You need more than physical and sexual attraction – you should be getting an initial sense of their values and whether they treat you with care, trust and respect, and of course match words with actions.

Now I get it – many people do date because they want to find someone to share a relationship with. If you’re feeling very ‘date or die’, tough as it may be to hear, it’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself and get your personal security in order.

Ideally, I’d like to think they were all looking for a mutually fulfilling relationship with love, care, trust, and respect…but a lot of people don’t know what a relationship looks like, nevermind a healthy one – they just know they want one. So badly in fact, that I hear too many tales of people going into fixing/helping/healing/arguing/crisis management mode when they hardly know their dates. Desperation and insecurity either draw in shady people or filter out decent people as it’s kind of exhausting.

Dating does require effort, but if you already have to work at dating someone, you’ve got issues. As I said in my last post on Future Faking and Fast Forwarding, if you can’t handle the emotional consequences of making mistakes or being disappointed, aside from slowing down and rolling back your level of investment, I would address these areas so that you can date with a reasonable level of confidence and not feel like it’s a ride or die situation.

However, when I hear stories about disappointment, frustration, and insecurity about dates that haven’t worked out, there is a recurring theme: Do you know what this also means?

– They were too far along in investment and illusions to have their feet in reality enough to be working out whether this person was someone that they actually should be with.

Like the issue of common interests and sexual attraction, there is this dangerous assumption that someone who we find worthy of dating in the first place must be someone who is worthy of a relationship.

That’s called giving yourself far too much credit for your powers of judgement. Ask yourselves this: Why, if we’re dating, do we 1) act like we’re in a relationship or 2) not know when to fold and even if we see signs on day one that we should step away from the light, we try to work at dating? Leave Before you go on another date, evaluate your dating perspective.

I’ve been emphasising something over the past few months that I feel it’s time to revisit: Dating is a discovery phase.

Use the period from when you meet whether it starts out online or in the ‘real world’ as an opportunity for you both to discover the ‘facts’ about one another and assimilate whether you want to progress…or opt out.