Dating doesn’t lead to relationships.
Casual dating is a fairly new concept. It wasn’t until the introduction of online dating in the 90s that adults felt comfortable meeting up with a complete stranger. Almost every date that took place before this time was between two people who had some type of relationship even if they didn’t know each. Even in the days of personal ads, there was no email reply, you had to respond by phone. So before a date could be established there was a screening process.
Today with the addition of dating apps and online dating, meeting up with a complete stranger has become an assumed part of the adventure.
Too often when people arrive on the date they are speaking for the very first time. They are only at that moment hearing the other person’s voice, taking in their appearance, scent and asking critical questions that will influence how attracted they are to each other.
To do this repeatedly has become what we call “dating”. Famed matchmaker and television personality Paul Brunson describes dating as an activity where you either determine or deepen a romantic connection. It has become accepted that this is what leads to a committed relationship and for many singles this is the only way they know how to couple up.
Unfortunately, dating doesn’t lead to relationships.
There is the dating path, and the relationship path. Unfortunately, dating only leads to more dating. It doesn’t lead to intimacy or exclusivity, as one might assume.
This might be a hard concept to accept at first but think about it. Dating is meant to determine or deepen a romantic connection according to Paul Brunson’s definition but the real path to a relationship isn’t how many dates you go on, its actually how well you get to know the other person. The faster you get to know the person you’re interested in, the closer you are to getting a commitment.
How do you know you are the path?
Trust What You DO Know About The Person.
Often times we know in our gut that the person we are seeing isn’t the person that we want to be in a long-term relationship with but we continue to date them any. This happens when the fear of not finding anyone else overshadows what we know to be true.
We might be on many dates with someone but still never ask the deeper questions that gives us insight to who they are. If you are nervous, or self-conscious it’s easy to miss opportunities to ask revealing questions and deepen your bond.
Ask Powerful Questions
Getting to know someone is no easy task, but it’s when we feel that someone knows that we feel comfortable taking the next step in a relationship and not a moment before. The amount of time it takes to get to know someone Isn’t measured in how much time you spend together. It’s measured by how your body changes biologically when you are together. Imagine for example that you are in a movie theater.
A scary movie where you’re faced with various stimuli. First it could start from being scared, then on the edge of your seat. You might even hold your breath at times. In this moment the body is going through multiple chemical changes, and couple that with touch. Say you grab your dates hand, and they tightly hold on to your own. On a first date, this could be the gateway to bonding, and creating trust.
If you continue holding hands, or touching moving forward, you’re bonding faster, and getting know your date better than you would on a typical dinner date.
So what does not knowing each other look like?
It’s easy to think that just spending time together should bring you closer to a relationship. Especially if there is strong chemistry, and sensual touching, or sex. But unless there is a bond established a relationship will never come. And you can easily tell how connected you are by how you feel.
You have no idea what the other person is thinking. In order to “know” someone you have to be able to empathize with them. This is basic design thinking. You have to know what the person you’re dating would be doing, or thinking, based on how well you know them. If you have no idea, what the other person is doing when they are not with you then you don’t know them as well as you need to in order to earn commitment.
Learn To Trust Them
Trust isn’t perfect. Who you give your trust to is your decision but it’s based largely on your instincts, as well as the information you collect over time. It doesn’t mean the other person is honest, or trustworthy, it just means that you trust them. If you are dating someone and you aren’t sharing secrets, or revealing possibly embarrassing or insecure parts of yourself with them then there isn’t enough trust there to get into a relationship.
And vice versa, if the person you aren’t dating isn’t trusting you with intimate information about themselves or their thoughts then you are not on your path to commitment.
So getting into a relationship isn’t about how long you date, it’s about how well you know each other. It’s based on how well the other person feels known, seen, and understood. If there isn’t deep understanding it’s very unlikely a relationship will sprout.