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Thread: How should a healthy date go? (For future reference)

  1. #1
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    How should a healthy date go? (For future reference)

    So, I've never really been on a healthy date before. Previous relationships have always started with 1 date and then jumped into a relationship that obviously hasn't ended well. I've noticed that there aren't any threads talking about what healthy dating habits are, and what to look out for in terms of bad habits as well. I've been working through a break up that really messed me up, and in an effort to avoid unhealthy habits I want to be prepared for the day I do jump back into the dating scene.

    What are some good signs that a date has gone well? How do you avoid jumping into things, and what are some bad signs I should look out for? I know it's heavily dependant on the person/people in the situation, but I hope some clarification on what dating looks like in a healthy way will help me better prepare myself for what is to come when I am ready.

    Thank you ENA angels.

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    Hi,

    A healthier date sets a healthy pace that feels right and natural. There’s no love bombing, there’s no forward unwanted sexual advances. There’s good conversation and butterflies in the stomach if there’s chemistry. There’s usually no awkward long pauses or crying. Yes crying! I had one guy cry on the first date because I wasn’t what he wanted. Lol

    There’s interest from both parties to continue to a second date.

    Bad dating is like I mentioned

    I would go at a slower pace if I were you the next date you have. Reserve making out for a later date. Get to really build an intellectual connection before the physical.

    I hope that helps

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    Originally Posted by limichelle
    Hi,

    A healthier date sets a healthy pace that feels right and natural. There’s no love bombing, there’s no forward unwanted sexual advances. There’s good conversation and butterflies in the stomach if there’s chemistry. There’s usually no awkward long pauses or crying. Yes crying! I had one guy cry on the first date because I wasn’t what he wanted. Lol

    There’s interest from both parties to continue to a second date.

    Bad dating is like I mentioned

    I would go at a slower pace if I were you the next date you have. Reserve making out for a later date. Get to really build an intellectual connection before the physical.

    I hope that helps
    Oh my, crying on a date would be horrible! It sounds like you dodged a bullet with that one!

    Thank you for your advice, I truly appreciate it. I have no intention of pushing any intimacy when I'm ready to date. I like the idea of getting to know someone for who they are before thinking about intimacy. I think my issue stems from my lack of perceived healthy experiences in the past. I know what I want from a future partner, what is healthy for me in a relationship. Just no real idea how to get that, how to build it up in a healthy way.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I don't think there's really a science to this. Speaking for myself? I think dating "goes well" when you have a strong sense of self, along with a strong sense of what you're looking for from dating.

    With that combination, the "power" of another person, so to speak, is only so powerful, which opens up space to really explore things without being thrown too quickly, be that thrown into a world of hurt (when you don't get a second date) or a world of fluttery whimsy (jumping right in after a few sparkly hours). Two feet on the ground, I guess you could say, so you can enjoy the (potential) journey into the clouds.

    The stronger and more surefooted you are, the more you're going to be naturally attracted to that, rather than to displays of fragility and insta-vulnerability in the form of neediness, possession, and the sort of projectile confessions that often pass for connection. And the more intimate you get with your own nuances and complexities—and, through that intimacy, protective of them—the more you naturally realize that it takes real time to get truly intimate with another's. Acts as a kind of governor, so the shallows (lovely as they can be!) aren't mistaken for the depths.

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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I don't think there's really a science to this. Speaking for myself? I think dating "goes well" when you have a strong sense of self, along with a strong sense of what you're looking for from dating.

    With that combination, the "power" of another person, so to speak, is only so powerful, which opens up space to really explore things without being thrown too quickly, be that thrown into a world of hurt (when you don't get a second date) or a world of fluttery whimsy (jumping right in after a few sparkly hours). Two feet on the ground, I guess you could say, so you can enjoy the (potential) journey into the clouds.

    The stronger and more surefooted you are, the more you're going to be naturally attracted to that, rather than to displays of fragility and insta-vulnerability in the form of neediness, possession, and the sort of projectile confessions that often pass for connection. And the more intimate you get with your own nuances and complexities—and, through that intimacy, protective of them—the more you naturally realize that it takes real time to get truly intimate with another's. Acts as a kind of governor, so the shallows (lovely as they can be!) aren't mistaken for the depths.
    I can definitely see how that works, bluecastle. I know currently I'm not stable enough for dating of a serious kind, nor of any kind as that would just hurt others and myself in the process. I'm leaning towards any future dating as a slow and steady process. I have heard the phrase along the lines of "kissing many frogs to find the prince" enough to know that it's no easy feat. When the time arises, should i be clear of what I want from potential dates? That I don't want hook ups, but the possibility of a monogamous relationship?

