Here’s an admission: there is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to giving women advice about dating and relationships with men. There. I said it. We all know it’s not a science.
But those of us who dated for a billion years, made all the awful mistakes, studied and shifted, and finally come out in the end with a good man and spectacular relationship…we can share some good and bad habits with women who are on the same path.
Shoehorning in dates is one of those bad habits.
What I mean by shoehorning is squeeeeezing in that quick “date” in the middle of your workday or at the end of your day on your way to the gym. If you’re dating with any regularity, you’re probably doing this. How’s that working for you so far?
I know it’s the traditional way, especially when you’re Internet dating. I know you’re very busy and that this may be your only option. (At least it seems that way.) And, yes, first impressions do count a lot. So why waste your time if you don’t feel that spark?
Well, I think it’s the shoehorn thing that’s actually wasting your time. It’s a lose-lose proposition.
Your Loss #1: You Fail to Impress a Great Guy
You actually have to prepare for a good date.
When you go on a date, especially the first or first few, it’s all about putting your best foot forward. Hey! This man could be the one you’ve been wishing for! You need to take time to prepare physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I don’t have to tell you that first impressions are everything. Set yourself up to succeed by allowing time for some reflection, calming moments, goal setting, and affirmations. And do this before every single date! Simply by being positive and fully present, you will have gone incredibly far in attracting men. (Men rank these very high as qualities they require in a life-long mate.)
And, like it or not, men are visual creatures. You have to take time for a good “what should I wear?” plan and show up as the lovely, put-together, feminine woman you are. (And that likely isn’t the you that rushes to Starbucks on your lunch break.)
Your Loss #2 – You Let a Good One Get Away
Squeezing in a quickie just can’t give you enough information.
If you’ve been dating with any regularity, I can absolutely promise you that you’ve passed up good men by deciding in the first 10 minutes that he’s “just not for you.” Can you seriously look me in the eye and tell me that in 25 minutes you can judge someone? Don’t you hate when men do it to you?
I get it when he shows up 5 inches shorter and 10 years older than he claimed. You have my permission to run for the door. But when you tell me he’s boring or you had nothing in common or he didn’t seem like the man you talked to on the phone…I’m going to make you show me how you can possibly know that in less than a half hour with someone you have met for the first time.
I know that some dating coaches tell you that you only need that first impression; that there’s either a spark or there’s not. I’m making the case that you just can’t trust that after only a few minutes.
You have to allow for two things:
1. Practice compassionate thinking ladies. He’s meeting a beautiful woman (yah…you!) and he’s nervous. He just came from a meeting that went bad. He’s shy. His daughter just called and told him she’s getting a divorce.
I challenge you to question that kneejerk feeling of intuition (aka judgment) or lack of attraction (aka judgment). When you get that feeling, I want you to consciously shift to your intellect. In that moment, force yourself to be the logical and compassionate woman you are in the rest of your life.
2. The importance of adding a fabulous man to your life is huge, right? Don’t you think this deserves more time than 8 minutes of planning and 24 minutes of exploration? Be good to him and to yourself by devoting at least an hour to the initial meetings. (I’d rather have you devote two.)
Oh, and one more thing. I know the Starbucks thing is convenient. But environment can really affect the course of a date. Again, it’s no science, but it makes sense that a warm, quiet, inviting place lends itself better to a pleasant encounter than does a cold, loud, stark place.
The bottom line is this: when you squeeze a date into your schedule, there’s an excellent chance you will not have a next date. I’m not saying you should always meet for a formal dinner or a day at Disneyland. And I know there are realities. But I assume you’re looking for a meaningful, long-term relationship. Isn’t it worthy of delaying a date for a few days to give yourself the time and attention needed to attain what is likely the most important thing in your life?
Every definition of squeezing involves “exerting pressure.” Stop pressuring yourself on all sides of the dating equation. Slow down, relax, pay attention. It’s more fun and I promise that it will be more fulfilling.
Want to know if you’re really prepared to Date Like a Grownup™?
GO TO www.DateLikeaGrownup.com TODAY and take your FREE Man-O-Meter test. This fun, one-of-a-kind test assesses how ready you are and gives you expert advice and invaluable tips about men and dating. If you’d like to talk and see how I might be of help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.