Most of us have preconceived ideas about what we want when we date, even if we don’t consciously know it. Some of us are ‘relationship people’ others are serial daters, and there’s nothing wrong with either. But it can be difficult to convey what you really want and when to tell your date.
Step 1: Figure out what you want
Before you message any potential partner you should find out what you want. Lots of us think we want a serious long term relationship but haven’t taken the time to find out whether we actually want that right now.
It’s worth spending some time learning about yourself and how you can answer the question ‘what do you want?’ as well as you can. It can help to honestly write down a few key things you’re looking for (and what you’re not looking for!).
Step 2: Let them know
Don’t go barging into your date demanding they listen to “how you only want something casual”, but as you get to know each other, even when messaging, broach the subject casually, and don’t beat around the bush. More often than not you’ll find someone who wants the same things as you, and it’s better to find out early before delving too deep, one of you catching feelings then realising you want two completely different things.
Step 3: Don’t be afraid of their response
Don’t dance around the idea of letting them know because you’re afraid they’ll stop seeing you. Be direct, respectful and honest, whether you want something serious or just to see where things go. The less you lead them on, the better it is for both of you. Letting the person you’re prospectively dating make an informed decision about what they’re getting into is the best thing you can do. Put yourselves in their shoes.
Step 4: Don’t be swayed
If you don’t get the response you want, it’s essential to be honest with yourself. Of course, someone might make you change your dating goals, but go back to step one, and see if being in or out of a dating relationship with that person is definitely what you want right now. Dating is all about spontaneity and fun, but make sure you’re not making decisions which will end in heartbreak.