Matt and Anna discuss what to do when you feel stuck, whether in your personal or professional life and some things you can do to get moving forward again.
Matt and Anna talk about how to open up communication regarding likes and dislikes, as well as ways to start spicing up your sex life.
Fantasy Box is an amazing way to really spice up your love life and help you and your partner discover new things about yourselves and each other. Each box contains a different theme which will guide you on how to indulge into new worlds and experiences. The product quality is great as well and they have different pricing tiers set up for different budgets. We can not recommend this service enough and it has done wonders for us. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.
This is a great site for figuring out what things you and your partner are mutually inerested in doing. It will only show questions which you both match on and not disclose anything where either partner said they would not be interested in trying, so you don’t have to be shy about being completely honest. This is a great starting point to figure out what activities you and your partner want to dive in to together.
Matt and Anna discuss the ways to effectively approach disagreements and conflicts in relationships. As well as the do’s and don’ts of how to respond.
- Think about what you want to say ahead of addressing the issue and decide what the goal of the discussion is. You are far more likely to have a successful resolution of the issue if you determine what needs have to be met ahead of time. Keep in mind, however, that you may not see the full picture until after you have begun discussing so this does not mean you can’t compromise depending on the issue.
- Focus on the issue at hand. It is not a great strategy to dump out multiple issues at once. It detracts from the focus and reduces the chance of a resolution of any issues as well as increases the likelihood the other person will feel attacked and criticized for who they are as opposed to something they have done.
- Listen when the other person is speaking. Try to hear them fully out without interjecting
- Try to always see from your partner’s perspective. Even if you don’t understand their point fully, you can probably understand their base feelings.
- Do not think of this as a win or lose scenario. If you both can come to an understanding and a resolution you both agree with, then it is a win.
- Don’t accuse and use “I” messages. For example, when you use the phrase “I feel”, there can be no arguing that you are incorrect about your feelings. Talking about how something makes you feel also requires no assumptions since you are only speaking your truth. Even if you misunderstand a scenario that has led to these feelings as a reaction, you are not misunderstanding your feelings.
- Focus on finding a mutually agreeable solution. Focusing on getting someone to “cave in” to you can make them feel like they have no say and it is all about you and not them. Even if they agree, there is a high likelihood of resentment building underneath from it.
- If it is getting heated, take a pause and come back later. It may be good to address exactly how you are feeling in that moment and mention you want to take a break from the discussion. Then pick a time to come back to it in the near future.
- Pick and choose your battles. Remember everyone will have things about them that annoy or bother you. Try to think about what it is ahead of time and determine how important this issue truly is. Ask yourself why it is so important to you as well.
- Never underestimate the power of humor when addressing less serious issues. Sometimes addressing a problem in a lighthearted manner communicates that something is bothering you but will let the other know that it is coming from a place of less seriousness and will put them much less on the defensive.
When someone is bringing up an issue with you
- Listen and hear them out. Try to fully understand what it is they are trying to tell you before placing your own judgements and interpretations on it.
- Be patient as they try to work out everything they want to say. Try to empathize with them. Remember, even if you do not agree with some of the conclusions they are coming to, their feelings are real.
- Avoid getting defensive. Even if they are not handling the discussion on their end very well you can still control how you react. After a resolution has been reached you can then bring up to them your issues with the way they handled the conflict and explain what would be more effective for you going forward.
- Try to understand the why of how they feel the way they do. Sometimes your partner may be communicating a specific incident or action that has upset them, but the core of it is how it made them feel which if often tied to something deeper. For example, if they are upset that you don’t let them know when you get home at night, the underlying issue might be that they are worried and not being put at ease by knowing you’re okay or they may feel like they don’t hold much priority in your life.
- Remember to take ownership of where you may have gone wrong or been inconsiderate, even if it is in the way you handled the conflict. It shows that you are willing to understand and work with your partner and it is not a weakness to be able to admit your own shortcomings.
What not to do when addressing conflict (For both)
- Accuse or make assumptions directly to them. You can speak in feelings however and using the “I” language.
- Get defensive. Remember you are always 100% in control of how you handle yourself, no matter how the other one is handling it on their end.
