Dating/Relationship tips & advice

After reading this thread pitting dating, I’m wondering if maybe there could be some useful tips and/or advice that “more experienced” people can give?

Relationship advice for those of us in something more long term than dating is a good idea too.

Mind you, I’m not some kind of lothario or anything- I didn’t have a serious girlfriend until I was damn near 30. But I did follow the system I’m about to describe, and it worked awfully well.

Here are my attempts at dating advice:

It’s like anything else; practice makes perfect. McGwire, Bonds, Maris, etc… all had to spend a lot of time in batting practice before they pulled off their records.

Ask people out, without even expecting them to say yes. Ask people out that you aren’t really that interested in, and try different approaches. If one of them is successful, try to figure out why they said yes. Have a good time on the date- with no stakes or interest, you’ll be more relaxed, and you’ll get used to the feeling of being on a date. The beauty of this is that since you’re not interested, you won’t really be upset if they say no, and if you go out with them, then if it goes badly, you won’t really care.

Once you’re used to going on dates, then start asking people you’re more interested in out. The great part here is that although you’re more interested, you’ll have had experience with both sides of the dating equation, and will consequently be much more confident and self-assured than if it was your first date in a couple of years.
As for relationship, not dating advice, I only have one useful thing to say: Don’t say hurtful things with the intention of hurting the other person’s feelings. That never helps anything, and only does long-term harm.

Dating: when asked for a date, say ‘yes’ unless you absolutely honestly dislike the person.Dates can be like clothing: you can feel “meh” about it on the wrack, then once you try it on, you might like it better than you thought!

Relationships: Talk about everything. My hubby and I (quite happily married for over 18years) talked about all sorts of things before we got married. I think most people just say “Well, we’re in love, and that’s good enough”, and get married, just hoping it really will be good enough. My husband and I talked about enough things that, prior to marriage, we knew we really liked each other. See, love (the romantic kind) waxes and wanes. If you don’t have real affection and friendship underneath the romantic love, the first time that feeling of romance wanes, the relationship can be in serious trouble. If you really like each other, though, that will help to carry you through the rough patches.

When you go on a date, think to yourself, “will I enjoy spending time with her (or him, as the case may be)?” instead of “will she (he) enjoy spending time with me?”

It’s a subtle shift, but it signals a change in perspective that can be crucial to successful dating. For one, it makes you more outgoing (do I like them?) and less self-conscious (how am I doing?).

And, it initiates a healthy dose of self esteem that will help make you appear confident. Lots of guys lament that girls only like assholes; it’s not that, it’s that they like a guy who seems like he could be anywhere, but chooses to be with her. That’s distinct from the guy who’s so grateful that she decided to give him the time of day. Appreciate the girl? Yes. But always know that you are a great catch, and anyone who doesn’t see it is missing out on a great opportunity to parktake in your life.

I agree. When I was younger, I treated dating like an audition. Take a girl out and prove my worth. I used to put on my best shirt, take her to a restaurant I’d never been to and couldn’t afford, followed my a movie she might like even if I had no interest. I found dating became much more effective (and fun) when I became a little more selfish. I found it works much better to say, ‘hey do you want to try that new Mexican place?, or "I know a tiny little joint with the best cheesesteak!’. Find something you want to do anyway, and take her along for the ride. If she enjoyes herself, great. If not, you still have fun. If she doesn’t like your favorite bar, she’s probably not the girl for you anyway.

Nothing to add except: The secret to good conversation is to ask questions.

Incredibly true. I was given that advice as a teen, and it’s never failed me.

And dudes- ask her out. I don’t care if you think she is “out of your league”- ask. So she says “no”, big deal, you haven’t lost anything. Can’t win if you don’t play. Yes, it is Ok if she is younger (but legal, ok?), older, or richer.

That being said, clearly there are sometimes when you should not ask- when it could appear skeevy. If at work, never ask more than twice, and only twice if the 1st time the reply left things open like “No thanks, too busy right now”. You can ask a 3rd time only if she has given a tentative Ok, then canceled.

