Dating / Relationships……

The concept of dating has been around since humans first walked the earth, usually starting with a flirtatious glance or two, some small talk, relatively innocuous “getting to know you” questions, hopefully followed by time and experiences spent together, all with the idea of letting both parties know if the person they are with is to be “the one”.

Types of dating and relationships between the opposite sex vary from culture to culture, but a few common ground rules exist if one is to be successful at it.

The highest priority is to “be yourself”.  Faking it or putting on heirs for the sake of impressing somebody may work at first, and even for the short term, but it simply won’t hold up over the long haul.  Eventually, one’s own personality, disorders, insecurities and all, will come out.  It’s always preferable to be loved or hated for who you are, not what you try to be.

A close second highest priority is “communication”.  Understanding each other’s desires, interests, and needs, and yes even doubts and fears, goes a long way towards cementing a relationship.  When both partners can talk openly and honestly with each other, the foundation that is laid only becomes that much stronger.

Good, healthy relationships don’t just happen….you have to work at it.  The idea of nurturing a relationship may be difficult, even awkward one to grasp at times.  But you must be willing to put in the daily effort to keep the flame alive and the interest kindled. Birthdays and anniversary celebrations are nice, but it’s the day to day appreciation and affection that your partner will appreciate and cherish the most.

There is no magical formula for finding the perfect one to share your life with.  Some people insist on dating and marrying only those who share the same religious, political, or ideological views, while others are of the belief that “opposites attract”.  However, shared values do not guarantee an idyllic relationship, and opposite qualities that seem charming at first can become annoyances over the long haul.

In our modern society, some people have sought to get past the initial awkwardness of meeting someone and getting to know them through online dating sites and personal ads.  This can range from seeking a marriage partner to simply hooking up for a non-committal one-night stand.

But even in the arena of online dating the basic concept holds true.  From the initial, ubiquitous “getting to know you” questions, to the more detailed elements, be yourself.  Post a current photograph (no PhotoShop, please), describe yourself, your interests, your beliefs, and your convictions with honesty and with passion.  Refrain from corny come-on lines (they didn’t work at the singles bar and they look even more ridiculous in print), and make the communication personal and real as early in the game as possible.  That first in-person encounter will tell you if you have hooked a frog or a prince.

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