What Do You Do When Dating? | Plus What You Shouldn’t

Dating can be a delightful experience when you find someone who gets you. As complex as humans are, it is always a good idea to learn about dating objectives. You can have a great start with a few simple steps.

When dating someone, the objective is to spend time with the person to get a rough idea about them and watch out for any red flags. Dating is to help you figure out who you’re best suited with, your compatibility with a particular someone, and lay strong foundations for a possible relationship.

Here are some tips that you can keep in mind while dating that will guide you to toward a great experience and maximize the chances of the desired outcome.

What Are You Supposed To Do When Dating?

You are supposed to go on dates, but what are you trying to achieve? Having a definite objective and knowing why you are there serves you better.

1. Go On Fun Outings

Plan different types of dates to make things interesting.

Go to movies, watch a genre that you both like. It will allow you to spend time together and get to know each other. Plan dinner dates and outings to romantic spots.

Ask them about the kind of places they like to visit. A picnic on a spring morning can also be an ideal date. Explore a city museum and strike a conversation over it.

The variety in dates would keep the conversations fun. Going to the same places could get boring for both after a point.

Go On Fun Outings

2. Get To Know Each Other

Ask about their life, passions, hobbies, ambitions, likes, and dislikes. Tell them about your favorite eating places, adventures, where you grew up, etc.

These could lead to intriguing conversations and help you understand each other more. Only when you know who they truly are will you be able to forge a real bond.

A person is, after all, a product of their experiences. Find out the intersections where you two meet. Share funny anecdotes and stories from your childhood.

3. Study Your Compatibility With The Person

See how well (or not) their personality aligns with yours. Dating someone who is poles apart can be a task.

Testing the compatibility at an earlier stage will show you whether you two can get along.

If you find yourself completing each other’s sentences, you might get along well. It will give you a view into the potential of your companionship.

Are they an introvert, an extrovert, or ambivert? What’s their idea of an ideal life? What are their priorities, and where does their life partner stand in it?

Let them know your opinions as well.

4. Learn About Their Personality

Notice their mannerisms and nature through their actions. Their politeness towards the waiter, patience at the red light, and behavior towards kids and the elderly.

These traits speak volumes about a person’s true personality and shouldn’t be compromised.

Listen to what they say about themselves and see whether it matches their actions.

It is crucial because sometimes people present a glorious picture of themselves when the reality is highly contradicting.

It is better to be alert and observant to the details so that you are not deceived of their true nature

5. Find Out Why They Are Single

You should ask them about their dating experience, whether they had any long-term relationship(s) in the past, since when they are single, and why?

By asking these questions, you will be able to detect red flags, if there are any. It will be a sign for you to leave and avoid any unpleasant experience in the future.

To avoid coming across as rude or intrusive, keep the tone casual. For example:

  • Have you ever been in a serious relationship?
  • What was the reason for parting ways with your ex?
  • How come someone as amazing as you are still not taken?

6. Set Clear Expectations

You should be honest when it comes to communicating your expectations with them. Whether you are exclusive or dating other people at the same time?

What’s their stance on it? Are they okay with it, and would they like to continue dating you after this? It would keep things real if you both were on the same page.

It is morally wrong to lead someone on a false pretext. It can make them lose faith in people in general and can be heart-breaking.

If your expectations don’t match, then don’t force them to go out with you. It wouldn’t last anyway.

7. Sell Yourself (Not Literally)!

It is great to be real, but ‘people should like me the way I am’ is bad advice. Become the best version of yourself instead.

Show your date what you’ll bring to the table, what you are great at, why you are the best person to hang out with. But be cautious here.

There is a difference between showing and telling. Don’t become a narcissist. Great people don’t need words. Their actions are enough.

Show your true self and don’t be afraid of being judged, because the true you is what you have got to offer. Pretense doesn’t last long.

There is a limit to which you can hold back your real self. You do not want to be buried under this pressure of keeping up an image, and you’ll burst eventually.

Sell Yourself (Not Literally)!

8. Explore Each Other’s Friend Circle

Take out time to meet each other’s friends. It would help you to know them better as one is their real self among their friends.

Ask them to introduce you to their friends. See how well you get on with them.

These experiences will bring you two closer and give you perspective on the future of your relationship.

Take your date to meet your friends and ask them about their honest opinion.

You will be surprised to hear the things they noticed, and you missed that were there in plain sight.

