So, you made it past the first few dates! Now what?

How you go about getting to know this new person depends on what your purpose is in dating.  The kind of person you want to just have fun with or have sex with may be very different from the kind of person who you want to have as a committed life partner and have a child with.

This article is for you if you want your dating experiences to help you:

  • Explore if a person is someone you want to get to know better based on shared values, character, skills for navigating life and relationships, emotional intelligence, etc. with the possibility of a committed relationship.  The point of dating is to get clearer about whatever is important to you.  You can judge his character by watching how he interacts with the waitress at the restaurant on your first date.
  • Determine if you think s/he is a good partner for you by paying attention to how comfortable you feel when you are together. You may want someone who you think is good-looking, sexy or successful. In the end, if you want a real loving, authentic relationship, when you are with him or her, you want to feel relaxed, open, and confident, valued not for your looks or money but for who you really are.

Once you’ve gone out for a few dates, such as coffee or brunch, dinner, a movie, try some new things and see how you click in real life. You see people differently when you are going roller skating or signing Karaoke versus sitting at a table while eating dinner and talking.

The activities can meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • It’s fun.
  • It gives you an opportunity to hang out and have different conversations. This is why a movie may not be the best thing to do since you are not interacting during the movie although it does give you a shared experience to discuss after the movie.
  • It allows one of you to share something you enjoy with the other.
  • It’s something one or both of you haven’t done so there is an opportunity to see how s/he operates outside their comfort zone.
  • It involves physical activity.
  • It lets you see how s/he interacts with others in different situations.
  • It shows you their emotional maturity.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of, recognize and manage your emotions and the emotions of others to create effective relationships. You may not value this when you are younger but it is difficult to navigate relationships and life with someone who lacks emotional maturity and concern for others.

Here’s the list I came up with.  What ideas do you have to add to the list?

  1.  Start your date with coffee at the bookstore while you explore books you each enjoy and share your passions (in books, of course!)
  2.  Take a walk or bike ride in the park and enjoy being outside (and maybe get ice cream!)
  3.  Visit the botanical gardens and learn about flowers together
  4.  Go to the zoo and feed the animals
  5.  Go roller skating or ice skating (or both!)
  6.  Play Ping pong, tennis or racquetball
  7.  Shopping at farmer’s market and cook a meal together
  8.  Take a class together – cooking or painting (including ones where you can drink wine) or pottery or ???
  9.  Workout together at the gym if you both exercise
  10.  Go on a hike
  11.  Horseback riding
  12.  Indoor skydiving (get a discount on Groupon) or climb a wall
  13.  Skiing (if you live in driving distance of slopes)
  14.  Go on a double date with your or his friends for a game night
  15.  Go to a concert or musical performance such as indie band, opera, indie band, jazz trio or a rock concert – something one or both of you enjoy or something neither of you are not familiar with (in which case get recommendations from friends)
  16.  Sing Karaoke
  17.  Go to an outdoor concert or movie and have a picnic (or just have a picnic)
  18.  Go to a comedy club
  19.  Attend a Meetup group you are both interested in attending
  20.  Meditate together or with a group (silently or listening to a guided meditation) and share your experiences.

What new experiences and adventures can you create as an easy way to get to know someone better without having to ask 20 questions?

If you are single and looking for lasting love, you are welcome to sign up for a Breakthrough Discovery Session and see how my upcoming online program “Your Journey to Lasting Love” for single women or single men, or individual coaching, could support you in having the love you want in your life.