Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford
Dating with Purpose- 11 Tips
What does it mean to date with purpose? If you haven’t heard of this or do not have a purpose for dating you are probably “just dating”, “dating with unexpressed hope for a relationship”, hanging out” or “friends with benefits”. Unfortunately, many people date with the hope of turning their dating relationship into a long-term committed relationship or marriage without expressing those needs and desires to the person they are dating. Some people date unconsciously, content to enter a relationship with whoever comes along, shows interest, provides an adequate distraction from their everyday life, or fulfill their desire to have their sexual needs met. There are many approaches to finding love and commitment, however, the cards are heavily stacked against you when you attempt to turn a “friends with benefits” relationship into a committed relationship or marriage.
When you are seeking something more substantial than “hanging out” and want something more committed and monogamous than you are dating “with purpose”. When you are dating with purpose, you approach finding love from a higher consciousness. You look for solid qualities in a potential partner, qualities that are more in line with your moral beliefs and values. Once you have made a conscious decision to seek a mate with the desired qualities you typically create a very defined approach to sealing the deal. That means that meeting someone that you haven’t “vetted”, or asked about long-term goals, future planning, and long-term partner/spouse material is not the person you will enter a committed relationship with. Dating to find love requires strategy, preparation and goal setting, to get the results you want.
People that are dating with purpose must be “purposeful” with how they approach potential partners and the manner in which they lay the groundwork for the relationship they want. For the love of pizza, I know they say 50 is the new 40, 40 is the new 30, and 30 is the new 20, but, do not approach a potential partner with the thoughts “whatever comes will come” if you want a long-term committed relationship. If you approach a relationship from that angle you will get exactly what you have been waiting for “nothing”. Nothing will come because you have not expressed your desires, interests, or expectations for the relationship. While you may be hoping for something committed the person you are dating does not know that, he or she may assume you are “fine” with the way things are. Therefore, while dating you he or she may be exploring long-term options elsewhere. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard persons in their 40’s or 50’s recounting their dating failures with “I really like him, but I don’t want to put pressure on him. He works a lot, so I want him to be relaxed when he sees me, I want it to be fun. When we spend time together, we usually stay in all day, we Netflix and chill, like the kids say”. Red flag alert you are in your 40’s and 50’s, you are not a child, you want a committed relationship, but you are afraid to ask. In the example above, I have to point out, this is not exclusive to women, men have often entered a dating relationship assuming a potential partner will see how great they are and want a commitment with them only to be disappointed. When someone is seeing you and the only thing you have going on is sex, then it is hard to see you outside of that role. As unfair as it may seem, most daters would like to start “fresh” with someone else than turning a sexual relationship into a committed relationship. Knowing this, if you’re done with leaving your love life up to chance, dating with purpose is the way to go.
11 Tips for Dating with Purpose Include:
Get to know yourself better and what you want in life, in your future
Identify what you want, e.g. causal dating, friends with benefits, or long-term committed relationship.
Identify what you want in partner
Devise a plan or strategy to secure the relationship you want
Avoid dating multiple people and trying to “weed out” the person you don’t want. This creates hurt feelings and influences how you see your potentials and how your potentials see you.
Identify what type partner you are interested in, e.g., types of qualities he/she needs to possess, are you looking for the same things in a partner you had in the past, or are you looking for something else, etc.
Express your needs upfront
Try not to ruminate on what hasn’t worked in the past, rather, learn from them.
Maintain a positive attitude and outlook
Don’t assume the person you meet or have chemistry with will be “the one”, know you will have to date a little to find you’re the right person for you
Don’t settle, as tempting as it may be to settle for less than what you want, you must go after what you want. By focusing on what you want in a relationship and a partner you are bound to find it.
Dating can be tricky, but finding love is totally possible, whether you are looking for a long-term committed relationship or marriage, the possibilities are endless. Don’t be discouraged when you thought you found the “perfect” person and he or she is not interested in a long-term committed relationship. Maybe that was not the “perfect” person for you, consider it this way there are other potential suitors out there, waiting for the opportunity to be with you.
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