9. Ask Important Questions

Before you catch feelings for them, ask them some crucial questions. These could be about religion, politics, career goals, family, marriage, etc.

These are the topics that can be deal breakers in the future due to differences of opinion.

It might seem like a trivial thing initially but can turn into a major fallout if there is no communication about it.

For example, let us say you are a God-fearing person, and your date is an atheist. If you both respect each others’ beliefs, you will not let this come in between.

Even a major difference like this will not affect your bond because you have talked about it before.

But if it is a dealbreaker for even one, then different beliefs will be a big problem at every step.

10. Make Them Your Friend First Without Going Into The Friendzone

Instead of jumping on the love boat so fast, try bonding with them on the friendship level first. This will make your connection stronger.

Play pranks, crack jokes, share your embarrassing moments, basically lighten up the atmosphere. Make them comfortable in your presence.

It is an important aspect because friendship is a strong emotion and the glue that keeps people together for years.

Your conversations will become effortless, and you will feel at ease around them, as the comfort level around friends is more.

Knowing that you aren’t being judged on every sentence makes your thoughts flow well, and there is a certain comfort level.

But beware of taking the friendship thing too deep. You always want to keep it clear that you are interested in dating the person, and the attraction is non-platonic.

What You Should Not Do When Dating?

Do not brag about yourself or your past relationships when dating. Have realistic expectations without fretting too much about perfection. Avoid getting mushy early on with over-the-top proposals. Be ethical and don’t use them to your benefit. Finally, remain alert and don’t get exploited yourself.

1. Speaking Only About Yourself

We all love the sound of our voice, but when you are seeing someone, you need to let them speak as well. That is how you are going to know how they feel about you.

It has to be a two-way conversation. Ask them about themselves and show interest in what they are talking about.

Being a good listener is going to get you extra brownie points. It is a much sought-after quality and reflects patience.

You do not want to shoo them away with your ‘I, me, myself’ rant.

2. Fretting About Perfection

You might want your dates to be as perfect as romcom movies. You should, by all means, make an effort to make it into one. But do not get hung over it.

It will take all the fun away. Real-life romances turn magical on their own when they can. Trying too much can only end up spoiling things.

It’s because you might miss really great moments in the expectation of something unrealistic. Your filmy fantasies can also make your date impatient and annoyed.

You should rather let things take their course than compare them to what you see on social media. Enjoy the suspense of the unseen moments.

Fretting About Perfection

3. Talking About The Past

As important it is to keep the facts clear, avoid diving too deep into the past. Your date doesn’t need to know the tiny details of all your experiences.

Whether it be juicy flings or serious relationships that ended tragically, keep the spice to yourself.

You people are not in a relationship yet, and nobody wants a burden on their head. Mostly the nice simps will fake an interest.

And someone who’ll genuinely be concerned might not feel any attraction once they start looking at you as someone that needs care and help to get out of a mess.

Neediness is an attraction killer. It will make you look less interested in your present date and could be a turn-off.

4. Have Unrealistic Expectations

Do not start making wedding plans with the person you’ve just started dating. Or having any other unrealistic expectations that are highly uncertain.

These will only disappoint you if they don’t turn out as you expected.

Tell them what possible plans you have in mind in case you decide to elevate your things to the next level.

Things can get serious for the long term only when you both have a strong mutual affection.

This way, you will know whether you are daydreaming or you actually have a chance with them.

5. Being Too Modest

It’s good to be humble and modest, but don’t go overboard. Avoid making negative remarks and giving self-deprecating responses.

It reflects a lack of confidence and self-respect. It will put you in a bad light if you turn down every good thing said about you.

They might even start questioning their decision to date you and instead think whether you are even worth their time?

Instead, your focus should be on presenting yourself in the most impressive manner. If they compliment you, accept it gracefully with a smile, know your worth, and show it.

6. Get All Mushy Or Lovey Dovey

You are dating each other and not in a relationship, for God’s sake! Keep the ‘I Love You’ out. You should know that there’s no such thing as ‘Love At First Sight’.

It may seem cute for some time but gets cringy after a while. It also makes your intentions questionable, as falling in love is not a two-minute recipe.

Your date might want to take a few steps back as it may feel like rushing a natural process. If you put up this deception of mush, you will lose them in no time.

Keep it genuine and go with the flow. This way, you will have a better chance of finding your mate.

