Are you a “practice makes perfect” kind of person or a “streamline” dater? Find out which camp you fall into now!
Approaches to dating and dating advice can be divided into two main camps: the “practice makes perfect” person or the “streamline dater.” Let’s explore both styles of romance-seeking and what the benefits and pitfalls are of both strategies.
CAMP 1: “PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT”
This approach involves meeting, “hanging out with,” and dating as many people as possible — never mind whether or not you think they are much of a prospect. Just get to know as many “specimens” as possible. Give everyone a second chance — whether or not you have that instant click or chemistry. Just get out there. A lot. Eventually, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Who should follow the “practice makes perfect” camp?
• If you haven’t dated much or at all before, this might be a great way for you to get to know yourself, find out what you like, and what you have to offer through rubbing shoulders with a wide variety of people.
• If you are recently single, divorced, or widowed, this may help you move forward without jumping into a new commitment right away.
• If you believe that going out for coffee implies an immediate interest in marrying someone, this might help you shift the focus to getting to know the person rather than getting them to the altar.
• If you fear rejection to the point where the stakes seem dangerously high on a coffee date, this might provide a safer way to make mistakes.
On eHarmony, eHarmony Mail (the communication formerly known as Fast Track) might work best for you to “just get out there.” You might use the Guided Communication as a reference and keep the questions in mind as a decision making or learning tool.
Possible “Practice” Pitfalls:
While it’s wonderful to be open-minded and get to know many people, keep the Safety Tips in mind (http://www.eharmony.com/safety/tips) – you never have to continue with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. You may want to develop “boundary” skills when you no longer wish to continue seeing someone. You may want to learn how to graciously describe what kind of relationship you do want to pursue with someone — if any.
CAMP 2: “STREAMLINED DATING”
This theory advises a more bull’s eye approach — your time and energy are precious, and so is your match’s. As soon as you get introduced, look for signs that may indicate deal breakers or dealmakers. If you find a definite deal breaker, by all means, “close the match” (or do the equivalent, if you meet them “in real life”). The premise is that the more unnecessarily involved you become, the more potential arises for getting or causing hurt. Save your resources and target only the matches that have the most potential.
When should you practice streamlined dating?
• If you keep busy with your strong community or widespread network of friends, and don’t need to “meet just anyone,” this gives you a way to set apart intentionality in dating as a serious relationship search only.
• If you have dated a lot, been around the block, and have learned enough about yourself and others that you no longer see a point in “practicing.”
On eHarmony, Guided Communication may be the way to go. Answering the questions will provide a way to discern deal breakers sooner rather than later. You can close the communication once it’s clear that the person isn’t right for you. If you do prefer skipping to eHarmony mail, you may want to broach some topics that could reveal deal breakers.
Missing the boat?
It’s good to know who you are and what you want, but it is possible to get too specific with requirements and rule out excellent candidates. Sift through what your absolute requirements are and what are mere preferences — then you’ll know better when to be open-minded.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND, EITHER WAY:
Communicate as clearly as possible upfront. Imply your approach on your About Me page. Nothing’s set in stone; there is a continuum of dating approaches. Find what works for you and go for it.