- Let your anger take over. Not only does this keep you from thinking clearly and more likely to attack the other, but may lead you to escalate the argument to a dangerous level. This especially applies to physical violence and actions such as throwing things, yelling, and especially physically hurting the other.
- Generalize. Saying things like “You always… “ or “You never..” Not only is it probably incorrect but can increases the likelihood the other will resort to defensiveness, In fact, it helps if you can think of a time when they did the opposite to help you keep more on track as well as giving them an example of when they did something right and how it made you feel instead.
- Avoid conflict altogether. You can take a little time to compose yourself and decide how you want to address the issue and the goal of the discussion, but hoping issues will go away almost never works. It can also lead to a constant feeling of things not being resolved. The longer you sit on an issue and let it build up, the more likely you are to eventually blow up and let all the emotions come flooding out as well causing the other to feel attacked.
- Make someone feel guilty for their feelings. Remember, regardless of any misunderstandings that led to the issue, how they feel is very real to them. Keep that in mind as you work through the issue and don’t make them feel ashamed for their feelings. This will also lead to them being less likely to open up to you down the road until the inevitable blow up.
- Go to extremes to try and win. For example, taking actions that seem like conceding but are actually done to make them feel bad. As an example, if your partner brings up that you are spending too much time going out with friends and they feel neglected, don’t react by making a big show of telling her you won’t ever go out with your friends again and calling the friends to tell them in a way that makes your partner seem like the wrong one. It is actually a form of manipulation when you do this.
- Try to win. Remember that even if you “win” an argument, you lose. It is about creating a win-win situation where both are happy. Also keep in mind that in trying to win, you are far more likely to trigger a backfire effect with no compromise.
- Try to talk when the time is not conducive to a productive discussion. You can even schedule a time ahead of time. As your partner is rushing out the door to work, they will feel added pressure and tension if you decide to start discussing the issues then.
After the conflict
- Think about the lessons and gains from the discussion. Both in the things you have learned about your partner as well as in how to communicate with them in general.
- Create an action plan based on the compromise so that you can ensure the resolution to this issue can be effectively put in place and not occur again.
- Move on from the conflict. If it has been resolved, let it stay resolved. Constantly bringing it back up will make the other feel like discussions are pointless and less likely to trust you on discussions going forward and more likely to immediately go on the defensive.
Summary: Matt and Anna talk about a listener submitted question to explain signs of when a relationship may have started too soon or someone may not be ready. They also cover communication, healing in between relationships, and how to go about getting yourself ready to begin dating again.
Take your time to heal when ending a relationship: The end of a relationship can be compared to the mourning process in a lot of ways with different stages. It is important to go through these stages and allow yourself to fully process each one before getting back into a relationship. Not allowing yourself this time means you could end up in a new relationship carrying the unhealed wounds and damage of the previous relationship and those wounds will bleed onto the new relationship. Remember, each relationship ending is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. It is a chance to evaluate what went right, what went wrong, what you had done well, and what you could have done better.
Many people coming out of a relationship jump to quickly into a new one to avoid the pain of this healing process and to try and fill in the holes in their life that were previously occupied by one person with a new person. In that rush to do so however, they don’t really take the time to determine if the new person is a good fit of if they are truly in a place to receive that person.
Before you can be complete in a relationship, you need to be complete on your own: A relationship does not complete a person. You should be a complete and whole person without the relationship. Remember an ideal partner is someone who adds to your life. Makes it fun and encourages you to be more of who you already are and supports you in changing the things you are already working to change (or at least helping you identify those things from a loving place).
Learn healthy communication: Communication is key in any successful relationship. If you are not having a need met, hoping the other person will just “figure it out” will only lead to frustration for both. Remember also that often men and women communicate and receive information very differently. When a need is not being met or you want to express that there is something you really enjoyed and want more of, express it clearly to your partner. Remember, even when asserting boundaries or telling someone they are not doing something correctly for you, asserting yourself and communicating this does not need to turn into a huge conflict. Express your needs from a place of love and non-judgement. Remember it is also about your needs, not about their lack of meeting them.
Avoiding ending a relationship for fear of hurting just causes more hurt: Staying with someone because you don’t want to hurt them will ultimately lead to more hurt in the long run. It will manifest in the way you interact with them while you are with them and when the inevitable break up does come, it will just have been dragged out that much longer.
