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18 Dating Tips for Extraordinary Women Who Just Haven’t Found Him Yet

18 Dating Tips for Extraordinary Women Who Just Haven’t Found Him Yet

“The Rules” of dating seem to get blurrier the more we achieve in recognizing gender equality. When we clear away the confusion, though, dating is just a life skill, like healthy eating or applying for jobs.

Here are 18 simple dating tips to help you prepare yourself, navigate the online scene, build quality relationships, and feel successful, regardless of how the date or the relationship ends.

Before You Start Dating Tips:

1. Get clear on your expectations.

People date for different reasons. Are you looking for casual connections without any expectations, to find some companionship, or to find an empowering partner for the rest of your life? Be honest with yourself about your expectations, and then communicate them openly. Don’t compromise just because a man is especially sexy, charming, or successful.

2. Define success in empowering terms.

People can now expect to change careers three to five times in their lives and to move multiple times to new places. We’re still taught that a successful relationship is “happily ever after.” But does it have to be? Katherine Woodward Thomas teaches us to consider that a successful relationship could be one that is loving from start to finish, even when the finish comes as a break-up. If the only definition of success in a relationship is one that lasts until death, then very few relationships could be called “successful.” Redefine success in terms of being loving, having integrity, and learning.

3. Have standards.

Our standards slide when we fear we won’t find somebody, so we settle for anybody. While this speaks to the nurturing capacity of women to love just about anybody, we need to learn that we can still be loving and be selective. Decide now that you will only date a man who meets your “Musts.”

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What are the attributes that a man must have to be worth your heart? Make a list with two headings: “My man must” and “My man should.” Give yourself 10 minutes to list without censoring or second-guessing. Then go back through your list and ask yourself, “Is this really true?” Keep revising until you have a very clear picture of what you want. These are your “Musts.”

4. Raise your standards for yourself, too.

On the flip side, we often have huge expectations for our ideal partner, but we let ourselves get by with less than our best. If you are going to attract and date your “Must” man, make choices to develop your best self.

Make a new list with these headings: “To be my best self, I must” and “To be my best self, I should.” List for 10 uncensored minutes. Again, look back asking, “Is this true?” Make a plan to address every “Must” on your list at least twice over the next 10 days. This helps you nurture your own needs, regardless of how any date goes.

5. Remember that dating is a process.

If you want to have a fit body, you eventually learn that it is an on-going process. You can’t do 100 sit-ups once every six months and expect your body to change. Dating, too, takes persistence to see the results you are seeking. If you get frustrated that you aren’t finding what you’re looking for, remind yourself that there is no failure as long as you keep learning. Bad dates and relationships are opportunities to help you get clearer on who you are, how you can improve, and what you value most.

Online Dating Tips:

6. Initiate contact intelligently.

When a man’s profile seems to indicate that he could be a candidate who meets your “Musts,” message him. People have busy lives, and there’s no reason to wait for him to notice you. Don’t send messages that give him no idea of who you are or what you want, like, “Hi! How was your day?” Instead, be clear and put the ball in his court. A better message is: “Hi, Chris. There’s something about your profile that attracted me. I’m interested in getting to know you better. Are you open to the idea of meeting? Leslie.”

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7. Play the numbers.

Ignore this tip if it doesn’t work for the expectations you established in Tip 1.

Online dating, in fact all dating, is a numbers game. Your goal is to connect with as many men as you can. Remember that these are total strangers, and you don’t owe them anything. Like fishing, you can put out one line, wait around to see what happens, reel it in, decide it’s too small, throw it back and start again. Or you can throw out a net and have your pick of the harvest. If you’re looking for the right one for you in a sea of strangers, the more contact you make with different men, the better your odds.

8. Don’t waste time messaging.

You can message with a man for weeks, have deep conversations, or do some steamy sexting. But you’ll never know if there’s a real spark until you meet face to face. Use messages, emails, and calls to establish contact and arrange the logistical details of the date, with a touch of playful banter. Save the good conversation for one-on-one, when your eyes and tone of voice add to the allure. And your first meeting should always be in a public place.

