We all want to find that special someone right? If we all want the same thing, why is the process so intimidating and so frustrating?

  • Where do I find people?
  • Are there rules?
  • Do I have a type?
  • Do I even know what I am looking for?
  • Shouldn’t this be fun?

Even the definition of dating itself has changed. Are you dating or “dating”? Hook ups, looking for a relationship or friends with benefits?

So far all I have is more questions! I asked on Facebook for people to define dating, Here are a few of my favorite answers:

“Dating is spending time with another person in the hopes to form a relationship”

“My 19 year old says it’s spending time with someone you have feelings for and have mutually decided it’s a date.”

“I wish people could skip all the formalities of dating and just be in love. But then again…The dating is the trial and error and fun times!”

I do know this…it should be fun. You should be able to learn from the experience and you get to meet new people. That all sounds positive.

So what else do I know about Dating now? I know that dating is constantly changing – The most

popular form of first date now has changed from dinner and a movie to a 30-minute coffee meeting after meeting online first.

Internet dating is now one of the most successful kinds of dating. How has that changed things? I have to admit I was an online dater for a few years. Happily committed and in a blended family now but I still remember the frustration. It’s a bit like window shopping. You better have a terrific picture and a great profile if you want to succeed. People have a lot more time and information in which to judge you, all from the comfort of their own home. In our busy worlds though it is a wonderful solution for some people. Others still want to meet people the traditional way…blind dates. Yes, I’m kidding however through a friend is a tried a true method.

A friendly tip for Men to remember when dating…Women are self-sufficient, financially independent and not necessarily looking for a “provider.” We have a lot more choice with the direction our lives take than we used to. We may not be looking to get married but looking for some fun or a companion.

A few friendly tips for everyone when dating…

  • Don’t commit too soon. I knew someone that bought their wedding dress after 2 dates!
  • Don’t try to impress the other person with money or possessions. We will like you, not what you give us…unless you are meeting the wrong type of person.
  • Don’t be the overly jealous type.  We like that you want to be with us but we will not give up all of our opposite sex friends for you.
  • Don’t be too “nice”, acting like you want to be friends rather than lovers. Once in the friend zone, always in the friend zone.
  • Don’t be negative. Have you been on a date with a girl that doesn’t like her job, her friends, her ex or even the guy behind the counter at the coffee shop? Run!

I could probably talk about mistakes all day and I’m sure as you read this you are thinking back to some of yours.

First Dates! I can’t write an article about why dating is so hard and not talk about the dreaded first date. They are important…you know what they say, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Oh the stress – what do I wear? Yes, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind! What do you think are the most important things that people are looking for on a first date? Personality followed by a smile and looks. Please don’t forget to have a personality. I know it’s stressful but just be confident being you. I think both men and women are drawn to confident people. Being able to communicate effectively even in a stressful situation such as dating (first dates anyways) demonstrate your level of confidence.You hear a lot about guys that are shy and afraid to talk to women. Most of us aren’t that scary and we have the same fears.

I think that it’s easy to forget that a date is about getting to know another person, and deciding what kind of relationship you want to have with them.  It’s also easy to forget that it’s as much about learning about others as it is to share about yourself.  When you forget that, it is easy to treat a date like an audition, where we think we have to impress another person.

Have you ever been on a date where the other person just does not stop talking? This is probably more because of their desire to impress you or to be “picked” by you than it is that because they are an egomaniac.

No matter what age you are – dating can be a challenge but it can also be a lot of fun. Learning about someone new, making friends, expanding your horizons and sometimes even honing your skills about how to deal with difficult people ha ha.

Whatever we think we know about dating we know that this one thing is true. You will have many dating experiences; some good, some bad and some great.

You need to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince right?

Julie Gill Q.Med

Owner & Principal Mediator – Families First Mediation

Host of ‘We Need To Talk’ on Rogers TV Durham