Whatever you feel inside will express itself whether you are aware you are doing so or not. Not clearly communicating it, however, will confuse the partner and leave them feeling like they need to “read your mind”.
Summary: Anna and Matt discuss the uncertainty stages in relationships, What are the possible causes and the best ways to move out of uncertainty if you are the one who is facing this critical period in the relationship. Also how to cope with the uncertainty if you are the one facing a partner who seems to be pulling away. They also cover some dos and don’ts for how you should react in these scenarios to ensure your partner is not pushed into a decision that could ultimately hurt or end the relationship unnecessarily.
Causes of Uncertainty
Conflicts: Any type of conflict can cause uncertainty, especially if it is one where one side or the other needs to evaluate certain values or practices they previously were used to and/or liked. During these times, the one pulling away is typically evaluating their ability to adapt to the needs of the other and if it is something they truly want to do. There may be other causes for conflict although this is the most common. Requesting a change in an individual’s behavior or previous rituals will often lead them to needing an evaluation of whether they want to pursue the relationship while working to change or adapt to something they previously had in their life.
Pressure to advance the relationship: In line with conflicts, a pressure to change the status of the relationship can cause uncertainty. While this is certainly more common with men as women seek to move the relationship status from one phase to the next, it is certainly not exclusive to them. While a change in relationship status brings many benefits, it also requires the partner to give up certain freedoms and they need to evaluate what is more important. It is important for those who chronically leave the relationship at this point to evaluate why they do so and determine what will happen if they continue this pattern. While there may be good reasons to have exited previous relationships at this point, one wants to make sure they are not doing it out of fear and really evaluate what would happen if this pattern continues going forward. A good starting point to determine the motivation at this point is to honestly evaluate if there is a truly good reason to end the relationship here or do they find themselves nitpicking rather trivial things or overreacting to minor flaws or quirks.
Lack of trust: When a partner does not feel they can trust the other, they will often pull away to seriously evaluate their feelings, why they feel the way they do (is it self-generated or is there a valid reason), and what they need in order to move beyond the lack of trust if that is an option.
Boredom: Lack of excitement and novelty. While a degree of familiarity is going to happen in any relationship over time, it is important for each partner to evaluate what they need to keep the relationship alive and exciting.
Feeling they can’t make the other person happy: If the other partner is not happy, they may feel a need to pull away and discover if they are in the right fit for a relationship. When coming out of this uncertainty point a communication of needs is critical here. If the other partner is happy they may need to figure out how to show it better with their partner. If they are not, they need to evaluate what the relationship needs and if it is something both can provide.
Different Values/Goals: This critical evaluation is often overlooked early on in dating but is absolutely critical to the success of a relationship. Having similar values is critical and making it clear that those values and expectations are reciprocated. This is a personal choice and each is allowed to have their own values but not to expect them of the other without communication. For example, if religion is important, it is critical that this be stated early on and to what degree (does he need to be already religious? Is him opening to the idea and embracing that aspect of your life enough? Does it really matter so long as he lets you practice your own beliefs?). Even some that you may feel are fairly obvious may not be, for example, what constitutes “cheating” in your mind. You may find people have very different ideas of where they feel the boundary is crossed. Some may even have different ideas of what “commitment” means. None of these are wrong, it is just wrong to not be honest with your partner.
While goals don’t always need to be perfectly aligned, some are just not compatible at all. For example, if your goal is to have a huge family with 5 kids and your partner wants to remain without kids and living in the big city, there are definitely misalignments that need to be dealt with. The problem with these goals is their importance may not come out until the relationship has been going on for quite a while. Sometimes these misalignments don’t even become clear until after marriage.
Different values and goals can often be compromised and this is a good and healthy practice, not addressing them and hoping it all just works out will only lead to problems down the road for most relationships.
Signs of Uncertainty in your partner
Pulling away: Creating a mental distancing from you and seeking less time with you.
Sudden Drama: As in drama that seems very out of the blue and factors are causing barriers in the relationship that had seemingly no effect previously. What these type of things do legitimately happen, what you want to pay attention to is their effort and willingness to find solutions to work around the issues. Are they giving you the details or just enough to get you to stop asking questions?
