Dating can be a fun adventure or a big, huge drag – usually it is a combination of the two. Because of the drag part and because most of us would rather be in a relationship than dating, people end up doing something we call “Consoli-Dating”. This means that they go on a couple of crappy coffee dates, finally find someone with whom they feel some chemistry and, before they even begin to get to know one another, decide to be exclusive. In other words, this tiny little sprout of a connection, which has barely begun to grow, suddenly has all the pressures on it of a full-blown relationship. This means two people who don’t even know whether they can survive a weekend trip together are either evaluating whether or not they have the same life goals, values, and child-rearing methods or denying any red flags that might come up because they are already committed.
We suggest you try dating in a way that can let connections grow slowly and organically and without so much pressure. Here are some tips to make dating less of a drag:
1) Make the first date short and non-committal – coffee, tea, a walk, or happy hour or something much more interesting, but still quickly escapable.
2) Don’t Market…Be Yourself – think of a date as seeing how it feels to hang out with someone. This means you actually have to let yourself hang out. Don’t make it a marketing session or an interview, connection is about chemistry not checking off a list of must-haves.
3) Not Working? Say Goodbye – As soon as you know that you don’t like someone that way, gently let them down. You are NEVER doing them a favor if you aren’t interested, you are wasting their time.
4) Most Important – Don’t Consoli-Date. Whether or not you are, most people you are dating are marketing, often for months. This means you might not even begin to see many aspects of who they are for a while. During this time of getting to know them, continue to date other people or at least leave open the option to do so. If you do, you might actually allow a tiny little bud to blossom into something great.