December 26, 2021
In some ways, it feels like 2021 flew right by, and in others, it feels like it was the never-ending continuation of 2020. Let’s hope that 2022 brings more health and happiness to much of the world.
In the meantime, I’d like to share some words of wisdom for dating in 2022:
1. Texting is the death of the first date.
When you are conversing with someone on a dating app and that person asks to switch over to direct texting on your phone instead (by giving or asking for a phone number), there is a 60% chance that the date will no longer happen. (While not statistically significant, this is based on evidence from my clients’ experiences over the last 10+ years.) Why is this? Because someone drops the ball and doesn’t text, the plans don’t get finalized, someone texts something inappropriate, it turns into a pen pal relationship… the list goes on. Make your plans for the first date directly within the dating app. Once the date is scheduled, feel free to exchange numbers just for contingencies by saying, “In case you need to reach me tomorrow, my number is ___.” Your conversation-to-date conversion rate will be much higher.
2. You get what you allow.
If someone is treating you in a way you don’t like but you accept it, then that is the treatment you will get. For example, let’s say you prefer phone calls, but the person you’re dating only texts you. If you don’t tell the other person your preferences and simply reply to all of the texts, then that is what you get. You should never be shy to ask for what you need, which leads to the next point…
3. Telling someone what you need is not needy.
I hear all the time, primarily from women, that they are afraid to express their needs and expectations to their—often new—partner. That fear is mainly because they don’t want to hear an answer they don’t like. Assuming what you’re asking isn’t unreasonable, then it’s up to the other person to decide whether to do that or not. If they can, great. If they can’t, then it is up to you to decide how important it is to you.
4. You can always add dinner, but you can’t take it back.
Go on a first date for a drink, coffee, or a walk. Then, if you’re having a good time, you can stay longer and get food. If you arrange for dinner and can’t stand each other (no one hopes for this, but it happens), you are stuck at dinner. Wine bars are great—they usually have a good food menu.
5. If you don’t know, ask.
I get questions all the time about what something means that someone said. The reality of it is that I can make an educated guess, but in the end, only the person who said it knows. If you’re not sure what something meant, ask the person who said it.
6. No one is a mind reader.
You want something from your partner. You are not getting that something. Your partner does not know you want it unless you explicitly say it. No hinting. No beating around the bush. Use direct language.
7. Everything short of finding “your person” is not a failure.
We learn a lot about ourselves and other people in the dating process. This is necessary. Some relationships work and some don’t. And many work until they don’t. But the ones that don’t are not failures, and neither are you. It wasn’t a “failed marriage” or a “failed relationship.” Hopefully it was a positive experience (for at least some period) that couldn’t withstand the test of time. Each date or relationship is a learning experience that gets us one step closer to the one that lasts.
Even if we all implement one of the seven tips above, then 2022 should be a more productive year for dating.