Dating Tip #4: Do your homework

You wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it would you? Move into a house without checking that it’s in good condition? Select a school for your children without ascertaining the necessary information? Exactly. So why is it that we would think that Mr or Ms Right-in-front-of-us-this-very-moment is the answer to our dreams? Horror stories about of people being taken in by a smooth talker, be it luring them into bed on the first night with promises of “I promise I will respect you in the morning”. Or abscoding with the life savings of some trusting soul.

Save yourself time and energy by following a few easy steps to ensure you know what you are getting into:

1. Get savvy.

Does he sound too smooth to be true? He probably is. Is she a little too flirty with the waiter for comfort, and thats only on the 1st date? You could be hooking up with someone who is only out for a good time, or who has commitment issues. Pay attention to the warning signs that first clock your attention. I’m not saying  that you should instigate a background check on innocent souls, but do be aware of trusting someone upfront before your common sense has even had the smallest chance to kick in. If you’re in a dingy bar, chances are that rough guy aint used to treating ladies too well. Or if that hot babe prancing around at the gym gets off on the attention of every available man, she probably isn’t going to change into a sedate housewife anytime soon.

2. Location, location, location.

The people and places you hang around determine the type of partner you are most likely to meet. Statistically, in my experience, most of my clients and the people I’ve spoken to over the years have met their partner through friends or family (yes, I know, scary but true), work, sport or hobbies. I have come across a few that met their soulmate in a bar, but the odds aren’t that great. Its great if you work at a mental institution and you hook up with a psychologist, or nuturing nurse, but beware of the inmates, as the saying goes!

Work functions with like minded people, or in similar industries are great fodder to source potential partners. So to0 are your friends, because that hunky cousin of your best friend’s may well be your Mr Right. And your mother’s colleague might have your perfect partner in her adorable neice who has just joined their lift club. Sport is a great way to meet someone who sees you at your worst and still loves that you have a common interest. What is worth pointing out here, is that these people are known qualities and as such are a safer bet than Miss Hottie who may just be into boiling bunnies on the side. Or Mr Strong and Silent who has friends in the Russian mafia.

3. Take the time and trouble to investigate the dating pool before you take the plunge.

Talk to your friends and colleagues about their experiences, read a few articles, try out a few if you feel like it. Whether its internet dating or testing the waters after a break-up, it is important to know what is out there. You may be a little green if you’ve been in a relationship for the past 10years. Times change, people change and most importantly, single life is a lot more dog-eat-dog than a lot of people realise. It can be brutal to realise you are just bait to so many hungry people on the take. I’ve seen hard nosed business women flee from the harshness of dating, unprepared for the same mis-treatment they were exposed to in the business world. However, not all experiences are fraught with negative experiences, and the more you acquaint yourself with knowledge, the more empowered you will be. Find out the do’ and dont’s from those who have been there.

4.  Take the time to know what type of person you really want.

If you’ve always been attracted to free-spirited men who couldn’t commit, but you are ready to settle down, perhaps it is time to appreciate a more secure guy with a gentle nature who loves to take time off to fish or paint, but who still loves to come home to you. Or perhaps an individualist with firm morals, open minded yet secure. Similarly, if you like successful ambitious men, then dont go to surfing spots or poetry evenings, filled with intellectuals who would rather ponder life’s mysteries but who lack the necessary drive to turn you on. Take a look at the past men in your life, note the similarities and patterns, what workd for you and what did not and choose more appropriately.

5. Take some time to research yourself, your needs and exactly how you see a relationship playing out

Similar in essence to No. 4, this entails being practical about who you want to attract to you, instead of trying to fit in or be what someone else wants you to be. Most women dont think about the realities of living with the guy they will end up with, until after the rose tinted spectacles are removed. Often we end up with a really nice guy, or a great romance, but the long term realities dont fit. Make sure you know what you can, and are prepared to take on, and what you can or can’t handle.

6. Have fun! Its a process, not a minefield.

Research can be fun if you approach it in the right frame of mind. It can be exciting to begin the process of deciding what you want, checking out the market and shopping for the best selection you can find. The more prepared you are, the more you can relax and find the humour and enjoyment in the process.



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