h2>Dating : How to Date Without Wasting Your Time
How to Date Without Wasting Your Time
Dating and finding a romantic partner can be a daunting task especially if you value time and emotional energy. When I started dating a few years ago, my mother told me that finding the right partner is like employment. This involves interview questions and assessment if you are fit for the right job or position. It also entails negotiation; you assert your value and the company you apply for evaluates if it is willing to pay for your worth in the job market and vice versa. If a company rejects you, then it’s just not right job for you, keep on finding one. You Just know your worth and know what you’re looking for.
I like how my mom used that metaphor of finding a job to finding a lifetime partner. However, I have started shifting my perspective when I started to work in the Human Resources for a multinational company. My task involves sourcing candidates that can fill a position, pre-screening them before they get interviewed and performing background checks. During the pre-screening, I scrutinize multiple resumes and I check their educational backgrounds, work experiences and skills. I must look at the details and decide if they are fit for a role based on their qualifications. I had already rejected more or less a hundred CVs. And for every rejection letter I send, I have felt like the person who was looking for a job. But that is life. Rejection is just part of it.
I thought of relating my task to dating as how my mom described it to me. But instead of seeing myself as the employee looking for the ‘one’, I have the power to reject or hire someone in my life if they are qualified or if they have earned my trust. Like the dating apps, you have the choice to swipe right or left. And where do you base your decisions? Like the ones we have in HR: there must be a standard, the must-haves, non-negotiable qualities and skills. Like how candidates are interviewed, I have thought of these 10 questions that might help on dating with practicality and efficiency if you are looking for a partner in a serious relationship.
1. What are my non-negotiable standards that I want my future partner to have?
This involves religion, spirituality, values, belief systems and family tradition instilled from childhood that you hold dear in your life which you consider as your living foundation. If you value the truth and integrity, then it must also manifest in the life of the person you date long term for a potential marriage.
2. Does this person have the qualities I’m looking for?
a. Attraction: Am I physically attracted to this person? I think this is what tinder and other dating apps is for. As shallow it might seem, people are treated like commodities. They sell themselves on the market, improve their packaging by conforming with society’s beauty standards. Well, the thing is I’m not the type of customer who is not so interested with the packaging, I go with quality and sustainability. Though, I like how dating apps use algorithms for determining compatibility with a match based on what people reveal online, people can create different persona for ulterior motives and you will never know until you try and test in real life.
b. Background: Some people do put emphasis on the education especially parents who are very mindful in maintaining their social status. This is very essential when I check for Resumes and CV’s for management jobs as it is part of our process. I had relatives who have grown cold with children because of status but then, I never mind dating a college dropout as long that person has good values, principles and someone who thinks outside the box . Mental connection is also important that some people like me knows when I have clicked with a person, that’s when the flow of conversation is easy, and the person is able to hold a nice and meaningful conversation on a first date.
c. Health: If you value your health, then you must also see that this person is working on themselves for growth and development. This does not only mean a balanced diet but how does he take care of his mental and emotional health?
d. Outlook in life: This person will be you companion for a thousand dates, dinners and vacations trips. You wouldn’t want to deal with a toxic and negative person when life is short so it’s good to also pay attention for attitude. Does he seem controlling or outgoing? Or do you see any signs of narcissistic behavior? If so that’s a red flag. It is better to have someone with a positive outlook in life.
3. Do we have something in common when it comes to interests and hobbies?
People have different tastes and likes but having a person who can be your buddy in activities that you really like doing can make your relationship more interesting and sustainable. Determining your lifestyle upfront can save you from headaches later. I once dated someone who likes to party and we tried to navigate each other’s different lifestyles, but my energy gets easily drained with crowd, loud noises and shallow socialization. I think you might reconsider doing something out of your comfort zone but think again of the consequences of that compromise.
4. Do we have the same values when it comes to money and resources? Can I see my future with him/her?
Given that you have been clear with your intentions and what you want out of dating, this question should be part of your practical dating interview list. Statistics have shown that one of the root causes of divorce and marital fights is money. If you are a saver and your date splurges on stuff it might be a potential cause of conflict. It doesn’t matter if that person was born with a silver spoon or came from a wealthy background. If he cannot wisely handle some small stuff like money, how can he be entrusted with much.
