John Gray Thursday, October 19, Whether you are starting over, just starting to date, or have been dating for years, one thing doesn't seem to change: Although dating can be confusing, painful and full of challenges, the greatest reward is finding a Soul Mate.
So how do you find a Soul Mate? You should focus on yourself first. Prepare yourself so you are ready when your Soul Mate shows up for you. How do you know when someone is right for you? It takes times and a journey through the Five Stages of Dating to recognize your true life partner.
Soul Mates are never perfect. But when your heart is open and you know them, they are perfect for you. So what are the Five Stages of Dating? Basically, there are five stages of dating that couples go through to grow into a more serious relationship. It helps to have a strong understanding of each stage so you can better navigate the dating world and find the right partner for you.
I will explain the five stages now but my book, Mars and Venus On A Date , goes far deeper into explaining them with real examples and strategies for navigatig the dating scene. Attraction The secret to the Attraction Stage is staying true to who you are, while still expressing your best and most positive self. This can be a challenge for both men and women because we forget how our language and behavior may be misinterpreted.
Tips for Women A common misunderstanding women have of men is that they should communicate like women. Many women make the mistake of assuming that the more a woman listens to a man with great interest, the more he will be interested in listening to her.
Unfortunately, the more a man talks, the more he becomes interested in what he is talking about — and stops thinking about her. In order for a man to be interested in a woman, she should do more of the talking and share herself in a positive manner. She should also avoid dwelling on negative feelings or problems in her life because he may assume she is difficult to please. Talking too much and putting it all out there right away can feel like too much information to a man and turn him off.
Tips for Men In order a woman to be interested in a man, he should do something to make her feel special. This could simply be when he notices her, he initiates eye contact, and gives her a sincere compliment.
When he offers these gestures without expecting anything else other than the pleasure of getting to know her, he becomes more attractive. A woman is attracted to a man who shows interest in her. So, he should also take the time to ask questions, listen and get to know her more than talking about himself and offering advice.
He could try some open questions like: What do you like to do for fun? Tell me about your work. Tell me about your family. The Challenge The challenge during the first stage of dating is to make sure you get the opportunity to express your attraction and get to know a potential partner. The man should chase and the girl should let him. Uncertainty Just as the first stage of dating is a time to meet and get to know a variety of people, the second stage is the time to focus on one person and give that relationship a chance to grow.
Men and women experience uncertainty differently. While a man tends to question whether he wants to pursue a relationship, a woman tends to question where the relationship is going. Uncertainty for Him When a man is uncertain, he tends to question whether he wants to pursue the relationship or keep pursuing other women.
He may really like her but he questions whether she can give him what he wants. When a man is uncertain, he should ask himself: Could I be the right man for her?
Do I care for her? Do I want to make her happy? Do I miss her when we are apart? Uncertainty for Her When a woman is uncertain she tends to focus on where the relationship is going. She often senses the man pulling away and worries if she did something wrong or if he is with someone else.
When a man comes on strong in Stage One and then pulls back in Stage Two, a woman sometimes feels like chasing him or giving him more. This can sabotage the relationship. As she is looking for his reassurance, she often makes one of two common mistakes: She asks him where the relationship is going. She tries to win him over by being too pushy or giving up herself.
Both of these approaches can push him away or prevent him from feeling confident that he is the right man for her. Instead of letting him continue to please her, her attempts to please him can cause him to lose interest.
If and when she is not sure where her relationship is going, she should find support from her friends. This gives her time and space to think about whether he is really the right person for an exclusive relationship. The Challenge The challenge in Stage Two of dating is to recognize that uncertainty is normal during the dating process. Without a good understanding of the uncertainty stage, it is easy for a man to drift from one partner to another and for a woman to make the mistake of pursuing a man more than he is pursuing her.
Exclusivity The Third Stage of Dating begins when both people feel a desire to date each other exclusively. Both of them want the opportunity to give and receive love in a special relationship without competition.
They want to relax and have more time to share with one partner. The Exclusivity Stage begins with a conversation and a commitment to stop seeing other people. Exclusivity must not be assumed without talking about it and coming to an agreement about it. Many people believe that if they are sexually involved, then they are exclusive. However, sex is not a requirement for exclusivity. Exclusivity for Him When a man moves into the exclusivity stage, he can often grow complacent in the relationship.
He may assume that he has done all he needs to do to win a willing partner. This can cause him to stop doing the things that made him so attractive to her in the beginning. This is not the time for him to sit home and assume that the work of building a romance is over. He needs to continue to take the time to explore what she likes and plan romantic dates together. Romance fuels her attraction for him.
If he relaxes too much, she may stop responding to him like the way she did during the first two stages of dating. Exclusivity for Her After she has agreed to be exclusive, her greatest challenge is asking him for support. She often assumes that he will start to do things without being asked. Just as his romantic gestures reassure her that she is special, her requests encourage him to continue giving her what she needs. She becomes more attractive to him when he knows what she wants and he feels confident that he can fulfill her.
She should continue receiving with positive responses. She may want to do more but when she feels she is giving more, she can lose her appreciation and attraction for him. The Challenge The challenge in the Third Stage of Dating is to avoid becoming too comfortable and stop doing the little things that make the other person feel special.
He needs to continue being romantic, planning dates and chasing her. She needs to ask for what she wants, and be receptive and responsive to his efforts. Intimacy Once both people have experienced chemistry on all four levels — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, they are ready to experience the real and lasting love that can grow in the Fourth Stage of Dating: This is the time to relax and just get to know each other on a deeper, more personal level.
She should continue to open up more and share her thoughts, feelings, and vulnerabilities. He should continue to express his love, show more interest and desire, and look forward to regular physical intimacy. Both of them should grow closer and feel the joy of a deeper emotional connection and increased physical contact.
Tips for Men The biggest challenge for him during this stage is to understand that she will show more vulnerability in the relationship. Her emotions will tend to rise and fall — like a wave. She may feel very loving and happy for consecutive days, but once her emotions reach their peak, her wave crashes, and she has very little to give.
She may feel overwhelmed, insecure, or resentful, but he should avoid taking it personally. This is when he needs to draw from the skills he learned in Stage Three and continue to give his best without expecting an immediate return.
He should avoid trying to talk her out of her feelings. Rather than give solutions, he should provide greater understanding, empathy, and just listen.
Tips for Women Just as her feelings tend to rise and fall with the increased intimacy, men experience the need to get close and pull away — like a rubber band. The more intimate a man becomes with a woman, the more he will sometimes feel a need to have some distance. Each time he pulls away, his love grows as he experiences missing her and wanting to be close again.
This back-and-forth urge is natural for a man and mimics the testosterone production in his body. His need to pull away will decline less and less as emotional intimacy deepens in the relationship.
If a man gets close to a woman before he has experienced chemistry on all four levels — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual — he may not come back when he pulls away.
If he has not experienced enough love, then the rubber band breaks. The Challenge The challenge during the Intimacy Stage is understanding how each person handles intimacy differently and giving that person what they need, when they need it. He can struggle with his need to be autonomous while also being committed.