This blog is intended to help and bring insight to people. Please feel free to share this with others. It’s not a platform for shaming, embarrassing, or calling anyone out. Any comments of that nature will be deleted.
While it is addressed to the men, women are welcome to read, comment, and share, especially since their perspective would be quite valuable.
We’re nearing the end of the series.
Here are the blogs so far:[table id=3 /]
This blog is for men in a relationship already. So if you’ve been following so far, our man has told the girl his feelings and she’s okay with him pursuing her. Mission accomplished, right? Nope. He’s just beginning.
In fact, many men make this mistake. They make the dating stage their ultimate destination and once they’ve arrived, they get comfortable and slack off.
This can throw the women they’re in a relationship with because they wonder what happened to the man who was so persistent before? Why can’t he be reached now?
This can also unsettle the man. Why is she trying to ruin a good thing? Why does she keep trying to change me? She was so in love with me before, why is she complaining all the time now?
Clearly, something has gone wrong with their expectations on dating. You see, dating isn’t about having a status of being with someone. It’s about knowing whether or not this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
As my friend Carlos always says,
Date for clarity, not intimacy.
Here are tips to keep you on track while dating.
1. Always keep and maintain the initiative.
Don’t slack off! Keep the initiative. If she can’t make it to your suggestion, suggest something else. Don’t pout and say, “You make it too difficult.” You’re a man! You can do it.
I remember a team where the leader would always pout when people didn’t agree with his suggestions. He would wear a pouty face and say, “Fine. Have it your way.” What a non-leader. Instead of leading from the front, he was now a dead weight like a spoiled brat who didn’t want to leave the toy store.
In the same way, men who are pursuing women can’t lead if they don’t keep and maintain the initiative. Lead her. She’ll love it.
2. Give without waiting for her to give back.
I’ve been so guilty of going against this. I give a little to Carla, wait for some affirmation from her, then if I don’t get it right away, I become bad-tempered. In short, I wasn’t giving to her, I was bartering with her. That’s not very loving.
Instead, what I’ve had to learn the hard way is to give without expecting her to give back. Don’t count the sacrifices you’ve made. Don’t expect how and when she’ll return it to you.
Ironically, when you give selflessly that way, and she reciprocates, you’ll experience a beautiful cycle in your relationship where both give freely without expecting anything in return.
3. Give the way she wants to receive, not the way you want to give.
It was our first date. I showed up with flowers and chocolates which she put aside before we went out. Days later, I saw the flowers dying because they had not been put in a vase. I asked her why and she said, “I don’t really like flowers. A suitor once wallpapered my entire room with flowers and I didn’t like that either.”
At first, I felt pressured. I could never match what her previous suitor had done! Then I felt relieved. I didn’t have to! She didn’t like him; she liked me. But I had to give the way she wanted to give.
Study the girl you’re pursuing. She’s not a robot with buttons to press. She’s not a video game that has specific inputs and outputs. She is a person. Learn what makes her feel loved, not what you saw in a movie.
4. Date purposefully.
I’ve always seen dating as a halfway point between friendship and marriage. It’s not an end to itself. Many people make the mistake of making dating the goal then they wonder why they get stuck and it isn’t all they expected it to be.
See Blog #1: Mindsets and Blog #3: Choosing Well for more on this.
Date to know if you want to spend the rest of your life with this person or not. If you do, then move forward. If you don’t, then get out. Women can do men a favor here as well. If they’re open to being with this man, then continue. But if they know that they aren’t, then they should let him know kindly and honestly.
5. Date wisely.
There is so much under this point that could probably be another blog. But one excellent principle to sum it up is this:
Don’t let the level of intimacy exceed the level of commitment.
When a couple becomes intimate too quickly – emotional dependence, declaring undying love for each other, becoming physically intimate – but their commitment doesn’t match it, they open themselves to plenty of hurt and disappointment. When the relationship falls apart, they feel exposed, vulnerable, like a piece of them has been taken away. Because it has.
Physical and emotional intimacy alone don’t guarantee a lasting love. Best to enjoy the dating process, but move it along to lasting commitment.
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