Dating With Intention: 9 Steps to Success!
Dating with intention makes dating less complicated and more fun. Honestly, people make dating complicated when it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about learning how to date the right way, why you’re dating in the first place, & being intentional in your actions. In fact, I learned the only way to date successfully and with intention is to be selfish. It is the one area of life where it is necessary that everything revolves around me, myself, and I because you have to be honest, vulnerable & transparent with yourself as you assess the potential of the men you are contemplating dating.
Hello, beautiful ones! I pray that you’re doing exceedingly well!
Dating is a great activity and can be loads of fun when viewed and handled properly. However, some date as if it’s a hobby and have watered down its importance. If more people took it seriously and did so with intention, there would be a lot less heartache in the world. By intentional, I don’t mean having the intention to date now or in the future! I mean dating with a goal, with purpose, with intent. Your goal can be marriage or only to meet someone deserving of your time. After all, time is your most precious asset! Dating with intention means that you are dating to meet someone who is on the same wavelength as you are who makes you a better person and makes your life a bit sweeter.
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I never dated before either of my marriages. I met my 1st husband, the father of my children, at ten years old at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was ‘puppy love’ at first sight, and he was the only man I was with for over 15 years. My 2nd husband & I went to school together. We had a crush on one another forever, but we never did anything about it. He married someone else, and so did I. Our paths crossed after my divorce and a few years later we were married! To say I knew nothing about dating is an understatement. However, I quickly learned the ropes when my 2nd marriage ended after being thrown into the dating world without so much as a life vest. I floundered for a few years while I put the work in to be my best self and during that time I realized that if I wanted to meet the man for me and for the relationship to thrive, I needed to change my viewpoint about dating and my methods.
The moment I got my mind right about what dating is and what it is not and got intentional about it I started enjoying it more and began meeting extraordinary men, which includes my boyfriend, James. In fact, I met him on Plenty of Fish, an online dating site, in 2015, and we started dating exclusively in 2016. You can learn about that experience here!
Below are the nine (9) steps I followed to date with intention:
Ready to date successfully & have fun? Get the 9 Steps to Date With Intention and make it happen!
The first thing you should do before contemplating dating with intention is to be transparent about and honest with yourself about your self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, & self-respect. Don’t let desperation for love, attention, and affection lure you into the world of dating before you’re ready. Take the necessary time to check yourself, work on you, and find the ‘real’ you so that you know where you’re going and why. If you’ve recently experienced a breakup, spend some time with yourself and regain your emotional balance before you start to date again. Only then will you be able to have a healthy, positive dating life that brings you joy and satisfaction.
Don’t let desperation for love, attention, and affection lure you into the world of dating before you’re ready.
Know why you’re dating.
The answer to this question is the pillar of your dating process. Without it, you will waste your time, continue to get the same results you always have and get nowhere. Most of us date because we want to meet someone to marry who resonates with our views, principles, and values. And this takes work; a lot of work! Are you willing to invest the necessary time to determine, understand & fine-tune your ‘why’? As with everything you want to be successful at, you must have a plan; your reason for dating is essentially your plan. That’s why it is imperative you know beyond a shadow of a doubt why you’re dating.
Express your intention.
Don’t postpone the discussion about your intention for too long. Although it is perfectly acceptable to date for fun or just to make new friends, but your date should always know this. Never send mixed signals and break someone’s heart just because you can. Trust me, what goes around always comes around!
Make it clear from the very beginning why you are dating – for fun, to find a life partner, or just because you are hurt, and you are seeking a rebound relationship. Don’t step on the other person’s heart and confuse them with your attitude. Express your intention as soon as possible because the sooner you make clear your dating goals, the easier it will be for both of you to make a decision regarding your friendship and where it is going. Of course, this conversation shouldn’t come up during the first date, but the topic needs to be approached sooner rather than later. You don’t want to fall for a guy who just wants to have fun when you’re looking for marriage, and you’re already in love.