Early Dating Tips:

9. Allow some communication lag time.

Whether you’re texting, messaging, or returning phone calls, avoid the urge to respond immediately to every little message. This isn’t about playing hard to get. Rather, it’s about setting healthy boundaries. Returning messages the instant you receive them can appear co-dependent or needy, as if his every word fuels your survival. Relax, and get back to him when you’ve had a moment to check-in with your higher self.

10. Smile.

There is nothing sexier to a man than a woman’s smile. It makes a man happy when he feels he can make a woman happy. If a man doesn’t believe he can make you happy, he will eventually leave, either physically or emotionally. There’s no need to be fake. Just share sincere smiles and laughter as they come. A beautiful, genuine smile is ten-million times more attractive than your hair, make-up, clothes or figure.

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11. Say “No.”

No matter how much money he’s spent on you or how badly you think it may hurt his feelings, don’t ever do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You have a gut instinct; listen to it. If a man is really worth it, he will understand. Feeling resentful or violated should never be something you have to accept to be in a relationship with anyone.

12. Protect children.

If either of you have children, protect them first. Never use children to build your relationship. It’s very confusing to children, even teenagers, when their parents date. Children can form bonds and expectations very quickly. Only bring the children into the picture when you are certain that the relationship has become one with longevity. And if the relationship seems that it may end, be sure to allow the children to voice their feelings and grieve the loss, too.

Long-term Dating Tips:

13. Play games.

People often say they don’t want their partner to play games, but that’s not 100% true. They don’t want to play hurtful, manipulative games. They do want to play inventive, imaginative, expressive games. These games allow our fullest selves to come alive. In a healthy relationship, people play with each other. Let your time together be fun and adventurous in whatever way feels good for you.

14. Give love to give love.

When people give love to get love, inevitably, someone will feel that they are giving more than they receive. Love isn’t even measurable in the first place; it simply is. While many people try to protect themselves from getting hurt by waiting to say, “I love you,” and guarding how expressive they are with their feelings, this actually leads to more pain. Choose to be a woman who expresses love to all people because that is the truest reflection of who you are. You only truly feel love when you are expressing it. You’ll be amazed at how much love you feel when you focus on giving rather than receiving.

15. Appreciate the gifts and resources that he shares.

Whether you are dating a man with significant wealth or a poor poet, thank him for the gifts he shares with you. If the man you’re dating has an abundance of money, talent, intelligence, accomplishment, or prestige, acknowledge these realities and that you may feel intimidated. Appreciate the entire person he is, not just those impressive bits. Be generous in sharing your own gifts and resources, knowing you are worthy in your own right!

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16. What if you’re the breadwinner?

Sociologist Christin Munsch found in her research that in marriages where the woman brings in significantly more income than the man, the man is more likely to cheat. While this finding decreased in non-married committed relationships, a noticeably higher number of men reported cheating in relationships when they were economically dependent on the woman. The most critical finding in Munch’s study actually had to do with the role conflict played in infidelity: lower reported conflict correlated to lower reported cheating by men. If you are a woman making more than your man, invest in conflict resolution coaching as a couple. Learn how to uncover conflict and see resolution as an opportunity to grow and strengthen your relationship.

Dating Tips for Parting Ways:

17. End all dates with gratitude.

Accept that dating is about finding the right fit. When you put together a puzzle, you don’t measure your skill by your ability to jam pieces together and “make it work.” You have to keep going through the pieces, trying and discarding until you find the right match. Stop defining “good dates” as matches. Instead, no matter how the date goes, be grateful that you and he were willing to try. If either one of you feels that it is not a good match, that’s great! Now you can be free to go find someone who fits with who you are and the person you are working to become.

18. Get back on the horse.

No one knows how much time it takes to recover from a break-up. For a while, you may choose not to date as a part of a healthy grieving process. Be careful not to wait too long out of fear of experiencing hurt or rejection. When you are genuinely interested into a new relationship, start dating again to practice these skills. When you go on dates, share your hopeful dreams for the future because this will help you solidify all that is possible and compelling. Choose love over fear.

What do you think about these dating tips? Are there any you would add? Leave them in the comments below!

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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