In my business I encounter single women 30 years of age and older who desire a romantic relationship. Often these are women who have focused on their careers, recently completed laborious academic training (doctorate, residency, etc), or have been single after a long term relationship ended. They are ready to join the dating world but do not want to waste their time or energy. They do not want to play games. They know what they want. They are not interested in casual dating instead they are dating with a purpose.
For the record, I do not subscribe to nor am I an advocate for using the calendar as a relationship gauge. Nor, do I advise approaching each date like an interview or an interrogation. Furthermore, I do not believe love can be 'fast tracked.'
A date does not = commitment.
A date does not = husband.
A date does not = exclusivity.
I believe love grows from friendships and dating is a wonderful way to meet others, determine if there is chemistry, intrigue and a mutual interest to get to know one another better. Both parties are relative strangers to each other so there is plenty to discover. Physical attraction is easy to determine, but healthy, sustainable romantic relationships require more than physical compatibility.
Emotionally mature adults have conversations. They know who they are and from their previous life experiences and relationships they know what does and does not work for them in relationships, especially romantic ones. They do not play emotional games nor waste time, theirs or others. They are impeccable with their word and are emotionally intelligent, meaning they are in touch with their emotions and know how to communicate, express and manage them.
To address their concerns of not wanting to waste their time or energy, I created this list to help my single women clients navigate the dating world.
10 Dating Tips for Single Women Interested in a Committed Monogamous Relationship
He is NOT the man for you IF he is:
1. Intimidated: A secure man who is interested in you is not intimidated by your confidence, career, income, academic attainment, material possessions, dreams, family name, culture, etc. Instead he is intrigued by them and wants to learn more.
2. Anti- Characteristics: Does he not like one or many of your distinguishing attributes (characteristics)? Perhaps you have naturally curly or straight hair, a curvy, athletic, thin, or petite build, maybe your are charismatic, a social butterfly or you are an introvert. Maybe you are artsy, animated when you tell a story or meditate daily. A man who is interested in you knows all of these characteristics make you unique and he likes it.
3. Too: Does he think (or imply) you are too much or not enough of X, Y, Z. A man who is into you is not interested in changing you. He is naturally attracted to you. He is not interested in a Build-A-Woman.
4. One Way communication: If communication is one way, meaning you are the one always initiating contact (text, calls, dates, etc) or his response are one word or closed ended responses, he is not interested. A man who is interested in you enjoys your company and wants it in all forms. He is going to plan and ask for time on your calendar. He is going to create space for you, ask for and want to know your opinion, will call just to say hello, etc.
5. Intimacy via Sex Only: A man who is interested in you wants to co-create intimacy with you on multiple levels. Sex is easy. It is simple. It is easy for a man to share sexual intimacy with a woman. However, a man who is into you wants to have emotional intimacy with you as well. He will invite you into his life, world, heart and mind and want to be a part of yours as well.
6. One dimensional: He knows there is more to you than what he sees on the surface. He actually listens when you speak and inquires for more. He wants to know more about you and share himself as well. If he does not inquire about your life, interests, passions, family, dreams, goals, etc. nor shares his with you, he is not into you.
7. Keeps It Casual: Men know what they want. They know if they want a commitment and if they want to have a commitment with you. They know if they want to date casually, have a purely sexual relationship or remain single and they know which category they want to place you within. Unfortunately all men may not verbalize this to you, however their behavior will demonstrate their intentions. If you have been ‘casually dating’ for 6 months or more and he has not made any indication to move towards exclusivity or remains elusive when you ask for clarity, he is not the man for you.
8. Future and You're Not In It: If he speaks of the future and you are not in it.
9. Space vs Pace: If his space (the type of relationship he desires) and pace (the speed in which he is moving towards it) is different than yours then you two are not on the same page. Timing is EVERYTHING when it comes to relationships. There are people who are compatible but are in different spaces in their life for various reasons and as a result they do not get together. Space and Pace is a non-negotiable. If you desire a committed, monogamous relationship moving towards marriage in 2 years and a baby in year 3 and he wants to casually date you, other women and maybe consider marriage in year 6-7 years; then he is not the man for you.
10. Not Good Enough: If his words and/or behaviors demonstrates that he thinks you are not good enough, then he is not the man for you.
Usually, these cannot be ascertained after one date, however, if these are present, they will become visible after a few dates. Although there are some dates where 1 or both parties know IMMEDIATELY they have NO interest in exploring further and that is okay. My recommendation is to formally and respectfully close the door in person at the end of the date instead of blowing the person off later. An example is:
"Thank you for your company, it was a pleasure meeting you. Unfortunately, I do not feel we are romantically compatible and I do not want to waste your time or mine and think it's best we go our separate ways. I wish you all the best."
This let's the other person know you are not going to follow up nor are you interested in going out again. You do not have to defend or justify your decision, but it's important to treat others how you want to be treated and no one likes be ignored, avoided or strung along. This does not mean something is wrong with them, it only means you are not interested and that is okay.
Love does not require you to force a space, dumb down, beg, chase or change who you are fundamentally. Love does not happen instantly, nor is it something you fall into. Love is grown and nurtured from a friendship and these friendships may begin as a date. Take a chance. Date smart. Be open. Love has not forgotten about you.