New Patterns with no communication: For example, do they randomly go from texting you constantly throughout the day to barely texting at all. Remember you are looking for pattern changes and not just single instances. For example, not texting one day may mean they were just busy or in a mental place where it was not a priority that day. If the pattern changes overall though in a direction that seems to be pulling away as opposed to bringing together with little communication as to the cause.
Vague Busyness: When your partner becomes too busy to talk or see you. As above with new patterns, busyness does happen but it is their willingness to communicate the reasons why and to work around the issues that may be a big indicator as to whether it is legitimate business or uncertainty.
Dos and Don’ts of How to React When Your Partner is Facing Uncertainty About the Relationship
DON’T Getting extra clingy/needy: A lot resort to this type of behavior in panic and out of fear of losing their partner during this phase. Unfortunately, it will often only drive the partner who is distancing him/herself further away.
DO Give them time and space to figure things out: This does not mean you cannot have your boundaries or limits on how much you are willing to wait around. The important thing is to come from a higher place of wanting what is best, even if it means losing them. Give them the space they need but don’t neglect your own healthy boundaries as well. Understand, from a calm place, what you are ok with tolerating. Express these boundaries.
DON’T Get angry: Getting angry may either drive them away or bring them back into the relationship before they are ready. It is just kicking the can down the road and will only intensify the strong emotions.
DO Be realistic about what you can/can’t handle: If their reactions are making you feel like you are forced to endure something you can’t, you do not need to tolerate it. As stated above, giving understanding and allowing others to disrespect your boundaries are two different things. Instead you can take the approach of “I understand that right now you need <blank> and I want you to find your answers, but understand that I will not (stay committed with zero contact/stay in a relationship where you are seeing other people/meet up just for sex/etc…) and if that is what you need, I think it is better that we move on.”
DON’T Use “emotional blackmail” to get them to come back: Making them feel bad for the negative feelings you are having in response, excessive emotionality on display for them, constant reminding them how much they are hurting you by not breaking out of uncertainty, making the possible pain they are feeling all about how it is affecting you, are all examples of what I call emotional blackmail. They are using your extreme emotions to show that their emotions are not as important because if what you are going through. Some might just end the relationship in response to this but others may feel pressured to come back to you before they are ready, which can lead to an undertone of resentment and like what they are trying to deal with is not as important. The negative effects of this may not be apparent at first but will manifest themselves in much worse way later on in the relationship. At the very best, you are just kicking the can down the road until they need to pull away again to address the issues they didn’t have the chance to before.
DO Let them know that it is OK for them to do what they need to: So long as it doesn’t ignore your personal boundaries. This is not only good for your own emotional health, but shows you are someone who cares for them and has enough value and confidence to let them make a choice that they need to make instead of one that is only about you.
DON’T Immediately break up and seek someone new: Remember this is a common occurrence in relationships and not matter how wonderful you are, they may need to adapt and process the relationship at some point. Unless it is clearly a “break” don’t assume they are ok with you seeing other people. Furthermore, fear of losing you to another may be a form of emotional blackmail and force them to dive back in to the relationship before they fully processed everything. Finally, it looks as if you don’t care enough to give them a little time and they will remember you seeing other people which is planting the scenes of toxicity in the relationship moving forward.
DO Spend time with friends and doing what you love: Friends can give you a safe-haven to talk about your frustrations and worries or provide you with activities and company that helps get your mind off your worry. This will also remind you that you have a complete life and not having them does very little to define you or your life’s completeness when not in a relationship.
DON’T Obsess over what you did wrong or need to change: These type of evaluations may be good, especially if you find yourself in a pattern where partners are always pulling away at a certain point, but right in this moment is not the best time. Remember, often you did nothing wrong or it is just a core incompatibility that makes a partner ultimately decide to leave. It doesn’t mean you were wrong it just means they were not the right one for you.
DO Focus on the things you can control: Focus on the tings around the relationship and yourself that you do have control over. You cannot control how they are reacting but you can control how you react and handle things going forward.
DON’T Let the stress bring you to extreme reactions like over-pursuing or shutting down: Over pursuing is another form of neediness and you are trying to close the space they are creating which can make them feel suffocated. Shutting down may show them that you are not someone who can handle their tougher periods and may even push them into a confirmation that you are not good together. Remember to come from a place of calm and understanding with boundaries.
