for Dating and Reconnecting For Singles
and Men and Women in Transition
Rita DeMaria, PhD
- April 2003
(Do not copy or distribute without
Dating and courtship
is not a formal social process anymore. In fact many people think
that dating isn’t very useful for today’s adults. However, dating
is an important way to heal from hurtful relationships or the
effects of divorce. These guidelines can provide a way to move
from being single and alone to reconnecting and recommitting with
a new partner.
Please be sure not to share these guidelines with a new dating
partner, they won’t make sense to him or her. Many people believe
that you ought to date one person at a time, get to know him or
her and then if there isn’t a good match, then move on to the
next person. Unfortunately, that kind of dating process can take
years. Worse, you might spend too much time with one person rather
than getting to know lots of people.
Think about your social life as a young adult. You probably met
lots of people in a variety of social situations. You’d scan and
check out if there was ‘chemistry’, if not, on to the next one.
As adults, it is more difficult to have this kind of scanning
and dating experience. Unfortunately, many people meet at work
under circumstances that are often convenient but do not allow
for a variety of relationships. So, I encourage using the internet
as a constructive means for meeting many people.
Guideline # 1
Dating is getting to know someone, slowly. Dating does not include
a sexual relationship. In fact a premature sexual relationship
can undermine a potentially good relationship. Plan to date between
20 – 25 people during an 18-month period. Dating means you have
taken a little time to get to know someone who is potentially
a good partner for you.
So, you need to have a profile and clear expectations.
Develop an Ideal Partner Profile > Physical/chemistry, mental,
social, emotional, financial, spiritual aspects of the person
you are looking to meet.
Date 3 people at a time! Since you are not having sex with any
of them, you are not betraying anyone, right? Why 3 people at
a time? Because we all have a tendency to compare, therefore if
you are dating only two people you will be comparing them and
you will have a tendency to go towards one or the other. With
three dating partners you will be able to reflect more clearly
on each one’s strengths.
The challenge takes place when you meet a fourth person. Now you
must eliminate someone. Dating more than three people at a time
will unbalance your energy. Many people believe they cannot possible
meet so many people at a time. However, during high school, college
or trade school, or at work we meet many people all the time.
If we are single during those times, then we are usually scanning
the crowd to see if there are any interesting prospects around.
Consequently, adults who are dating must be willing to go through
a slightly more arduous and cumbersome process to create a similar
experience. So, some people may actually meet more than 25 people
during the 18 month dating period. Meeting more people is a good
thing because you will begin to see your patterns repeating themselves.
If you have an extensive social network, use it. Immerse yourself
in the singles network and activities that exists in your community.
Join an on-line dating service like match.com.
It is essential that the on-line service be reputable and that
it have a very large database for your community. Eharmony.com
is growing and so is Jdate.com
(don’t ignore the possibilities of meeting someone in your own
Reminder: Date number
1 isn’t really a date; it’s a screening session! Does this person
meet criteria? Is this a suspect or a potential partner? Chemistry
is important, but it isn’t everything!
We all hope to meet our soul mate. How do we know when we have?
We don’t, at first. What we do know is whether there is some physical
chemistry and attraction. Since we know there is a biological
basis for social attraction and that it can be very powerful,
this is another reason for the three dating partners at a time.
Sometimes our chemistry attracts us physically to someone who
does not meet our varied expectations, which always go beyond
the chemistry of falling in love.
Somewhere I read once that given current world population figures
and the DNA basis of attraction, that there are possibly 70,000
great DNA matches for each of us. However, some are too young,
some are too old, some live in Asia, others in Africa, so we can
begin to narrow down the number of possible DNA matches who have
the potential to become our soul mates. We are looking for those
matches with similar social and personal characteristics to our
own within our general age range. I like to think that we can
get that 70,000 down to about 11 realistic matches that I can
potentially meet in my lifetime. So, screening to look for these
really good matches takes time and energy and we each must be
prepared to look around and meet many prospects.
What is a prospect? Someone who meets the criteria we established
in Guideline #1. What is a suspect? Someone who is a DNA
match who gets my attention, but is not one of the 11, because
our life together would not fit my needs. Do not spend much time
with suspects no matter how great the chemistry might seem.
How does a prospect become a soul mate? By dating others and making
sure that this one meets your needs emotionally, psychologically,
and socially. It takes at least 8 - 12 months of dating to find
this out. Premature exclusivity does not allow a relationship
to develop in a natural way. There are natural stages to the dating
process: attraction, uncertainty, exclusivity, intimacy and commitment.
What About Sex?
A great sexual relationship takes practice over time with the
same partner, not promiscuity. However, some people have had damaging
sexual experiences that may need to be attended to and in those
situations, a caring sex-buddy can be a healing experience. However,
don’t expect your sex-buddy to become your soul mate.
Your soul mate will have all the qualities you are looking for,
however, becoming soul mates is a process that takes place over
a lifetime, with increasing levels of vulnerability and trust.
Sexual compatibility is an important ingredient in a loving relationship,
but make sure to keep track of all the important aspects of the
soul mate you are looking for!
© 2014- The Relationship Center
The Marriage Doctor® and Marriage Doctor® are registered trademarks
of Rita DeMaria. The words The Marriage Doctor® and Marriage Doctor®
cannot be used in any context. Copyright (©) - Rita DeMaria