The old rules on dating need a little tweak to make them more realistic and in tune with our fast- paced lives of telecommuting, Internet dating, and social media. Though these virtual dating avenues are the “lazy man’s” version of dating, nonetheless below are a few dating tips to help you find the right person for you.
Tip #1: Look beyond the pretty face
Though chemistry is something every relationship needs, don’t let physical attraction be your only measurement of the person. Close your eyes and look within. Bookish boys and average-looking girls will surprise you with their sincerity and affection, two very important aspects in any relationship. Having a super model or a gorgeous boy by your side is thrilling, however at the end of the day you may find something lacking.
So before starting your search for the ultimate mate, put pen to paper and write down the values you admire and the attributes you desire in someone with whom you’d like to spend the rest of your life. Then, put your blindfolds on or sit before your computer and start searching.
Tip #2: Dating on a budget
Who doesn’t love to be pampered and showered with gifts? Finding ways to make ends meet and still splurge a little on your partner can be hard, but not impossible. All you need is a little creative planning. Break free from traditional gifts such as roses, chocolate and a meal to entice your partner. Switch those mundane roses for wild flowers, the chocolate for her favorite treat and have a picnic instead of dinner out. A little wine, some cheese and crackers, even a sandwich or dessert, and you have an inexpensive date with lots of added brownie points tossed in. Plus, you don’t even have to tip the waiter. And kissing your partner is always allowed.
Tip #3: Couch Potato vs. Adventurer
If you’re sitting in front of the television from the time you walk through the door until you leave, it’s time to find a new partner. Turn the television off and read a book, listen to music and communicate your thoughts. Go out for a walk and discover your own neighborhood or go out to the city and discover something new. Try a new sport, like rock wall climbing. Or try something you’d never thought possible, like a trapeze class. Or look for demo classes. I once took a demo class on flying a helicopter, and now I can hold one on course for five whole seconds. Those are bragging rights! It really doesn’t matter what you try. It’s the adventure and, most of all, sharing it with your partner.
Tip #4: Communication
The most important aspect of any relationship is communication. Being on the same page and understanding each other’s needs is paramount to a healthy relationship. This includes discussing your desires and needs. In them lies your self-esteem and self-worth, and these beliefs form the basis of your entire relationship. Communication is paramount if you want your partner to be happy and not wander elsewhere. Once in a relationship, most of the tension stems from vulnerability and fear of rejection. Avoid these by discussing the fears, anxiety, and most of all the misconceptions surrounding them. It’ll make the years with your partner more enjoyable.
As your relationship grows, establish other rules for yourself, support each other, and speak freely. Be honest with yourself and your love interest. Sometimes they can be perfect in every way, but passion isn’t one of them. That’s ok: keep them as a trusted friend and continue your search. Remember, so long as there’s a frog in your bed, you won’t find your prince or princess.
Dr. Charley Ferrer is a world-renowned Clinical Sexologist and the only Latina Doctor of Human Sexuality in the United States. She is the award winning author of The Latina Kama Sutra, The W.I.S.E. Journal for the Sensual Woman, and The Passionate Latina: In our own words. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Pleasure whose primary mission is to provide education on relationships, mental health services to women and men, and conduct research on sexuality. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.For more on Dr. Charley, go to www.instituteofpleasure.org.