Dating resolutions to take heed of
For some, music soothes the savage beast, for Patti Feinstein it’s the way to keep one’s dating life on-track.
The Chicago-based relationship coach ranks New Year’s dating resolutions as only second to weight-loss promises among her clientele, when it comes time to set out and improve themselves as they ring in each year.
In fact, Feinstein notices an annual bump in her client list in the early months of the year as singles try to "find (themselves) some lovin’," as she puts it.
Contrary to popular opinion, the coach feels that relationship-seekers should lay out dating plans that spread across 365 days rather than short-term ones to avoid disappointment. "You have to have the right attitude, you have to pick carefully. You don’t want to just pick the first (person) that wants you," she explains.
To do that, Feinstein encourages the young and single to rev up their iPods and prepare a relationship-friendly play list — songs for the build-up to the relationship, a few euphoric numbers for the mid-point when things seem unshakeable and a couple of tear-jerkers if that love train runs off the rails — to help them trudge through their relationship travails.
"Once you identify the stage, then you pick the song that can help you move out of that stage and into the right direction," she says of the different dating periods that every couple experiences.
While Feinstein’s unique melodic approach may or may not sing the right tune for all singles, this week Dating Jungle and A Guy Thing have hooked up for Metro’s special New Year’s section to offer our own dating resolutions from our wealth of relationship knowledge and experience (or at least we think it’s valuable).
Through weeks of consultation, brain-storming, fact-finding and intense research (actually two hours, but all of that sounds more professional) we’ve arrived at a resolution consensus, a selection of points to remember before setting out on the dating circuit this year:
• The number is not prime: While we may all be tempted (some of us more so) to ask our prospective partners or those we’ve been dating for a time how many people they’ve slept with, assuming you’re practicing safe sex (and you SHOULD be!!), it really doesn’t matter. Bringing up the number too hastily or at all in some cases may not only lead to an uncomfortable situation, but leaves you open to also sharing your number. Sometimes ignorance is bliss until you’re sure the number really is just a number, at which point it truly doesn’t matter.
• Think before you wait: Some feel the obligatory two-to-three-day waiting period before calling a potential new flame is a must, but we digress. We argue that those who either insist on waiting or balk at a quicker-than-normal call aren’t worth dating anyway. The waiting time after spending an intimate night with someone should be even less [Editor’s Note: Atchison suggested no more than a week before Iglinski smacked him in a re-educating rage].
• Why aren’t you in a serious relationship and how many have you had?: Fair questions, but be careful how you broach them. Ask the first one and you run the risk of putting a person on the defensive or intensifying an already potentially self-conscious situation. Ask the second one too forcefully and you run the risk of coming off as a dating cynic or desperate for long-term bliss.
• "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.": While we have no idea what Winston Churchill meant by this, it brings us to an interesting dating topic — trying to change the one you’re with. We say don’t try it. Perfection isn’t derived from your efforts to reshape someone’s personality. We’re all bound for inter-relationship growth, but this shouldn’t be the main goal of any relationship [Editor’s Note: Iglinski says scoring a person who can provide fine jewelry and nice dinners just might be. Atchison merely scowls in disgust].
• Desperation should only be for Housewives: There’s a fine balance between showing interest and stalking. Women should keep a copy of Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s He’s Just Not That Into You handy before mounting a campaign to earn a man’s affection. Guys should watch Fatal Attraction and read the Criminal Code of Canada (not for loopholes, we know how you think!).
• Sloppy drunks are never cool: Enough said. [Editor’s Note: Ironically, Iglinski and Atchison were drinking heavily while writing this].
• To log on, or not to log on?: And finally, we agree to disagree. Iglinski argues that the online world offers a wide and diverse jungle of dating options, but with anything, caution needs to be exercised before taking the experience offline and into the real world. Atchison concedes there are success stories, but still prefers in-person first-time encounters and worries that most "women" dating online are actually 73-year-old men sitting in basement apartments awaiting their next court date.
If you don’t make and follow resolutions (like us), then simply keep these thoughts in mind before embarking on your next dating adventure and hopefully your relationship fortunes will prosper in the new year.
before heading into the dating circuit