One of the reasons I became a relationship coach was because of a painful break-up that I experienced which triggered a devastating illness. Once I found my way back to physical, and emotional health, I spent years researching and interviewing people about relationship issues.
This gave me real insight into my own behaviors and helped me realize that most of the problems I’d faced in my former relationship plagued many other relationships as well. I also began to acknowledge what damage stress and unhappiness can bring to our physical bodies.
So when I came out of the fog, and was finally ready to begin dating again, a good friend insistent that I join a dating service. I found the whole experience exhausting and time consuming, but I put up a photo and a profile and began going out again.
Those first dates included dinner, wine, or cocktails, but nothing ever went any further than the valet area of the restaurant. I was starting to get frustrated and thought that it was a total waste of time.
After another one of these first dates, I had a conversation with a male associate of mine that completely changed my dating experience. He introduced me to the etiquette of online dating.
Online Dating Etiquette:
- A coffee date is getting to know if there’s an attraction.
- A lunch date indicates there may have been an attraction or some chemistry, and during lunch you are able to see if you want to pursue it further.
- A dinner date implies romance.
Ah, I see. There is a method to the madness!
Dating can be like a game, and it depends on where you are in your life how you decide to play it. When we date there are no commitments, and according to relationship expert Dr. Pat Allen, we should enter into a contract before we start to “play house” with the person we’re dating.
The contract helps to assure that everyone knows where they stand in the relationship, and each person is on the same page. She says it makes sense to have a contract for any type of relationship you’re forming. Casual or leading to marriage.
When you go out, do you have a glass of wine or a cocktail? For most of us that’s normal, right? Well, Dr. Allen doesn’t encourage drinking on a first date. In fact, she’s against it, and I’ll tell you why.
Having a glass of wine may knock the edge off, but having any libation also lowers your inhibitions, and impairs your judgement. We can become so relaxed, that we believe we like our first date more than we actually do. This can lead to pre-mature sex, and regrets in the morning. Even though we live in the 21 Century, many of us still have the beliefs of the past. Not drinking on a first date may make you feel uncomfortable, but it may save you from yourself. Try it and see how well you’re able to see that person without the spell of the spirt.
If the two of you decide to see each other again, you can still look each other in the eyes while awaiting a new adventure. There is no remorse. So let me sum it up for you:
Six Tips to Consider When Starting to Date:
- No alcohol on the first few dates.
- If you two want it to go further, create a contract
- Have coffee to get a feeling for the person.
- If you think you may like them, have lunch.
- Remember that a dinner date implies romance.
- Know what you want.
Let me know what you think in the comments below, especially about the no drinking part.