Question: Hi Luise: I have a dating question for you. How do you date smart but date with your heart? I am at a point in my life where I can finally feel like I’m in control of what I want to look for in a person after two failed, long relationships. I have already turned down men for things right off the bat that I won’t tolerate. Appearance wise I don’t seem to have a problem attracting them. I guess I want to know is if falling in love really “love at first sight” or maybe just “lust at first sight?” Can love be acquired if there are enough good qualities in a man and if he seems to have potential even if you’re not super attracted to him right away? The ones that seemed to “conquer” me, so to speak, I was swept away with and they turned out to be jerks down the road. So I thought even if the attraction isn’t so hot in the beginning but there is potential maybe I should give someone a chance to find out and then I might not miss out on an opportunity that’s a good one. Or do I let them go if I don’t feel sparks right away? What do you think are good qualities of a man to look for in the beginning stages of dating that might be worth sticking around for? A lot of times, in the beginning, men seem to do all the same things until they woo you over. Or does a well-intentioned man really treat a woman differently than one who has a different agenda? Well, I guess I asked a few questions in one, so sorry about that. I hope you get my gist. Thanks, M.
Answer: Dear M. Well, it’s pretty hard to deal in such broad generalities but I will try. As we mature, I think we look at dating differently. We see the pitfalls, (hopefully), of wearing blinders and the wisdom of using filters. Not only do we have a list of what we won’t put up with, so do the guys that are attracted to us. It’s a different game.
Every one of us has a unique set of experiences and personality characteristics that come into play when we are looking for a mate. Since that is also true of the people we date, it is a very complex situation. We are aware of some of our long and short suits but others are just built into our DNA.
I would say that the most important factors are mutual honesty and the ability to communicate our thoughts and feelings. Shut down people create and support shut down relationships. Sexual chemistry is more important to some than to others. And it can often be slow to come to the surface. For some, mutual trust may need to be firmly established first and be seen as more important than early-on fireworks.
Yes, there’s a lot of documentation out there that it’s possible to “know” instantly that you have found your Soulmate. And yes, you can also marry your best friend and find out he’s your Soulmate, later. To confuse things further, is possible to marry someone you don’t know well, get acquainted as you go along and still find love. That’s because relationships could best be described as “Possibilities Unlimited”!
Knowing and trusting yourself is your greatest asset. Blessings, Luise