5. Does he have the capability to maintain relationship or raise a family (if you want a family)?
I think everyone must at least know the basic life skills. Again, it doesn’t matter if the person came from an affluent family. He must know how to be independent too. The person must know at least some basic tasks such as cleaning regardless of their gender because even though it can be delegated to others and paid for with money, shit happens. Is he generous and loving? When it comes to intimacy, assess if they are they open to talk about their sexual appetites or drives and if you both are compatible in this aspect.
6. How does he treat other people especially his Mom/Dad and those people with the lower social status? They say that when you’re on a date and a person is not nice to the waiter, he is not really nice. Even though that person treats you special, sooner or later, that real character would show. I once dated someone who’s very rude to a restaurant staff because of the very poor customer service. At first, I have justified his actions because staff must always be efficient but then I imagined myself what if I was in that position of the cashier. Now I don’t even know why I got attracted to that person in the first place.
7. How does he handle problems and conflicts? This is the measure of a person’s emotional and spiritual state. If he is emotionally and mentally stable and able to take responsibility for his life. That is good news! Does he lash out when angry or give the silent treatment. Is he mature enough to deal with confrontations or push them under the rug? Decide if you can go through physical and emotional abuse.
8. Do you have the same communication style?
I have met people who make sarcastic and rude comments when triggered. This is one of the reasons why I always want to date in person. It is because of the tone and non-verbal communication that I cannot see and judge through text messages. One of the root causes of misunderstanding is lack of communication so if you are a good listener and a good communicator, you know what to look for, someone who can communicate well so you would not end up frustrated.
9. How did the previous relationships end and how long did they last?
I like being straightforward to people because I ask bold questions that could help me understand them better. In my HR task, we look for gaps in employment and do background checks with previous employers. We ask candidates the reasons for leaving their previous companies and the number of years they worked. This could tell their commitment on a company and their motivation for work. I am very sensitive when a person has commitment issues and history of infidelity. Same with dating; his/her relationship patterns could tell how it’s going to be with you.
10. How do I feel about this person when I am with him/her?
So far, I could not cite an instance where I was wrong about my intuition. Instances where I failed because I did not follow my intuition — many times. I make important decisions rationally, but intuition also can be a very good compass when facts are not available. Women have this inner voice, the intuitive power that we feel when we are being played and when a person is insincere. In contrast, I can be very open if I feel comfortable and If I think I can trust a person with some of my deepest thoughts. One of the questions to ask is this: “Do I feel better after spending time with her/him or I’m better of with solitude?”
As fun as checking hundreds and thousands of CV’s with impressive credentials of lawyers, managers and executives, it is way intriguing to listen to different stories when dating. Asking straightforward interview questions like the list above might not be the best approach so I suggest reformulating these questions with hypothetical questions and keen observations on behaviors. Ask better questions especially the open open-ended ones that make them tell stories about themselves. And of course, don’t forget to enjoy your time. And if you think you are not compatible after three dates or more, just be straightforward and clear that it did not work out. This also saves their time so they can move forward and find someone else.
This business-like approach to dating might make romantic relationships boring. It is not a guarantee nor a prelude to chemistry and the ‘spark’ as they say, but if you believe that compatibility matters more than chemistry and love is a choice, it could save you from the unnecessary heartaches. It lessens the drama involved when relationships don’t work because of irreconcilable differences. If a person is willing to change or sacrifice for you, maybe you can make an exception to the rule but be careful.
It is also important to note that since relationships are a two- way street, you should also assess yourself with the questions above. Do you embody the person that you want to be with? It could really take time to get to know someone on a deeper level, but time is not wasted if you have learned something from the experience and if you have gained friends. As cliché says, instead of finding the right person, be the right person first. I guess that’s a better option to save so much time and maybe the best option is to stay single and enjoy your own company.
So, there you go! Happy Love month!
*** Disclaimer: All views expressed in this article are my own, derived from my own experiences and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been and am now affiliated***