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Serious Dating

In some ways, dating is on the same position with the playing field: Women can take charge of their dating and sex lives in ways they haven’t before. We can initiate dates or group hangouts just as easily as men do. The dating world revolves around making the right choices and this means that if you are ready for a serious relationship, you have to be clear about your goals, both to yourself and prospective partners.


Rules for serious dating:


1. Finding a partner is a project and requires time and energy. If what you want is a long-term relationship, approach it with your goals in mind. The right mindset is key: Start out by knowing that you are in control of the process.


2. If you’re looking online, do your profile with a friend, it will help you lighten up. Don’t boast or be self-disapproving. Be funny, short and concise, and don’t sound too cutesy. A picture that shows you are actively pursuing an interest is good because it offers information without being wordy.


3. Scan profiles selectively. Pick out three or four guys and signal your interest. When you contact someone, refer to a remark he/she made in their profile. If someone shows an interest in your profile, remember that you are not forced to respond unless you want to. You are the judge.


4. With several prospects, start an email exchange. But limit your emails to no more than two or three before suggesting a face-to-face meeting. Anyone who wants to prolong emailing is not interested in a relationship. He/she likes the anonymity of email flirting. Avoid this person — he could be married, in another relationship or just a cheat.


5. Arrange a coffee or drink at a convenient location. Talk about things you like to do, your job, college stories or recent experiences. (Be punctual — showing up is at least 50% of success!)


6. Pay attention to whether there is a good balance in the conversation. Does he have a controlling influence? Do you? Are you finding common interests? Avoid talking about your or his problems. Do not give advice even if he is begging for it; this is a bad way to start. Stay cheerful and optimistic.


7. On first dates, make sure you have other plans afterward and keep them, regardless of how things are going. If you’re underwhelmed with this person, you will have a good escape route. If you are having a great time and don’t want to leave, stick to your previous plan. If you are interested, say so clearly and be precise upon leaving.


8. Offer to settle the bills. Nowadays, single, college-educated women under the age of 30 are often making more money than men, so don’t stand on ceremony waiting for him to pay.


9. If he emails or texts (or makes the extra effort to make a phone call!), respond, but move along and suggest meeting again. This should be a real date with a fixed time and place. If he wants to keep it spontaneous, with something like “Let’s try for Tuesday,” don’t bother putting it on your calendar. It’s just not likely to happen.


10. After you have met, beware of texts that arrive at odd times and are friendly but unaccompanied by a suggestion of a date. These are false positives because they suggest more intimacy than is real. Don’t be taken in. Most likely, he’s bored and is just playing with his phone. Respond only if you have seen him in person within the last week.


If you start seeing someone on a fairly regular basis (at least once a week), realize that you are only beginning a relationship. Go slowly. Get to know him. See whether he is consistent, reliable and respectful. If you are sleeping exclusively with him and are beginning to take him seriously, consider discussing whether he is interested in having a monogamous relationship. If he is unwilling, start over! The two of you don’t share the same goals.


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