Aimed at helping you move from first date to engagement ring, these 10 pieces of advice are for both guys and gals. This is practical information you can use as you navigate life’s muddy relationship waters.
Dating is hard — or at the very least it can be. Finding the right girl or guy for you means taking a few hazards, but there’s never any reason to do anything you do not want to do or make yourself feel uncomfortable. Sure, you may have to step a little outside your comfort zone, but there’s no reason to change your ethics or compromise your morals to find the best person for you.
You wouldn’t be pleased with someone who likes a made-up version of you rather than the real deal anyhow.
So here are 10 pieces of sensible advice which will benefit any guy or gal in the dating world.
1. Trust your instincts. If you don’t instantly click with somebody, push on. There are too many fish in the sea — or guys in the bar or girls at the concert — to fool around on one that isn’t quite right.
2. Take gifts without feeling any sense of requirement. Do not let gifts make you uncomfortable. Unless it is an engagement ring, you’re under no obligation to someone just because you accept a sign of their love, sentiment or general liking of you.
3. Bear in mind that there are advantages to being single. So take advantage of alone time to read, meditate, think or rest. When the right person comes along, you will lose privacy and “me” time — and you may never get it back.
4. Be cool. You can frighten off a potential lifetime partner by coming on too powerful. Show the other person how much you like them, but do not be too fast to confess your love or voice your wishes. If it is the best person, there’ll be plenty of time.
5. Don’t drink on your first date. If you are judging someone as a potential friend, you may need a clear head. And you really need to have your wits about you in case things take a turn south.
6. Don’t wait for the other person to take the following step. If it is time to move to the very next step in a relationship, forget sex rules and social norms. Once you’re sure of something, express it. You do not want him losing interest and moving on when you were hoping to get closer.
7. Nobody’s perfect, but some are much better than others. Decide early on to overlook little issues and look for personality instead. Somebody of character is more important than someone who does not snore, don’t leave things everywhere or doesn’t whistle while walking.
8. If things start to go bad, be honest. The other person may feel the same way — or might be able to suggest a solution. Don’t walk away mad unless you have made your case and failed to impress. Then, getting mad is perfectly appropriate.
9. Ensure you are O.K with yourself before agreeing to settle down. Don’t agree to move in or get married if you are not assured in yourself. You do not want to let the other person mould you; instead you want to be an absolutely formed person moving in with another completely formed person.
10. Accept the ring if offered. If things are going well and you like the person, do not be surprise if he — or she — moves at a different pace than you do. Accept the engagement ring if offered rather than turning it down and ending the relationship because the speed appears wrong. Simply because the other person moves faster than you doesn’t suggest the relationship should be deserted.
It’s all sensible advice, right? You may not be short of advice when dating, but guidance this good is difficult to find. It will prove useful to you as you move from dating to major relationship and on to marriage.
Petra Bierberg is owner of a jewellery design company, she encourages people to move from dating to proposing, with a special custom jewellery at a deliberate pace, making sure a good one doesn’t get away.