Before someone “Falls In Love” with you, make them “fall in like” with you first.
Physical chemistry matters on a date (of course), but Matchmakers will tell you this: its NOT the most important predictor of a successful relationship match.
What is? Being with someone who makes you feel good.
But how can you make that happen? Here’s 5 ways:
- All in: everyone wants to feel special, and being totally present & focused on your date makes your date feel important. Put your phone away, forget about work & life stress and do everything you can to make this date the time of your (and their) lives.
- Be interested & interesting: before anything else, listen. Active listening is at the core of good people skills – it also gives you custom made conversation starters: ask questions about the things your date is passionate about. And come prepared with your own funny/interesting stories.
- Do your best to look your best: making an effort to look your best helps you in two ways – it makes you look good (which IS important); but it also sends the message to your date that THEY matter to you. This may not lead directly to Love, but it’ll help them like you – and that’s a great start.
- True to your word: follow up & follow through. Whatever you talk about during your date (going to see a movie or a concert; or going for a hike) – do it. Don’t be that person who promises the world, but never delivers. You wouldn’t want a friend like that, so why would you want a relationship partner like that?
- Proactive, positive, energetic: I get it, life & work stress can bring you down. But beware the dating vicious cycle – you are low energy/unhappy on your date – which leads to a bad date – which makes you feel even worse – which leads to more bad dates. Take care of yourself, take a deep breath and bring a proactive, positive and energetic spirit to each and every date. In this world of ours, life (and Love) comes to those who seize it.
Relationships are like snowflakes: every one is different. That means you too.
But here’s the catch: successful couples almost ALWAYS share two key skills.
Learn them, and your chances of finding (and keeping) your special someone will increase dramatically.
Here’s the 2 key skills, and how you can master them:
- Communication matters: when it comes to communication, you should try to avoid phrases like “You always” or, “You never”, as these can be hurtful. Instead, voice your concerns mindfully by using statements like “I feel disrespected when.” This way, your partner won’t become defensive and feel completely to blame.
- Know your partner, really: knowing the person you’re in a relationship with goes beyond the obvious. It’s not always about remembering things like their favorite film but instead, a knowledge of what makes them feel loved.
- This is why communicating is so important because, once you understand the other person’s love language you can make them feel more content in your relationship. Whether it’s verbally saying, “I love you”, or giving them your undivided attention, an awareness of what your partner needs to feel loved is key.
- Added bonus!: there are other important relationship skills too (life skills, self-management, sex, stress-management and conflict resolution), but by mastering these two specifically, the rest of the skills will improve as a result.
You’re on a date and you feel its going well. Then, all of a sudden, everything changes.
Why? Because your date asked you ‘That’ question: “Why are you still single?”
So how are you supposed to answer it without sounding defensive, offended or sad?
Well it’s easy, and it comes down to these two parts:
Part 1. Be prepared: its a terrible question to ask on a date, so don’t ask it. But you can’t stop someone else from asking it. And just because they’re asking it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person or that they’re not interested in you. So don’t worry about it, but do have a few stock answers prepared that you’re comfortable with, such as: ‘I’ve just not met the right person yet’, ‘I’m really enjoying meeting new people right now’, or even something humorous: ‘Because you haven’t proposed yet’, etc… but keep it light and positive.
Part 2. The pivot: while getting asked this question doesn’t have to be a date-breaker, spending the whole date discussing it likely will be. So before that happens, ask the following back: ‘How about you?’
Why ask them the same question? Because, yes, its a lousy question to ask on a date, but its also a really interesting question to ask back if someone else has asked you first. The key is not to dwell too long on it; once your date has answered it, move on to another subject – talk about some things you both share, or a funny travel story, or ask them what they love doing most in their spare time & why. Once your date is back on track, ask for a second or third date… if those go well, the answer to ‘Why are you still single?’ might soon be ‘I’m not anymore!’
So you’ve met someone new, and things are going great – fantastic!
But before you get REALLY serious, its time for some serious questions.
Dating works best when you’re having fun – keeping your first few dates light and casual is always your best bet.
But at some point, there are some ‘serious’ questions that need to be asked. Which questions? These 7:
- Do you want kids?: it’s best to address the topic of parenthood sooner than later, so no one winds up resentful — or heartbroken — years down the line. If you or your partner are (understandably) worried that having kids will change your relationship for the worse, you should arm yourself with knowledge about what helps parents maintain intimacy.
- Who will do the cooking, laundry and housework?: according to a 2007 Pew Research poll, sharing household chores is the third most important factor in a successful marriage. (The first two are faithfulness and a happy sexual relationship).
- How much debt (if any) do you have?: “Lying about your debt can potentially destroy your relationship”. An honest conversation about finances – especially about debt – is key before getting married, or even getting serious.
- How much time apart do you need?: interestingly, spending time apart and getting some of your needs met outside your relationship may be exactly what your partnership needs.
- What do you consider cheating?: there are those who believe looking at pornography or going to strip clubs is cheating. Bottom line is, everyone has different limits. Establish the boundaries, before getting into a marriage.
- How do you feel about divorce?: it’s not an easy discussion to have but it’s worth it. That’s because simply knowing that you have an “out” — even if you never use it — can be freeing. If you’re staying in the relationship, it’s because you want to.
- How will getting married change our relationship?: Some people feel the expectations are different when you’re married than when you’re dating, and others feel that they are the same. It’s important to be on the same page about expectations for every stage of a relationship.
Looks matter – in dating & in life. But what if you don’t look like a movie star? Even better.
You may notice someone’s ‘outer qualities’ first, but its their ‘inner qualities’ that will determine your true relationship compatibility.
Here’s 3 underrated traits that will help you truly connect with someone new – more than a pretty face ever will.
- Friendly: you may think friendly is boring, but here’s the truth – friendly is a powerful enabler that leads to a true connection and, yes, even chemistry. Of course be friendly with the person you’re with – but even more importantly, be friendly with everyone else around you (especially your dates friends!).
- Open-minded: saying ‘no’ is often easier than saying ‘yes’ – but in a romantic setting it can be a true chemistry-killer. No, going skinny dipping after your first date is not advisable (or safe), but saying yes to new things – and life in general – will make your ‘relationship score’ soar. Noone wants to spend their life with a grumpy pants.
- Listening: as the song goes – ‘you can listen as well as you hear’. I get it, when you’re nervous you can talk too much – that’s natural. But become a better listener and you will also become a better friend, a better date and, yes, a better relationship partner.