DO use any of the above methods: such as going out and focusing on what you can control instead of things that are out of your control. We also recommend joining out friend Stephen Endres’s group “The Destress Dojo” on Facebook for inspiring messages and methods for coping with stress and anxiety.
DO Take the “Uncertainty Escape Plan” at the bottom of this page
What to do when you are the one who is Uncertain
Be honest: Don’t leave your partner in the dark about what is going on. Even if you are not completely sure what it is that is causing your uncertainty, communicating as much to them will at least let them know that you are not needlessly shutting them out and will help alleviate some of their potential panic. Especially if he cause of your uncertainty is not necessarily related to the relationship, just having an effect on it.
Take time to think it through: Don’t hope the uncertain feeling will just go away. Even if it does it is bound to resurface again down the road if not properly addressed. This is time for self-reflection and to really evaluate how you feel about things.
Figure out what is right for you, not what other people tell you is right for you: While listening to advice of others is good to open your mind to new perspectives, no one knows what you really need better than you. People may also pressure you into decisions for their own personal reasons. They may push you into commitment because it is something they are struggling with themselves. While you may need to do some deep personal exploration, only you can find the real truth of what you need. Maybe consider getting a coach to help you find the path to the answer you need. Remember you can always reach out to us for a free coaching session as well at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask yourself if you are just afraid of failure and what you can do to overcome that fear: This issue is most common for those who have come out of a previous long-term relationship. Fearing that another long-term relationship will just result in another failure. First of all, you need to redefine “failure” in a relationship. We recommend listening to “Episode 4 – Intentional Dating and Creating Your Mold” for a bit more on this. But you also need to learn if this is an area that needs work so that you can confidently go forth and not self-sabotage potentially great relationships.
Think about your future and are you able to see it with that current partner: Getting clear on this will help you determine if that uncertainty is due to something deeper telling you this person is not right for you, or something else.
Take the Uncertainty Escape Plan: It is found at the bottom of this page.
Things that are not signs of pulling away
A one-time change in texting rituals: For example, he used to text you every morning and he all of a sudden stopped. For one, you should never react strongly over a standalone incident. Also understand that while this may have become ritual for you, your partner may not have even been aware it was. This would be a great time to mention how you really liked something and noticed it when it didn’t happen from a loving a non-emotionally reactive place. Also don’t underestimate the power of humor to show confidence and a non-attacking demeanor when conveying the message. Going with the example, imagine the guy was texting the girl every morning then one morning he missed it.
How not to do it:
Her: Apparently I was not important enough to text good morning.
Him: Relax, I was just in a rush this morning and it slipped my mind.
Her: I feel like I am not really that important to you. I understand you were busy but you could have texted even a little late.
Him: Wow. I am feeling a little suffocated here. This seriously has me worried that a simple text can trigger you so badly….
How you should do it:
Her: Already forgot about me huh? 😉 Honestly though, just want to make sure you are ok because I didn’t hear from you.
Him: I am fine. Sorry, I was just really rushing all morning and didn’t think to text.
Her: No problem babe. I am just glad you are OK. I really do look forward to your texts every morning though. It lets me know you are OK and it add gives me those good feelings too.
Him: OK, I didn’t even realize we did it every morning but will make sure to do so now.
Not texting back right away when they previously did: While this could also be an unawareness of texting rituals, they may also have multiple factors in their life. If everything else is the same but they just don’t respond as quickly don’t jump to conclusions and begin reacting. Sometimes, they even tend to be bad texters in general but were responding very quickly when the relationship was new. If there are other pulling away behaviors in combination with this though, then this is a sign of uncertainty. We just don’t want you to overreact over one change in behavior. You could always clarify with them from a healthy place.
Wanting Time Alone: People have different needs for alone time. Needing alone time is not a sign of uncertainty but just one of them needing time to be alone and handle things in their life without the pressures of the relationship. Even great relationships take work and a sacrifice of time from which we need a break once in a while. While most understand this, they may not understand the amount of time in solitude may vary from person to person. Especially one who is, at their core, an introvert. They may have a much higher need for alone time then that their partner.
The Uncertainty Escape Plan
Ask yourself the following questions. We recommend you write your answers out on paper and then reread it to yourself when complete.
Are their relationship goals in line with mine?
Do they have the same values as me?
