If you are single, and looking for a partner, there are certain things you should be aware of that can save you heartache down the road. We enter into dating thinking we are going to find that perfect mate, and sometimes we don’t consider a lot of factors when we begin to date someone. Some of these tips may help you make much better decisions when you decide to start dating.
What is the real definition of dating? Do people understand what it means to date someone? Too many people enter into dating without realizing what is expected of them. I believe that half of the people that enter into dating have no idea what that really means. So here is the following definitions of dating:
- Dictionary - To go out with (someone in whom one is romantically or sexually interested).
- US Legal - “dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional involvement. This term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in a business or social context."
- Wikipedia - Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship or marriage. It is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others.
Urban Dictionary - Dating is where two people who are attracted to each other spend time together to see if they also can stand to be around each other most of the time, if this is successful they develop a relationship, although sometimes a relationship develops anyways if the people can’t find anybody to date them, or are very lonely or one person is only attracted to the other and pretends to be in love with the second unfortunate person who has the misunderstanding that they have found love.
We have now established various definitions of dating. With these definitions in mind, I would like to dissect what these definitions mean to men and women.
Dating Advice for Women
I recently found myself single after many, many years of marriage. What I found was that the dating game has changed dramatically. I observe women navigating this dating game and most times, coming out on the losing end. Maybe with a little more understanding of what dating means, men and women can be a little more successful in finding the right mate for them by understanding what it means to date someone.
I started with the women because I am a woman, and I have experienced a lot of pain and heartache because I didn’t realize the huge difference between what men think about dating and what women think about dating.
We as women, meet a handsome guy that we decide to date. We chose this guy because we were probably attracted to him and he seemed like the kind of guy we could see spending our lives with. When women start to date a man we are already thinking about a possible future with this man. We try to look good, smell good, say all the right things, to hopefully convince this man that we are the right woman for him. We don’t like to ask too many questions or demand too much from the beginning because we were taught you will “scare them off”. So we pretty much accept some things that we normally would have a problem with, but we’re trying to make this work, so we do what we have to do to get along. The problem is, we as women, do not realize the power we have over our relationships.
The following tips may help you when you start dating:
- You should never give a man girlfriend benefits without that man making some sort of commitment to the relationship. What I have found is that nowadays, men seem to think that they can have an intimate relationship with you, but you are out of pocket if you automatically expect a commitment. As a woman you have every right to expect a man to give you some sort of commitment, even if its just being exclusive. A man should never be allowed to expect intimacy, but dosen't owe you anything. I think this is where a lot of women make their first mistake with men. It is up to the woman to set the standards of what is expected from that man in the relationship.
- Make your intentions known from the beginning. Don’t wait until months down the road to discuss with your mate where you want the relationship to go. You need to explain to your mate what you expect from the relationship from the beginning. If you want a serious relationship with them, let him know that. When you wait, so many things can go left, and it leaves you open to heartbreak when that man tells you he has no intention of being serious with you months later. Another scenario is you enter into a relationship with the intention of it being a casual relationship (movie dates, occasional dinners, etc.), but somewhere down the road you start catching serious feelings for him and now you are looking for something more serious than you originally told him. As soon as you know how deep your feelings have become, tell him. Do not wait. He needs to know because there is always that chance that he does not feel the same way. So now you will be investing your time and your heart into someone who has no intention of cultivating a meaningful relationship with you. Again, you are setting yourself up for heartbreak.
- If you are seriously dating someone, you should expect communication from that person daily. Whether it’s a good morning text or a short phone call during the day just to check on that person. You should never let a man get away with not communicating with you for days. You should never have to wait by the phone hoping he calls. If a man is really into you, he will make time in his day to let you know that. We women accept not hearing from the men we are dating, and even making excuses for them. If a man doesn’t care enough to communicate with you daily, he is not worth your time, of course he could have some pressing work matters or other problems in his life, but a two second text message will not alter his day.
