Noni Ayana’s Dating Tips 101

WHERE

Choose a space allowing conversation with minimal distractions and interruptions. Your first date does not have to be dinner in a 5 star restaurant. A first date could be at the park (during the day), a café, attending a summer festival or a cork and canvas, even a museum; not a movie. A movie does not allow you to have real conversation. Your focus should be on getting to know your date. A double date first date is cool too; especially if you feel uncomfortable physically meeting someone for the first time. There tends to be less anxiety and awkward moments. The pressure is no longer solely on you, and another person of the group can always chime in if the conversation runs dry. If the potential date/partner doesn’t work out at least you would have possibly made some new friends.

Make sure it’s a public space. If it’s the first date let someone close to you know where you’re going and who you are meeting, then call your contact person when the date is over or when you’re on your way home.

NO WEEKEND GET AWAYS OR TRIPS OUT OF TOWN WHEN MEETING FOR THE FIRST TIME! I don’t care how great the convo is or how often you chat online; simply because you find yourself thinking you know him well enough.

First time dates should not meet at your home. Your new date should not know your address, social security number, bank account information, etc. Unfortunately everyone does not have good intentions. To maintain safety, limit how much personal information you provide or include in your conversation. Keep the conversation light yet meaningful. How often should you do this? I say for at least the first 3 to 5 dates. Sharing confidential information should be preserved for married couples, engaged couples soon to be married, or cohabitating couples.

WHEN

Whenever you feel like it. If you practice safe dating, it shouldn’t matter when you go out. After the first date, it’s fine to text or talk about how you enjoyed each other’s company. That’s great. However, give each other a little space. Allow some time to miss each other. Talking everyday can become uninteresting and boring, or routine and expected, and can sometimes lead people to feel obligated to move to the next level. Allowing space between dates and all communication keeps the interaction moving at a steady pace, not necessarily slow, but steady.

HOW

Date as if you’ve found a new friend not a potential spouse. Date many and often. Plus, sex does not always have to be included. Do not expect or require monogamy while dating. During this time you are getting to know the person and they are getting to know you. Dating (not fucking) many and often allows you to get to know yourself while simultaneously learning your likes and dislikes about people and relationships of all types.

Go Dutch! Ladies, there is nothing wrong with splitting the bill, and equaling the playing field. Having the man pay every time can lead to entitlement and many times women feeling obligated to give something in return. For many women the exchange usually involves sex. Expecting a man to pay for every date or intimate outing does not make him anymore a man, gentlemen, or potential perfect partner. It just means he paid. A woman paying for the date does not mean a man is weak or not worthy, and it does not mean you are anymore independent. Frankly a man paying for every date is entirely unnecessary. Yeah, I said it. If a man is just meeting you, why is he paying every time, when both of you are participants of the date? I understand there are many men raised to believe the man pays simply because it is the manly thing to do. I get it. If this makes you happy, fine, continue to pay for everything. However, sometimes the spending should be coming from the other end. That’s all I’m saying. I’m sure gender roles have a lot to do with this.

WHY

Do you know why you date? What are your dating goals?

  • Are you dating to make new friends?
  • Are you dating because your close friends and/or family wants you to date?
  • Are you dating in hopes to get married?
  • Are you dating because you are afraid to be alone?
  • Are you dating to seek a father figure or mother figure for your children?
  • Are you dating for the free meals?

As you can see there are healthy and unhealthy reasons why people date.

Your dating goals are not only for you to know, but also so this can be clarified to the person you are dating. Whether you realize it or not, why you date is eventually reflected in your behavior and ultimately effects and determines the type of relationship you will have with this new person you are attempting to know. Whatever your goals are, always seek to build healthy relationships. Healthy relationships lead to a more healthy you.

-Noni Ayana

 

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