Dudettes: if the dude asking you has some potential, but you really do have a good reason for not accepting now, then please for the love of gawd- suggest another time. “No thanks, I am really busy now, but maybe next week when the crush is over?” Or “Not right now, but can I have a raincheck?” The opposite of that is that if you really do not want to go out with that guy- make it clear but polite “No thanks, I never date a fellow employee”.

When you get that 1st date- ask her about her. Talk about her as much as she wants to. LISTEN. If she starts to "vent’ about something at work- that’s a good sign. But dudes- when females vent, they are not asking for advice. Just listen, nod and mutter things like “that’s terrible”, “she didn’t!”. Don’t chew with your mouth open. Wear one step nicer clothes that you would normally wear to that place- if you’d wear jeans and a T-shirt, make it chinos and a polo shirt, or a long sleeve casual shirt, with buttons and everything. :stuck_out_tongue: Don’t talk too much about your ex. If it comes up, just say, “It didn’t work out”.

And if that is your excuse (or any excuse is your excuse), don’t make your next date the new guy in IT. If you “never date guys who smoke” don’t date a smoker next time - at least, not somewhere the guy who asked you out can notice. Give an honest reason and stand by it.

If there is no chemistry, say “no thanks, you just aren’t my type.”

This advice goes against the grain, but I wish I had given it a try back in the day. Don’t take things to the “relationship” stage with someone you can’t picture yourself marrying, or who would never marry you for an immutable reason (your race, your parents’ religion, your parents’ income, your parents’ divorce …). A few dates may be necessary to find out this level of compatibility, but once you see the red flag, get out, not further in. Build your social life around friendships, not dating.

And be interested in the other person. Everybody has a story, and it doesn’t take much effort to find something interesting to talk about; you start with the old, trustworthy clichés (where are you from, what do you do for a living, family, etc.), listen to the answers, relate it to your own life, and go from there. Everything you say doesn’t have to be a brilliant conversational gem; my big breakthrough in talking with strangers was when I realized that everyone was as nervous and uncomfortable as I was, and everyone appreciated someone saying anything.

This is more of a relationship one than a dating one, but I’ve sworn never to do the

“Is anything wrong?”
“No”, and expecting that he should know (1) that something really is wrong and (2) what it is.


“Is anything wrong?”
“I can’t believe you don’t know!”


I doubt I’ll be in a relationship anytime soon, but I promise to remember this oath!

Dare to ask her out; do not falter. One of the two greatest regrets in my life is that I faltered. (The other one I didn’t know about until years too late, so that’s a different story.)

PLEASE. At least, once you are to the point in time you consider marriage an objective. If you don’t consider marriage a current objective, be upfront about that - its perfectly OK to say 'I’m not interested in finding my life partner right now, I’m just interested in someone to hang with for a while." It isn’t OK to date someone who thinks the end goal for both of you involves a trip to Vegas and and Elvis impersonator saying “I now pronounce you man and wife” if it isn’t.

And, for God’s sake, if you are interested in marriage, don’t get three months into a relationship and then “settle” for things that will send you to divorce court five years from now. No one is perfect, but there are things you can live with for forty years and things you can’t.

And when asking: always be specific. Be careful not to put her on the spot.

A “no” answer to “Will you go out with me sometime?” is rather painful. For “Care to go see a movie Saturday night?”, not so much.

And NEVER ask “What are you doing Saturday night?” No no no. I can’t believe I know people who will actually ask this.

I want to emphasize the advice “ask for the date”.
Just last night I was working at my part-time job and this wicked hot guy came to the register. I smiled, he smiled, sparks swelled. I could tell he thought I was cute, just that whole glancing eye-contact, smiling thing. I smiled, asked about the book, we talked for a minute. There was no one around, no one in line…
…then he left. Tall McBlueEyes walked out the door forever.

I would have said yes, had he asked. I know common advice is to not ask out servers and cashiers and all…but it’s just a matter of perceiving interest and making sure you’re not holding up a line or asking while her boss is right behind her.
So, when you have an opportunity, take it!

If you’re in a situarion where you may connect, always do a ring check! Avoids endless amounts of trouble, and can help you tailor what you say.

This is what I said five years ago :

I still like it.

Manda JO, that is one of my all-time favourite posts here. It’s print-worthy. :slight_smile: