In the 70s, dating for both men and women was straightforward. A man asked a girl out and was in charge of the relationship in every aspect. He made the move, called her, sent her a letter, picked her up, met her parents and proposed in a timely manner. The men also made the decisions concerning the relationship and finances while the women took a back seat and patiently waited to be steered in the preferred direction.
Today, times have changed, women too have taken charge, their perspectives on relationships have taken a major paradigm shift. The modern woman who has become smarter, financially stable and career driven, needs a man who is sensitive, attentive, attractive, affectionate, admirable, caring and kind as opposed to the traditional provider.
On the other hand, men’s expectations have remained the same. He requires the beautiful, home maker, who natures him and his household.
From generations past, humans have selected their partners through a wealth of information, based on family history, physical appearances, and character, chemistry and personal preferences. Does seeking a life partner on a photo with an introductory paragraph of several potential partners provide an opportunity for good matchmaking and a relationship built to last?
While the modern man and woman find it a lot more challenging to find their partners, the dating scene has evolved, incorporating two ways of finding love; online matchmaking and speed dating. Initially, these methods were received with skepticism. However, more recently, they have become an accepted way of dating globally.
But there are rules of the game that don’t change. Here are seven tips that will give you a leading edge.
1. Widen your networks
There are many men who will fit the criteria that is your ideal. Seek him diligently, prudently, patiently and exercise wisdom. Approach others with curiosity, compassion, and kindness but exercise caution.
2. Nobody is perfect
Seek personal development as an individual and be clear who it is that you seek as a partner. It helps to have a checklist concerning your preferences for the person, at least five with three non-negotiable. Manage your expectations.
3. Be at your best behaviour
Watch out for behaviour that could be construed as needy, desperate and clingy. Do not be too assertive and certainly do not take the date opportunity to bring about your wealth, position of power or influence. This is a moment of creating trust and friendship that could possibly go the next level and too much personal information could intimidate the prospective partner.
4. Be sensual and cute not sexy
While sexual energies may be high due to attraction, don’t engage sexually. This causes one to lose their sense of judgment. Avoid physical contact and continue to engage on intellectual connection. Respect the natural progression of intimacy, dress appropriately and by all means avoid showing too much flesh.
5. Self-disclose with limitation
This is not an opportunity to offload your heartbreaks. Do not talk about your past, the mistakes you have made, the expectations of this relationship if it were to go anywhere instead talk about your passions, and do more listening to get to know your date better. Avoid too much personal detail.
6. Don't monopolise conversations
You are not the highlight of the conversation. It is your opportunity to get to know the date better so listen, pay attention, observe body language and take time to know the person better. It is not about you, it is about them. Be inquisitive yet cautious, interested with boundaries, get cues on values, beliefs and traditions.
7. Be your authentic self
Nothing is as powerful as being your authentic self. There is no reason you should try to be someone else. Simply be you. That is what makes you different, attractive and approachable. Never lie about your true identity; it will always catch up with you. Be mysterious, and they will pursue you relentlessly.
The writer is a relationship coach and author, Marriage Built to Last. You can reach her on www.jenniekarina.co.ke