- You should never have to change who you are for a man you are dating. He should never be able to dictate to you what you wear, how he expects you to act, or anything that changes your way of life. You should always be open to compromise, but not until he has made a definite commitment to you. Remember that you are in control of what and who you want to be, and a man should never be in control of what you feel is best for you.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away if you are not happy. As soon as you see the first red flag, you should be questioning it. If you can’t get some solid answers from him, you should walk away from the relationship. Don’t invest months and months of your time on someone that is not showing you they are invested in this relationship on the same level that you are. You are only opening yourself up for heartbreak down the road.
- Hold these men accountable for their actions. Try not to let things get swept under the rug. If you are concerned or suspicious about something, have a conversation with him. If he refuses to talk or leaves you in the dark about it, you need to leave him. If he is not willing to communicate with you in the beginning of the relationship, what will happen a year or two down the road?
As women we have to be a lot smarter about dating if we don’t want to be crying in our pillows when he breaks our heart. We can avoid some of these heartaches if we demand to be treated a certain way, and if he is not willing to do that, then you have to move on.
Dating Advice for Men
I am going to try to explain to men what women expect of them and things they can consider before they enter into a dating relationship. I am a woman, so this is from a woman’s perspective.
- When you agree to date a woman, she is expecting you to be as committed to the relationship as she is. If your intentions is just to be intimate and you don’t want any strings attached, then it is up to you to make that clear from the beginning. If you don’t make that clear, then you are opening yourself up to a bitter woman down the road. It is critical that you make your intentions clear from the start, and keep discussing your intentions as the dating progresses. Women tend to fall in love much more quickly than men, so it is important for you to keep re-enforcing your intentions throughout the relationship so there are no misunderstandings.
- Men, you have to communicate often. Women need communication. As much as a lot of men hate “talking”, woman absolutely need that from you. So if you are considering dating please keep this in mind. Your relationship with a woman will never be successful if you don’t talk about your relationship on a regular basis. Every relationship is going to have issues, but sitting down and having a conversation can save you and her from resentment and hurt feelings.Try making time for discussions about your relationship such as where its going, if your happy, if she’s happy, and anything that you both thinks needs addressing to keep the lines of communication open.
- Always be honest. So many men don’t want a serious relationship. They just want sex from women and then they don’t understand why the woman gets angry and vindictive. I think many men are cowards. They are not comfortable expressing their feelings, so they just lie to women about their true feelings. This causes so much friction in a relationship when all you have to do is tell truth. You may lose that woman, but isn’t that better than having a woman lose respect for you and do mean and vindictive things to you because you hurt them by not being honest? If you want to date other people, say that. If you don’t want to date that woman anymore, tell her that. It is so wrong, on so many levels when you are not honest and that woman gets blindsided by your admission months down the road.
- I hear men say that they don’t want a woman that wears a lot of makeup, or hair weaves, or revealing clothing. If these things are an issue for you, again I say, have a conversation. Some women will be willing to compromise with you. A lot of times women go all out with the beauty tricks because they think that’s what you like. If it’s not what you like, tell them. Sometimes men make things more difficult than it has to be. Some women like to be glamorous for themselves, not for a man. It makes them feel good about themselves, but if you discuss it, maybe she can tone down some of the beauty tricks and you two can come to a happy median. I personally feel that a lot of men say they don’t like all of the beauty tricks, but those are the same women they are attracted to.
- Men need to understand that when you decide to date a woman, you are dating all of her feelings, emotions, her past, and her dreams. Everyone comes into a relationship with emotional baggage. You need to realize that when you start dating a woman she expects you to listen to her feelings and be a partner to her through any trials and tribulations she may go through. It says a lot about a man’s character if he can walk away from a woman because she has too many problems or is way too emotional. Women are emotional by nature so if that is not what you want then you shouldn’t be dating. When you agree to date someone there is a level of commitment that is expected of you. It is not fair to her if you are not an emotional support for her when she needs you. A relationship is both people giving of themselves to the other person to form a meaningful and lasting relationship.
- If men do not want to do these things to have a real relationship, then you cannot call yourself dating. What you are doing is playing the field, and its unfair to the other person. Your intentions matter to a woman.
