You are probably aware there is a book about the RULES of dating.
Actually there are many books about the rules of dating.
They usually include suggestions such as, “when he rings the doorbell, wait a few minutes before answering, so he doesn’t think you’re anxious.”
Or, “be passive (feminine) and let him lead (masculine).”
Unfortunately, the bottom line about most of those rules is that they squash your natural reactions and present a false front, which is supposed to attract men.
It’s a lot of game playing!
And, I hate to say it, but this does attract some men.
However, the men it attracts are often the players and the predators.
Game playing usually produces short-term relationships, because it’s a match based on false images.
After a short time, the TRUE woman starts to come forth, and men say, “she’s not who I thought she was.”
Even though you’ve been trying hard to be everything you think he wants, it’s not real.
It’s a set-up for divorce.
It is the opposite of what I (and Brene’ Brown) suggest.
If you want a long-term relationship, then it needs to be based on two people who are being authentic.
Joy is experienced when you’re being seen, acknowledged, accepted for your real self.
Being open, vulnerable, and loved for who you are, is also what creates deep and juicy intimacy.
When I’m coaching clients I always suggest being authentic.
And, of course, you can be diplomatic about it.
For example, I have a client who wants a “traditional” relationship.
She wants a man who opens doors and pays for the first few dates.
These are HER rules for finding the right man.
It’s not about the money, it’s about her feeling of being cared for and protected.
Recently she met an attractive man and they went for coffee.
He opened the door and paid for the coffee and they scheduled a second date.
She was very interested in him, he was intelligent, listened to her, openly shared about himself, and was a gentleman.
But she was afraid that he might expect her to pay for the next date, and thus reduce her interest in him.
She knows that a lot of women feel that it is a sign of respect when men encourage women to open their own doors and help pay for dates.
But she doesn’t feel that way.
I suggested that on her next date, she gently tell him about HER expectations and…most importantly, HER reasons.
Although it made her feel very nervous and vulnerable, I suggested that it was important for her to share her FEELINGS, her desire to be cared for via his providing for her.
On the second date she gently opened up to him about how she felt initial dates should go.
She was delighted when he said he believed the same way, and they had a great time!
They have set another date and she is feeling more confident about the wisdom of sharing her true beliefs and feelings.
You probably have a different set of expectations…because every woman (and man) is unique.
There is NO generic set of rules that applies to all women or all men when dating.
Other than to be kind, to listen, and to be curious as you get acquainted, rather than critical.
The key is to tell YOURSELF the truth about what you really want and then gently and diplomatically share that with potential partners.
In other words, set your Boundaries and follow them, rather than some rules you find in a book.
Bottom line: Be authentic, not a game player, if you want to build long-term love.
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To Your Relationship Mastery,