7. Act Entitled

If your date rejects the idea of a long-term relationship, you shouldn’t see it as the end of the world.

They do not owe you anything and what kind of relationship they want is their personal choice. Do not act entitled but instead appreciate honesty.

Some people have had horrible experiences dealing with entitled jerks who refuse to accept logic or reason.

Like I know a girl who got so obsessed with her crush that she began stalking him everywhere.

She made his life a living hell by invading his personal space and creating a joke out of him among his peers. In short, do not become somebody’s nightmare.

8. Be Sly And Secretive

Tell them clearly in the beginning what you are looking for. Whether romantic, casual, or exclusive, do not keep your intentions secretive.

Not being open about what you want from these dates is unethical. It’s unfair to them and would be misleading them into something they don’t want.

Do not be like those who think being mysterious will make them more attractive.

They do it for all the wrong reasons, trying to play mind games and usually dump their dates once the short-term motive is fulfilled, which mostly is getting some action, attention, or even money.

But it becomes traumatic for those at the receiving end who have to go through all the trouble.

Be Sly And Secretive

9. Exploit People For Their Resources

Do not date someone for their riches and power, just to benefit from them.

It’s highly inappropriate and immoral to use someone for free food, clothes, bills, and other personal purchases.

Be dignified and offer to pay for your own expenses, or you could both pay on alternate dates. It will be seen as highly respectable.

Subsequently, you, too, need to be alert that a gold digger is not duping you. Keep track of your expenses when you go out with them.

How often do they offer to pay and actually pay? Are they always in some kind of financial trouble? Are you often handling their expenses out of courtesy?

If yes, then you need to stop.

10. Ghost People

If you are uninterested after a point, do not leave them hanging on a thread. Let your date know about it immediately. Convey the reason clearly, whatever it may be.

No matter how absurd the reason might seem, say it. It can’t be worse than vanishing from the scene itself without a word. Be considerate of their emotions too.

It might seem like an easy way out to you at first, but it can be really confusing for the other person.

Speaking from personal experience, it leaves one questioning their self-worth and seeking closure becomes difficult.

Nobody deserves to be in that space just because you wanted to avoid a difficult conversation.

11. Invade Personal Space

Do not text and call them all day. It can get annoying after a point. Everyone has their individual lives and needs some time off, just for themselves.

In the attempt of getting closer to them, you might push them farther and exhaust them to the level of having a burnout.

It puts them under the pressure of constantly checking their phone and responding. Not doing so can be misinterpreted as rude.

So do not put someone in that position in the first place. Give them ample space. Let them reach out to you sometimes.

Plan your dates with an interval of a few days or a week to provide that breathing space to them.

12. Judging Them For Being Themselves

If someone chooses to show their authentic self to you, don’t criticize them. It would demean their efforts and could shatter their confidence.

Whether it is their way of talking, dressing sense, their social or financial status that you find odd, keep your witty observations to yourself.

Nothing gives you the right to hurt their sentiments. Always be respectful about your manner of speaking.

Their hand-knitted muffler might seem tacky to you, but that might be the only memory they have left of their grandmother.

They might seem out of shape to you, but it may be because they have no control over a medical condition.

You may laugh it out as a joke, but it can feel disrespectful to them, so it’s better to be mindful of your words.

13. Making Yourself Vulnerable

Save yourself from being used, manipulated, or coerced into doing something you might regret later. Never fight your instincts in this case.

If you feel something is off, or what you have been asked to do is not in sync with your own will, then don’t do it. Do not fear being judged or left alone.

That’s far better than a lifetime of guilt. Deep down, you will always know what is right and what feels wrong.

If your date asks you to share your personal experiences that you are not comfortable with, asks for physical intimacy as a catalyst to know you better, or intrudes your life in the name of concern, back off and run away.

These are some possible demands that you have the full right to refuse. If not harassing others is a must, then protecting yourself is equally important, if not more.

Making Yourself Vulnerable


Dating is supposed to be an experience of its own, and you can make the most of it just by being your best self.

Get to know the person first, who they are, what they want from life, and the things you both click at. Don’t be afraid of being honest about your feelings.

They might be secretly falling in love with you, who knows?! It is a risk worth taking and one you might thank yourself for.

Date to know them and not to fixate your expectations. Don’t drag it if you feel it’s not working out.

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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