    Is that too forward? Or does it help narrow down the list of potential suitors?

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AceAlice
    When the time arises, should i be clear of what I want from potential dates? That I don't want hook ups, but the possibility of a monogamous relationship?

    Is that too forward? Or does it help narrow down the list of potential suitors?
    When the time arises, I say do what feels right. Try this, try that.

    Me? I personally found people who offered preemptive things with "no hookups" to be off-putting. Not because I was into only hookups, but because it struck me as a kind of display of distrust: in themselves, in others, to say nothing of also sly making old pain (that awkward hookup a month earlier, that tough breakup, whatever) the building block of a new connection.

    Don't want hookups? Easy—don't hookup after 45 minutes and a glass of wine, and don't bother with people who make it clear that that's their prerogative. Want the possibility of a monogamous relationship? Easy—make that clear in a sentence after two sips of wine, and then give yourself a few months of getting to know someone to see if the possibility is there.

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    When the time arises, should i be clear of what I want from potential dates? That I don't want hook ups, but the possibility of a monogamous relationship? In the first two or three dates, your goal should be just to enjoy the company of another person, finding interesting things about them. Non-intrusive stuff like if they have pets. Their career and hobbies. Do not project to the future, imagining him as "the one." Take a wait and see attitude.

    You will see over time if he is really wanting to get to know you instead of just wanting to bed you. Of course if you regularly start dating, it's wise to ask what his dating goals are to see if they match yours, and if they don't, you can make your exit. And yes, people can lie about their goals, but you should be able to see if his actions match his words over time. A guy just wanting to bed you won't be asking you on dates where you meet in public. He will quickly try to get private time with you at your place or his. So avoid that situation until you're secure in his intentions, which might take a few months. A guy who wants long term will be patient if you're reasonable and not being so slow paced as to be bringing past baggage into your present.

    Good luck.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Just thinking a bit more about this...

    One thing that genuine self-confidence offers—the strong sense of self business—is a deep-seeded understanding that you will be absolutely fine if things don't work out. On the first date. After the first month. After a few months. After sex. After entertaining some very big hopes. And so on. Wobbly, sure. Maybe torn up for a stretch. But fine.

    The more you're in that mindset, which is to say the more you've cultivated it before dating or entering a relationship, the easier it is to take the invariable risk of exploring, feeling something out, and pacing that in whatever manner works for you and is, in time, co-constructed with another. A boat with a solid keel can handle the high seas, without needing to control the weather systems—since weather, like other people, can't be controlled. Ever.

    I'm not at all knocking the idea that it's good to tap the breaks a bit on the physical front, but I guess I'm trying to get at the idea that even that is only so effective in hedging against hurt, disappointment, all that. You could pace everything right, have your red flag radar perfectly honed, be guided by a few years of therapy, and still find yourself underwater. That has to be okay, since if it's not? You're inherently short-changing the whole experience, closing yourself off from the endless mystery of another person, and the mystery of yourself. You're making dating and romance—and another human being—more about pain management and control than connection and sincere vulnerability.

    If I think back to my first date with my girlfriend, when she was a complete unknown who intrigued me something fierce, compared to now, living together and braiding our lives with intention, there really isn't a huge difference in how I approach the whole thing. There are enough "knowns" to feel utterly secure in taking some very big steps, of course, but there is also my own keel, the thing that kept me balanced when she blew my socks off after an hour and keeps me balanced as she continues to set fire to those socks.

    This period you're in right now, Alice? This is you learning that you can handle the hardest of weather systems, doing some work on the haul and keel. That work, more than a playbook, is going to be your compass when the time is right to get back out there. Trust that now, even if feels a bit foggy, as that trust will bring it all into focus in time.

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    Originally Posted by Andrina
    A guy just wanting to bed you won't be asking you on dates where you meet in public. He will quickly try to get private time with you at your place or his.
    Aha, that's the trick. And I was always picking the Italian cafeteria at the city centre. Someone has to teach me about these things.

    For the rest I agree with bluecastle.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Take your time. It's a bit like driving. The faster you go, the less you'll be able to notice what's happening around you.

    I tend to stick with simplicity. If it feels good and looks good, it probably is good. Throw time in there and it just proves whether or not it is good for a longer time. Not everything or everyone will be as they first appear and people change.

    Trust yourself above all.

    You'll have to be more fluid with yourself and understand that the dating experience doesn't define you. You do. When things feel helpless or hilarious, ill-timed or just downright bad, stay grounded and learn to let go.

    Another thing I tend to look for are like-minded individuals. What's the point if you're different every which way? Do you want your life to be challenging or harmonious? Be realistic.

    Have fun!


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