Singles: 3 Incredibly Helpful Ways to Take the Pressure out of Dating

BY: - 19 Aug '16 | Relationships

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To me, dating seems to resemble more of a sport than an opportunity to pursue a potential mate. Dating in some ways has become a competition with ourselves, to see what we can accomplish, with whom and what lengths we must go to make it happen.

I think dating for sport might be okay if both parties knew there was some level of competition involved and exactly what the reward is for “winning.”  I also think dating as sport, for many people, is a way to take pressure off of the dating scene and relationships in general.

I’m an advocate of dating with a purpose. But I understand many feel like there is pressure when they admit they are dating to find their special someone, whom they hope to spend their lives with.

For those that feel pressure, I do think it’s possible to date with purpose without taking advantage of others or making selfish decisions to protect our own hearts.  Let’s discuss a few ways we can take the pressure out of dating:

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Set Proper Expectations

I can’t stress this point enough.  When we set expectations up front and hold ourselves and others to those expectations, this takes much of the pressure out of building a relationship.

Whether you want to find a person to marry or you just want to have an occasional dinner companion and that’s it, discuss those expectations up front and stick to them.

Yet, allow an atmosphere of honesty to discuss if and when expectations change.  Feelings definitely change and when that happens, that should be discussed.  If she was in the friend zone and now you want to see where a relationship could go, have the discussion and see if she’s open to it.  Don’t force it. Don’t hide it. If she’s open, pursue it, if not, respect her expectations.  Which leads me to my next point…

Boundaries

Boundaries and expectations overlap, but they are NOT exactly the same.  Set boundaries on your time, your money, your body and anything else, which could begin to be shared or intertwine when dating.

It’s highly important to remember the boundaries you set in the beginning are the boundaries your partner are going to grow to respect. If there is no boundary on your time, someone may take advantage of your time because you allow them to do so.  Your body is no different.  When you make a conscious decision on what you will and will not allow to happen physically from day one and you hold to it, the boundary is much more easily respected and takes the pressure off of the physical component of dating.

Eliminate Obligation

I’m married, so there are some things I’m committed to doing for my wife.  I made a commitment to love, honor and cherish her.  I made a commitment to be there for better or worse.  Inside of this commitment, there is an obligation to do certain things.

There is an obligation to make her feel special.  There is an obligation to show her love in a way she will recognize it. If we were dating, I don’t have a specific obligation. I am obligated to honor my word.  Beyond keeping your word, eliminate the idea of obligation in dating relationships.

It’s important to remember you are in the relationship because you want to be—not because you feel obligated to do so. A relationship should be with two people who want to be there, not because one is dependent or because they are both co-dependent on each other.

If you are in one of these types of relationships, once you no longer feel obligated to someone in a relationship (you’re not married to), you will often find the obligation is all that was keeping you there in the first place.  We want relationships built on love and trust and NOT obligation.

As a reminder, dating should not be a sport…nor should it be a spectator sport. You have to be involved.

In the dating game, there will likely be some level of pressure at some point.  That said, we can minimize or eliminate the pressure if we follow these ideas and more importantly, hold to the standards even as we get close in our relationships.

BMWK, do you feel the pressure to appease in your dating relationship? Do you give into those pressures or have you found a way around them?

About the author

Jay Hurt wrote 85 articles on this blog.

Jay Hurt is a Relationship Coach, columnist and author of the book, The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship (http://9tenetsonline.com/about-the-book ). Jay’s focus is working with people who want to design better relationships and get more out of life!

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5 BIG Reasons Modern-Day Women Are Avoiding Marriage

BY: - 22 Aug '16 | Marriage

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Last week I gave you One Peculiar Reason Modern Men Avoid Marriage, and, of course as promised, I had to come and give the other side of the story.

As I mentioned in the previous article, common perceptions and over-generalizations, influence how men and women look at marriages and how the opposite sex appears in those marriages. While it might be safer to the avoid these generalizations, it’s not helpful. If we want to improve our relationships, we have to address it.

The ladies have an opinion about why many of them are avoiding marriage, and they (like the men) wanted a voice also. So, men, even though I know many of you were in agreement about the first article, this one might just be a reality check for you.

1) Men aren’t providing and protecting
This is one of the main reasons I hear women say they don’t see as much value in marriage anymore. Many of them say that many men have become very “lazy,” and because of that, women are taking on so much of the financial pressures in the household. The flip side is that many men aren’t providing, yet they still want to be the “KING” of the castle, and this concept is causing lots of conflict.

2) Men aren’t handy anymore
Many women are saying that not only are men not able to protect and provide, but many also aren’t able to handle the “basics” like our fathers and grandfathers could.

What things you ask? Cutting the grass, changing a flat tire, building a shed in the backyard, tinkering on the car and fixing the broken or worn out stuff around the house. The message I got loud and clear is that men need to be good with their hands OUTSIDE of the bedroom as well to be considered marriage material for women.

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3) Men don’t take enough pride in family
The ladies say it used to be that a man’s pride and joy was his family, but now it seems like being the head of a household and taking care of the family is more of an option than an obligation. Now as a man, I understand that this is mostly a false narrative, but it’s one that is perpetuated in the media, and it drives many women’s beliefs.

4) Men don’t put effort into romance and courting
Women still want to be pursued and desired by men. But they say that enough men don’t put any effort into courting or into romance anymore.

These women also say loud and clear that they can be independent women while also wanting a man that’s chivalrous and a gentleman. They say too many men seem like they are entitled to a woman’s love and admiration but don’t want to “work” for it…and it’s a BIG turnoff.

5) Women feel like mothers to men more than partners
Men…the ladies say they are tired of feeling they are your mothers. For a relationship where both the man and the woman work outside of the home, she’s sick of having a full-time day job and another full-time job at home with little-to-no domestic help from her man (not just cooking and cleaning, but all things it takes to keep a household functioning). They aren’t only exhausted, but they are fed up.

If you add up all of these different things, marriage doesn’t seem like a value proposition for anyone. The truth of the matter is that we have to change the narrative. Men and women both have to evolve, but I think there is some value to being traditional in some ways as well.

Happily married people have to speak out more and not make marriage seem like a life sentence in a prison rather than in married bliss. There is so much good that comes out of marriage for both men and women; and our families need the strong foundation. With this, we can thrive as a community. In the meantime, we can’t let the negative narratives dominate people’s perspectives. This is why sites such as BMWK are so needed and this is why as married people we have to be conscious about how we act and what we are putting out into the atmosphere!

BMWK Fam: What are your thoughts and how do we bridge the gap between the sexes?

About the author

Troy Spry wrote 225 articles on this blog.

Troy Spry a Certified Life, Dating, and Relationship Coach and the one and only "Reality Expert", resides in Charlotte, NC. He created his blog, Xklusive Thoughts, with the intent of putting out a very realistic perspective and using it as a vehicle for inspiration! He hopes to challenge people to think differently and inspire people to do and be better in relationships and in life!

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