One of the most powerful foundations of a successful marriage is the quality of conversations the couple can have together. What does this look like when you are dating? Let’s look at 5 domains of concern conversations, I believe will enrich your dating experiences.
Now that you are out to dinner, on a hike, sailing, rock climbing, biking what ever your first date looks like, how are you going to let your potential partner know who you are? After you have exhausted the talk about the activity you are doing on your first date, one possible domain of concern to discuss is career. It is a “safe” topic and if you ask enough and the right questions you can find out a lot about a person. What he/she does, why, how he got into his field, what she loves doesn’t love, where he wants to be in 10 years, anything else she would love to do, hobbies to balance the career, etc. are all great topics to explore. If you are asked first about your career, make sure you ask your partner the same. If you do all the asking, make sure you Notice if you are asked. If after several dates you are not being asked about your world, “Houston we have a problem.”
At this point, the conversation will probably be about your families of origin or any past marriages. Later it will become more intimate about what you both want or don’t want for family. Ask, listen, talk, and notice if you are asked! Go slowly. You don’t need to reveal all the family secrets on the first date.
3. Lifestyle Choices
In the early stages of dating these conversations will probably focus on foods you like, would like to explore, partying, exercise and hobbies, sports, activities you enjoy including music, theater, arts, movies, reading etc. How big is your partner’s world of interests and hobbies? Is it similar to yours? They don’t have to match perfectly and both having an interest in this domain is a good indicator for a couple to keep moving forward.
My personal bias here is we need to have an interest in what is happening in countries in all parts of the world. However, we get our information, the gifts and challenges of men and women in countries, other than our own are an important conversation that enriches our lives and never gets old. In couples, if neither person is interested in sex, world concerns, health etc., there may not be a problem, the challenge happens when one person changes the rules.
If you continue dating and are flying through the less intimate conversations, you like what you are hearing, at some point you will want to address the love conversation. This is a good thing! I hope you have given some thought to your opinions, boundaries, thoughts, hopes and desires for love because “whatever you say honey” is not going to teach someone how to take care of you. These conversations are very important. As you move through what is important to you in the love domain you will nudge the sex domain. I put sex here with love because if you want sex by itself you don’t need my help. If you want sex with love much more interesting game!
These are examples of some conversations for beginning dating if you are in the market for a partner. They don’t have to go in this order. The first year with someone is a research project. You want to know how he/she treats people from all walks of life, the family history with all the good, bad, and ugly, moods, interests, and at some point a very important distinction is when you disagree how do you resolve the issue. A great predictor for a good relationship is whether two people can resolve conflict respectfully. When you start dating think about the conversations you want to bring to the table.
Serial daters not looking for partners, no guidelines necessary!
“Don’t rush and never settle. If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
© 2019 Dr. Anne Brown; Psychotherapist, Speaker, and Author of Backbone Power The Science of Saying No. Permission needed for any form of reproduction.