So, what’s on your checklist? Be honest. Is it packed with physicalities — tall, athletic, nice teeth? Are there financial demands?Free time requests? Or is it packed with the emotional — all the ways that you demand a significant other makes you feel? When it comes to dating, we all have a checklist that we run off in our minds about whether or not the person we’re seeing crosses all of our t’s and dot all of our i’s, because, let’s face it, we all want to connect with the person that we’re considering for romantic involvement. But then we have to ask ourselves what it really takes to find solid, genuine connections that are safe spaces for us.
We partnered with our friends at BLK to dive into the Art of Dating and highlight healthy ways to set yourself up for success, both online and offline.
When the goal is to make solid, genuine connections with people once you enter the dating world, always remember that when your connection starts online and transitions to a space where you can finally meet face-to-face, feelings can change and the connection may evolve rather quickly. Being in tune with yourself, checking in, and asking the right questions, can better equip you for any changes.
With that said, check out a few ways to check in with yourself and vet potential connections on the physical, emotional and functional level below.
1. Make Sure That You Like What You See
Of course physical attraction matters, but when you’re checking out someone’s dating app profile it’s important that they check some of your boxes. Do you share the same interests? Are you from the same hometown? Do like the same sports teams, if you even like sports at all? Find common ground early on to determine whether or not you’re swiping right for a chance to connect.
2. Good Conversation
Before you sit down face-to-face at dinner, you’ll be corresponding with a virtual stranger via DM, text message, and the occasional phone call — make sure that they can hold a conversation. You won’t necessarily be sharing your deepest, darkest secrets on day one, but having a great flow, understanding, and feeling each other out during conversations will help you get closer to realizing whether or not you’ve made a love connection.
3. Boundaries and Speaking Up
With any relationship, you need to establish boundaries to make sure that you’re being heard and so that you can communicate your emotional needs. It’s not always easy to be vocal, especially when it comes to conveying your emotions and leaning into being vulnerable, but when it comes to romantic connections you should feel comfortable and heard at all times. Create a space where you can state your dislikes or hiccups, so that you can keep the lines of communication open and so that you can constantly grow and improve together. Also, remember to be clear about what your partner or potential partner is doing right! If they’re understanding, communicate openly, and uplifting you, consider that a win.
4. Are You Comfortable?
You should always feel safe around the person that you’re involved with, especially when physical intimacy enters the picture. But it’s just as important that you feel comfortable and at ease. Beyond that, besides deepening a connection through the physical, pleasure should come from the journey towards deeper intimacies.
Simply put, are you on the same page? This is a simple concept, but it is necessary to make sure that you and your potential bae are aligned. Yes, dating is fun, but it should be clear whether or not you are in it for the time being, physical interaction, long-term commitment or something else that fulfills your needs in the moment. It’s okay to be different and have different goals, and it’s also okay to change your desires with and for a person that you’re involved with, just be sure to communicate the evolution of your feelings, wants, and needs. This leads to strong relationships on and off line.
When it comes to online dating, attraction to a profile pic is a good way in. Having a list of attributes you’d like to see in your connection is another. Adding referencing the above five areas to the cocktail is a strong step in the right direction to perfecting that equation that equals love. Get started and download BLK today!
Watch more Art of Dating below!