Dating is, and should be, the beginning of a lasting and happy relationship. It can be if both people are honest about their expectations, and have respect for their partner’s feelings. Once you commit to dating someone, you are committing to making every effort to be honest and trustworthy, and working just as hard as your mate to make the relationship work. A lot of relationships fail because one person is giving everything to make the relationship work, and the other person is barely present. My hope is that people start caring about each others feelings. You should never lead someone to believe that you both are striving for a relationship, and the truth is, one of you has no intention of having a serious relationship. That is so cruel and hurtful, and nobody deserves that.
Dating hasn't changed, people have changed. People have become selfish and self-absorbed, so your feelings have no bearing on their intentions. When you enter into dating, just be more aware because at the end of the day, you should always try to protect your heart.
Slartybartfast on March 05, 2019:
If you need to monitor your spouse then your relationship is already over.
The core of any relationship is trust.
Isn't that the whole point of a relationship, to have someone you trust to be there for you ?
Lisa Cortis from United States of America on August 18, 2018:
the best advice I can give anyone who is into a serious relationship is to monitor their spouse's phone or laptop.
NayNay2124 (author) on August 16, 2018:
dashingscorpio, you made some valid points and I agree that some women are not honest and their intentions are questionable. I think the bottom line is men and women need to communicate better and this could avoid so many of these issues. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on August 16, 2018:
Dating- "To go out with (someone in whom one is romantically or sexually interested)." - If only that were true!
Generally speaking (men) only ask women out on dates who they are physically attracted to, sexually desire, or would like to explore the possibility of entering into a relationship with.
However (women) sometimes say "yes" to (the date) all the while knowing they have absolutely no attraction or desire to be involved romantically with that man!
Men who lack dating experience often make the assumption a woman said yes to the date because she's attracted to him when in fact she may have said yes simply because she's always wanted to go to that restaurant, or the band that's playing is her favorite group, or she simply had nothing else planned for the weekend!
At the end of the date when the man leans in for a kiss she's "shocked" and pushes him away leaving the man confused.
Bottom line is (women) will go on dates with guys they're not into!
As for the issue with commitment oftentimes the problem stems from the fact that (women make assumptions) they're in a relationship rather than having "the talk". If they learn a guy is seeing other women the first thing they're going to tell her is:
"We never said we were exclusive!"
The person who wants something should be the one who initiates the conversation. However a lot of women would rather take the passive approach and wait for the man to determine their relationship status. Then they get angry when he's happy with the way things are simply going from date to date having a good time.
"2.Make your intentions known from the beginning."
The problem with that it (takes time) to get to know a person well enough to know you want to be in an "exclusive relationship" with (them)! Prematurely entering into relationships with someone you really don't know is not wise. You haven't determined if you're truly compatible or meet the criteria of your "must haves list" yet.
So many women are (afraid) to invest time getting to know a man so the first thing they want to do is lock down the relationship as soon as possible and then work backwards to determine if he's the right guy for them. It's like going to a Sunday Champagne Breakfast Buffet and stopping at the first food station and never looking around.
Dating should be similar to being a company looking to hire the (right) candidate for a job. You should be going out "interviewing" multiple candidates and following your "screening process" to determine if they move forward to the next milestone.
Lastly if women want to believe they are equal to men they need to stop acting as if having sex with a man is doing (him) a favor or giving him some type of benefit. Hopefully in 2018 the reason a woman has sex is because SHE wants to!
If she's still worried about what a guy will think of her in the morning or sees sex as a "tool" to control or manipulate a man's behavior she needs to jump into a time machine and go back to the 1950s.
If two people aren't compatible or don't want the same thing it doesn't make either of them better or worse than the other. They're simply not "right" for each other.
In a world with over 7 Billion people rejection just means: NEXT!
If you go to the grocery store to buy an apple but purchase an onion instead whose fault is that? Do you curse the onion for not being an apple? No! You learn to become a "better shopper"!
Each of us gets to (choose) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.
Each of us has our mate selection process/must haves list.
Each of us has our boundaries and "deal breakers".
Know yourself, Love yourself, Trust yourself.
"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."
- Oscar Wilde