Despite the fact that men and women have been courting each other for thousands of years, dating is a relatively new concept. Prior to early 1900s most singles were connected in the unemotional game of being set up by their parents. Then came the industrial revolution, women’s rights, free love, the internet, and then BAM! For better or for worse, modern dating was born.
Because of this rocket ship of change, today many singles are left asking themselves, “How do the heck do I actually do this?” I know when I first started dating my husband (whom I met online, incidentally) I was caught in this dilemma of trying to keep my traditional values, while at the same time balancing the modern trends staring me square in the face. It wasn’t easy, but I stuck to my guns and remembered that I knew what I wanted and needed to make me happy in a relationship. (And luckily my husband did his part and stayed the course too!)
So if you’re someone who would like to see a little more tradition in your dating life, while at the same time setting yourself up for dating success, here are five tips to help get you going:
Talk, don’t text.
When I first started dating my husband, he got into the habit of texting me as a way to contact me. Texting is a perfectly acceptable way to communicate with someone, but it isn’t always the best way to get to know someone. So what did I do? I simply (and politely) explained to him that if he would like to connect with me he would need to do so over the phone. And guess what? He did just that.
Make plans at least three days in advance.
The question, “What are you doing tonight?” has no place in your dating life. It’s great that someone wants to see you, but good dating practices begin and end with respect. So when someone thinks you’re the type of person that would just come when beckoned, clearly they are not showing you the respect you deserve. Traditional dating habits like asking someone out days in advance allows for a relationship to move at that traditional, but respectful pace which gives it a fighting chance to succeed.
Your traditional dating wishes have boundaries, but are flexible.
If you want to date more traditionally, then you need to make sure you walk the walk so your date doesn’t get mixed messages. When you go out on dates know what traditional dating elements are important to you and model the behavior you want to see for your date. So if you don’t want your date to take their attention off of you, don’t take out your phone to check your messages.
Also, if you’re someone who wants someone who open doors for you and they fail to do it on the first go around, simply teach them by standing at the door and waiting for them to open it for you next time. I like to say you teach people how to treat you. If you want to be a successful dater, make sure you’re the best teacher you can be.
Stay positive and be nice even if the date isn’t going well.
You know how many bad dates I went on before I met my husband? More than I can count, I assure you. In some cases, I wanted to be out the door before the appetizer arrived, still, one thing I was very conscious of was showing a positive attitude and being nice. If you want success in dating you need to know that these two elements are not only essential, but when practiced regularly become habit forming.
Slow things down to speed things up.
Before our “swipe left/swipe right” dating culture existed, traditional dating was often a much slower and patient process. This slower pace can be super important to the process of trying to get to know someone. This means you slow things down by holding off on having sex until you’re absolutely ready. (That means please throw out that silly three-date rule.) In addition, you avoid jumping into the wrong relationship to quickly by always continuing to date others until you’re in a committed relationship with someone.
And when you are ready to commit to someone that other person isn’t missing any of your non-negotiables. These non-negotiables are the core values you must have in a relationship for it to succeed. That means if even one of them is not met (most people have about 10–15 of them), the relationship will fail every time. They’re that powerful. By knowing your non-negotiables, you’ll begin to date with both your head and your heart, which will virtually guarantee you’ll never choose the wrong person.
Amie is certified as a Master Relationship Coach and published Author. Her mission is to help singles find lasting love by Conscious Dating. Her dedication has led Amie to be named one of LA’s Best Dating Coaches by Dating Advice. Amie has been featured in a variety of media outlets including the CBS Network, Fox 5 News, People Entertainment Weekly Channel, HelloGiggles TV, ATTN:, LiveStrong, and Martha Stewart Weddings. She invites you to grab her free copy of “5 Dating Traps Keeping You Single”.