Phaytea’s Pulse is participating in the A to Z Challenge for April 2018. The Theme is Building and Sustaining a Meaningful Relationship and ‘Intentional Dating’ is our entry for letter I. This challenge will run for 26 days in April. Please stop by the blog daily for subsequent posts. Enjoy.
As adults, experience must have taught us that most things we do in life require planning and intentional effort. From as little as choosing an outfit for an event to feeding a baby, everything deserves to be planned. Well, almost every thing.
The dating world is not left out as I hear a lot of stories about how one never plans to fall in love, but it always just happens. I love love and I would never falter anyone’s emotion, especially when he/she is in that head space that screams I am in love and blind to everything else.
Being in love with the right person is beautiful, but is love all that there is to it?
I am of the opinion that regardless of how one finds love, there should be a plan after the ‘lovestruck’ moment. This brings me to asking questions like:
Why should you start dating?
Do you date for fun?
Do you date for comfort?
Do you date for companionship?
Do you date for validation?
Should you date with a plan in mind?
Dating is a form of courtship between two people. The aim is usually to assess each other’s suitability to become life long partners. For lack of a better word, the dating period is an appraisal period. It could lead to different levels of intimacy, marriage, friendship or nothing at all.
This means that both party must be well ‘represented’, putting their best foot forward while getting to learn more about themselves. Because dating is a trial period, most people forget to be themselves and tend to project much more than they should. This mostly happens when there is no plan.
Dating Intentionally puts you in a position to ‘date’ at a pace that works for you and with a plan. Emotions change constantly while dating, but with a plan and purpose, you can make the right partner stay close and you can also identify what you can/cannot put up with.
There is no blue print to dating intentionally as we all have different personalities. We may not also be able to guide what decisions our potential partners will make, but we can begin with ourselves as individuals. Here are some pointers on how to be intentional while dating:
Except for those times where two sworn enemies become each other’s love interest, most relationships start off really exciting and full of expectations (make sure it’s realistic). Being intentional means thinking about things extensively before committing to it. In this context, have a clear put reason for why you want to date.
Avoid indecisive situations whereby your potential partner fails to communicate his/her feelings. Indulging time wasters only mean you are not being intentional about your dating life.
Know why you want to date and if you are ready for everything that comes with it.
It is safe to say that people start dating with an end result in mind. To a large extent, it is important to know what you are working to achieve. However, what is absolutely wrong while dating is having unrealistic expectations and not bringing anything to the table.
Both party should work together and nurture the relationship. Invest your time, calls, money, effort and knowledge. Dating should never feel one sided. Bring something to the table.
Own your Conversations.
In a bid to make one seem humble, most people shrink so that their partner can have the floor. You should share your opinion respectfully, talk about your plans and ensure you are on the same page with your date. Your ideas are valid and should be discussed .
The beauty of intentional dating is in being consistent. When you have a goal in mind, you will always talk about it and do things that gear you towards achieving it. Always talk about your end goal/plan for the relationship.
Own your Time
While planning dates, it is important to understand the need for personal space as well. If you had a functional life before you started dating, you may have to adjust your schedule in order to accommodate your partner.
However, your life should never be put on hold because of a new relationship. Learn to own your time, avoid being clingy and understand the need for personal space. If anything, it allows you miss and value each other.
Keep it Moving.
This is the part where a lot of men and women dread. Staying back in a relationship that is obviously not working for the sole reason of ‘saving face’ is a bad decision on it’s own.
Being able to identify a toxic relationship and pulling out of it is proves that you have been intentional from the onset. Be very open about how you both feel, do not settle and hope to change your partner when you notice the signs you cannot put up with. Never assume or guess.
Enjoy the Process.
It’s been mentioned already that emotions change constantly while dating. Regardless of what emotions are more frequent, you should notice growth and relationships should be enjoyed. If you are being intentional, you should clearly tell the difference between what is normal or abnormal while dating.
When you are conversant with making sure you plan different aspects of your life, the need to date intentionally will come naturally. It is far from having laid down rules as it might sound. It involves having clear cut plan and projecting this plan to the other party.
If you project a lackadaisical attitude, that might be a cue for your potential partner to behave carefree as well. When your plan is obvious, it motivates an indecisive partner to start being intentional.
At the end of the day, you want to remember the conscious steps you took that led towards the beautiful relationship you now have.
Share your thoughts
I will love to read from you.