Lifestyle

14 Practical Dating Tips for Smart Women

How to date smarter

Dating can get tiring after a while. Ask anyone who has been on any dating site for more than a few months. Sometimes it goes in cycles - you have a plethora of men wanting to meet you and then, at other times, you can go a week without an email from a new guy.

Once you meet in person, it's important to date smart. There’s no magic wand that will make your relationship succeed, but these guidelines will set you on a course that will circumvent a lot of problems along the road to happily ever after. Our relationship experts share their best practical dating tips for smart women:

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14 Practical Dating Tips for Smart Women

Don't get date weary

1. Use your resources well, otherwise you can get “date weary,” trying to do too much, go out too often, overcommit to things that may look like promising ways to meet guys, etc. pace yourself, try one new thing at a time, be realistic and remind yourself that rushing will only get you there later, not sooner.

2. For first meetings—keep it simple and short. Go for coffee, a quick lunch or a drink at happy hour. This leaves you an easy out if he’s clearly Mr. Wrong, yet also leaves the space to suggest continuing the date if it’s going well.

3. If you meet a guy online, don’t let too much time pass before you have that first meeting. If he always has an excuse, hit delete and move on. He’s not the guy.

4. Alcohol is a nice social lubricant you should keep your drinking to a two-drink maximum. You don't want to be known as the sloppy first date drunk that a guy later uses as an anecdote when telling future prospective matches of their dating history. Even if you are having a good time and feel safe with the person it is still a bad idea. It's bad manners, a sign that you can't control your behavior or know how to be appropriate out in public. When you drink too much you can lose clarity and if you are really having a good time do you really want to forget all about it the next day? Having one too many can also lead to lowered inhibitions which can turn you into a Chatty Cathy or possibly make you act out of character that might make you uncomfortable after the date is over. Puking your guts out after a lovely evening while your date holds your hair back is neither romantic nor becoming and should be avoided at all costs.

14 Practical Dating Tips for Smart Women

Don't lose yourself

5. Successful relationships are built on mutual respect. Therefore, the more you focus on negative aspects of your partner, the more you will deny yourself the positive, attractive aspects you noticed when you first started dating. Find ways to keep respect between you thriving.

6. Don’t lose yourself in your relationship. Maintain your individual interests, including friends, activities and professional goals. You must be able to orchestrate your life and not feel smothered or discounted.

7. Be alert to any uncomfortable behaviors in your partner that would be a sign of impending abuse. Too quick attachment, intense jealousy, mood swings, anger issues, verbal threats or distorted accusations are the "red flags" that spell caution.

8. Trust your intuition, which is that part of you with knowledge vital to your well-being. This internal antenna continually sends you messages and if anything or anyone makes you feel uneasy, don't ignore it.

9. Never sacrifice yourself for the sake of your partner. While it's always important to be flexible in your relationship, be sure you don’t sacrifice the values, integrity and standards that are important to you. Compromise is a wonderful quality; selling your soul is too high a price to pay for being in a relationship.

Ditch the checklist

10. Throw away your checklist. Throw away that list of must-have qualities and don't worry about your type. Do you even know what your type really is?

11. Stop the games. Passive aggressiveness drives men crazy. When he asks if there's something wrong, don't say "nothing" if there actually is something bothering you. If you’re upset, tell him.

12. Be confident. It's okay to share your opinions with him. He'll be impressed that he doesn’t have to reassure you with all of your decisions. Confidence is key to any relationship.

13. Make eye contact. Maintaining eye contact builds trust, which leads to a stronger bond. It may be awkward at first, but eye contact alerts your partner that your attention is on them. This will lead to more intimacy in your relationship too.

14. Show an interest. Men like women who are vulnerable and let their guard down. This doesn't mean that you should share your deepest, most intimate emotions right away, but it does mean be soft and feminine and take down those walls. Lean in, touch his arm, and ask him questions. No doubt you will get a second date.

Tips provided by: Toni Coleman, Nicole Bienfang; Rosalind Sedacca; and Lori Bizzoco.

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