longest time, I would take every suitor at face value. If you pursued me, with enough vigour, then clearly you were a potential lifetime mate. Right? Wrong!
For those of you who’ve been following me, you will know that my biggest message is to be at peace with wherever you are in life. But since we’re social beings and look for companionship, here are 3 simple tips that will hopefully help you navigate the minefield of dating. This is strictly for those looking for long-term commitment; those wanting to have fun, well, you don’t have a problem.
(1) There’s no rush
We’ve lost the art of connecting. Take time to get to know someone, without any expectations. Have a genuine interest in their lives, families, their aspirations and hopes and dreams. Have long conversations with no agenda. Even if it doesn’t work out romantically, you will have gained a friend and possibly a network of new friends. A small disclaimer, this is usually best before you take your clothes off.
(2) Make your intentions clear
Not necessarily at your first encounter. There’s no need to say on date one, “Hi, I’m Ann and I’m looking for marriage, a white picket fence, a girl, a boy and a cat or dog”. This can come a little later, once you’ve established that this is someone with potential. More importantly, your intentions are made clear by not tolerating unacceptable behaviour from the beginning. You meet at a bar and he hits on your girlfriend first. She has her eye on someone else, and so he zones in on you. If you have no intention of being a second option, don’t even entertain it. But if you go ahead, you’ve second guessed yourself. A sure way to lead to issues later.
(3) Go with your gut
If you have any unsettling feelings, this is the Universe sounding an alarm. I’m going to be tough here. Checking someone’s phone or email or stalking them on social media is a sign that you do not respect yourself. It has less to do with the other person. I don’t care if you overheard a conversation with the “PA” that sounds too familiar and you want to do further investigation. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then it is uncomfortable. Run!
‘The one’ will usually appear when you’ve let go of any preconceived notions about relationships. You need to relax, confident in the fact that you are all that you need. And the rest? Well, that’s just the icing on the cake.
These are some tips for those already ‘in the game’ and struggling to read the signs. You know you’re the ‘other’ person or not the only one when:
- You always receive calls from the car… this is a very busy so-and-so. Literally and figuratively.
- Visits are always at your place… you never know where they live and have never been invited. Linked to this; they never sleep over. They’re masters at excuses on this one.
- It’s been 6 months and you’ve never met any friends or family.
- You often get invited on out-of-town trips. They’re fantastic, but if you never see them on weekends and public holidays, in public, in the city of your residence, that’s a red flag.
- Your physical relationship is the glue that keeps you together. You’ll most probably never know their blood type, but you will know their underwear size.
- And, finally, if you’re experiencing most or all the above and regularly get ‘spoilt rotten’, that my friend, is guilt. Otherwise known as an adult pacifier.