Can I trust their integrity, will they be there when needed?
Are they emotionally available/ present?
Are exes still in the picture and in what capacity, is it something you can live with?
Do they respect the speed I am willing to go in the relationship?
Are we compatible?
Matt & Anna run down simple tips and tweaks Men and Women can use to start improving their success in dating and why these are effective.
*Podcast correction: While the book “How to win Friends and Influence People” By Dale Carnegie does talk about getting people to talk about themselves to get them to like you, it was actually Coach Corey Wayne who said to “Let the woman do 80% of the talking”. Corey Wayne is a great coach for men who need to turn around their dating lives and I highly recommend his book “How to be a 3% man” and as a follow up read to “No More Mr. Nice Guy
Tips For Men:
- Hold Strong but Relaxed Eye Contact – Strong eye contact shows confidence and openness. It also shows you are present with the woman and listening to her. To get your mind off of focusing on the eye contact, use it as a tool to focus on listening to her instead. Good listening involves not just hearing the words she says but also taking in all the non-verbal language which includes her facial expressions and the way her eyes communicate.
- Let Her do 80% of the Talking (See Correction above) – While I think this is great for guys who are good with talking to women already, we still recommend it to guys who are not as skilled, but have a tendency to over-talk, to use this tactic as it will help them reel in the amount they talk, and help the conversations feel more balanced. If you are interested in seeing how Corey Wayne recommends using this strategy however, I recommend picking up his book “How to be a 3% Man” where this is one of many great philosophies he teaches that will drastically improve men’s dating success through developing a strong character.It should be noted however that if you have the opposite problem and tend to be too withdrawn and quiet during dates, then your focus should be on talking more, not less. While opening up more is a practice you should work on and one we will cover in a later podcast, you can also just focus on listening and relating to what she is saying. Ask good questions and relate it to your experiences.
- Stay Positive and Have Fun – Negativity is unattractive and will repel a healthy person. Make sure you don’t bring up depressing topics or talk negatively about things or situations around you. If negativity is something you struggle with, I would recommend putting concentrated focus on fixing that. Remember having fun will allow her to have fun with you, and your date with her will be remembered as a fun experience. Women want to have fun and relax around the guy she is interested in a great way to do this is to create a positive experience for her. This will also greatly increase your attractiveness. People are drawn to fun.
- Get a Basic Understanding of Style – I recommend checking out Ryan Magin’s work and his program Handsome Guy Secrets to learn the basics of style. This is a great one stop place to take you from practically no understanding of style to a man that turns heads. This may be a great program for women to buy for men they are in a relationship with as well. Ryan is very well renowned in the dating industry as the go-to guy for teaching men how to dress to impress and is also someone I have had close friends who know him vouch for personally. You can find his program below.
Handsome Guy Secrets
- Have a Plan: A man with a plan is attractive. It conveys that you take charge and know how to get it done. It also shows that you know how to lead and that lets her relax and just enjoy herself. It is also the sign of a confident leader You should never go into a date without knowing where you want to go and what the date will consist of. Just don’t make the mistake of taking it too far to the point of being controlling. Remember, her ultimate position is to be allowed to choose to follow you. Life happens however and sometimes plans fall through. When this happens, handle it cool and calm and make new plans on the spot. Calm and confident adaptability when things go wrong is also a very confident and attractive quality.
- Let go of Expectations: Letting go of expectations allows you to just have fun and enjoy the experience of the date without worrying about the outcome. Remember your only goal is to have a good time and to bring your best self. You also can’t control her reactions and likes/dislikes so just go in with the mind set the you are going to show her a great time and try to make her night highly enjoyable. It is up to her to accept it or not. Letting go of expectations also allows you to let go of neediness. Because you are not expecting anything, the outcome of the date is not a big deal, which in turn allows her to relax and see you as a confident guy who’s just looking to add to an already full life, not trying to fill in gaps. This non-neediness is attractive and allows her to trust you, your motives, and your attraction much more.
Tips for Women:
- Relax – You will enjoy yourself and in turn allow your date to enjoy themselves when you are able to relax just enjoy the experience. Once the date starts, let go of things that are no longer in your control and just be present and there with the person. Focus on getting to know them and gauging how you feel about them and it will help you focus less on worrying about how they feel about you.