Set & maintain high standards.
Yes! The standards! Sadly, women are known for being quite flexible when it comes to standards and men. Whether we lack self-confidence or feel they have invested too much time in a relationship to try and change its course, we tend to compromise when it comes to the core qualities of our men. We have got to do better! If you want to be happy, lead a peaceful life, and remain true to yourself, this has to stop. NOW! Don’t accept someone’s poor behavior, bad attitude, or anything else that is demeaning, disparaging, or hurtful just to avoid conflict or because you feel you’ve given too much of you to end the relationship. You deserve better than to compromise or settle! You deserve a reliable partner who will make your life easier, not more complicated! And you need an equal, not someone to take care of or a project! These should be at the top of your list when it comes to dating with intention. The well-toned physique, size 12 shoe, long …fingers, and other such details can come as the fine print of your dating “contract.” But always make sure you never settle for less than you want and deserve from whomever you date.
If women want to be happy, lead a peaceful life, & remain true to self in relationships they have to set & keep their standards high!
Set boundaries and keep them.
Boundaries are the key to a healthy relationship that makes both parties happy. They act as a road map so that each of you knows what to expect from the other. It’s critical for you to share with your guy what you will and will not tolerate and vice versa. As you do so, please listen to what he has to say and try to understand his point of view. Remember: a relationship without reciprocity is a doomed relationship. Second, you should feel comfortable talking about anything with your partner and being yourself. Sincerity and openness create the foundation of a sound relationship and will help you notice when things are going awry so you can intervene immediately. Therefore, take the time to discuss the following topics so that you’re both on the same page:
• Communication Modes
• How You’d Like Him to Speak To You
• Disagreement Handling
• and more!
Follow your path!
Reading how-to articles can provide insight into the dating world, but they are there only guidelines. Every relationship is different and what worked for someone else may not work for your relationship. You are both unique, and this means that your relationship is unique too. Don’t generalize it and never ask for society’s approval. They don’t know you or your partner. Your friends and family may offer advice but always filter their words through your own lenses to determine if it applies to the fascinating puzzle of your dating life. Use common sense and discernment when it comes to your relationship and follow your path and heart, not that of others. Also, keep in mind that as you get to know your guy, you will learn his ways and vice versa. There will be signs that you will see, hear & feel when something is not right. You only need to heed them so that you can remain true to yourself and minimize heartbreak.
Never dumb yourself down or edit yourself for the sake of a relationship or anything else. If you want an authentic and genuine relationship, you need to be authentic and genuine as well. It doesn’t work otherwise. At some point, the masks must come down, and your entire relationship will end up being a make-believe story, and not a good one. Always be transparent and open even if this means that you feel vulnerable. The person in front of you wants a relationship with a real person not with a fiction character.
Never dumb yourself down or edit yourself for the sake of a relationship or anything else!
Live in the moment.
It’s true that we always step into a new relationship carrying bits & pieces of baggage from the previous ones, but this doesn’t mean we should live in the past. Learn the lesson(s) from your past relationships, let it go, and move on. The moment you decided to free yourself from your past and not project it into your present, you permit yourself to have a future. So, live for today and embrace everything that the moment brings intentionally!
Don’t forget to have fun!
Dating can and should be fun so don’t try to pressure your guy to speed things up. You both know why you are dating and where the relationship is going so have fun, let your hair down, and let things evolve naturally. Second, don’t talk about serious, life-changing, heavy stuff all the time. You won’t get this time back, so I encourage you to take it slow & focus on the here & now to actively enjoy the dating and courtship process. However, keep your finger on the relationship’s pulse so that you don’t get blindsided if something goes left. Trust me, and thank me later: there is no better litmus test for a beautiful relationship than time!
Sister-friend, are you dating with intention? If so, how has it impacted your dating life? If not, I’d love to hear your thoughts about dating with intention and if you think it would make a difference for you. Can’t wait to read your comments!!!
As always, keep it Chic.Classy.Spicy.