- Don’t Tell Your Life Story – Remember to not go into every facet of your life early on in dating. It can save you from dominating the conversation too much but also leaves mystery and gives the man more to wonder about you. A very good coach I knew once said that if you can get someone thinking about you, you can get them attracted. This is one great way to do it. As you get to know each other better over time you can start sharing more and more of yourself.
- Stay Positive – Negativity will tend to turn off healthy potential mates. Even worse, it may attract the needier ones who need to have a “fixer” role. Negativity is a mood killer and can also take the date into a very serious tone. While there is a time and a place for these types of talks, early on in dating is not it. Also, a general negativity can signal someone who is hard to make happy and possibly surrounded by a lot of drama. Again, this is something most healthy people are not looking to bring more of into their lives.
- Show You’re Having Fun – Remember, dating should be an exchange of energy and not an audition to see if he can impress you. To see if there is chemistry, you both have to bring a bit of yourselves to the table. Showing you are having fun and enjoying yourself (when you actually are that is) shows the guy that he is doing a good job and encourages him to keep going and do more. Not showing this will make him feel like he is not really connecting and he may give up on you as a potential partner before you were really ready. Don’t get caught up too much in the fantasy that he has to “win you over”. While it is true to a degree, it should not be an uphill battle. Most secure men will not play that game because, like women, they know they have other options. Think of it more like you are setting up the shots to see if he takes them and when he does, let him know.
- Be Aware of Your Body Language – Not being mindful of your body language can sometimes make you accidentally sub-communicate the wrong message. For example, if you are feeling nervous on the date because he is attractive, you may feel the need to cross your arms. While this position makes sense to you, he may interpret it as a signal of you closing off to him and not be aware of your nervousness. Practice noticing your body language and expressing with your body the messages you want to convey. This is just as true for the way you hold your facial expressions and smile (or lack thereof) as well.
- Let Go of Expectations – Remember that dating is a process of getting to know people and seeing if they are a fit. There are bound to be mismatches. Sometimes they will be into you and you won’t be into them. Sometimes the opposite. Sometimes it takes a few dates to figure this out. Remember to just take everything at face value and to not blow it up into more than it really is. A date is a date and not a promise of anything. Letting go of expectations allows you to embody all the other tips and to just have a good time. If things work out, great. If they don’t, that’s great too because you learned a little bit more about yourself, what you like, and what you don’t like. We’ve seen all too many friends and people we have worked with put too much into a relationship too early and it can leave a lot of damage and resentment when things don’t work out. Some women we have even seen do this after the first date. Remember their interest is not a statement about you, just about your chemistry with them in particular.
We also hit a couple bonus tips we felt we needed to add in regards to the prevalent news.
- For Men: Understand consent and realize asking for it is sexy and can be done without killing your groove. You don’t need to whip out legal speak and a contract, but you can ask her if she is OK with what you want to do in a sexy and playful way. If she says no, handle it with grace and an understanding smile. The way a man handles “no” says a lot more about him than the way he handles a “yes”. Also remember, a lot of the time, “no” just means “No, not right now” not “No never”. So unless the vibe is that there is nothing whatsoever between you, she may just not be at a particular comfort level yet or there may be other factors (religious beliefs, personal rules, etc..) Just respect them and take it with a smile. Below is a decent article that talks a bit more about sexy ways to get consent.https://www.bustle.com/articles/138297-7-ways-to-make-practicing-affirmative-consent-sexy
- For Women: Have a way out. We are not trying to say that dating is not a lot of fun and most of the men out there are safe, but unfortunately we live in a world where you need to take precautions to ensure your safety. Be sure a friend knows where you will be and will be able to come get you if needed. At the very least, have a Lyft or Uber account set up so you can order a quick ride out of the situation. Make sure the places you meet are relatively public early on in dating until you feel comfortable with the guy. Most secure men will not take offense to this and will even work with you to help ensure you feel safe and secure. Below is an article that offers some good suggestions on how to stay safe.https://www.yoursafedate.com/5-tips-for-staying-safe-online-dating/
Anna and Matt discuss the importance of Intentional Dating and using dating as a means to define the “mold” of your ideal partner as well as how expectations can lead to problems down the road when your mold was not clearly defined. They also touch upon how to deal with changing expectations in a relationship.