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Dr. Romance: Dating Do's and Don'ts


Dr. Romance: Dating Do's and Don'ts


Dating after Divorce: After Divorce, Do's and Don'ts to Make Dating Fun


By TINA TESSINA


    Here are some dating Do's and Don'ts to help you as you search for new love after the divorce.


DATING DO'S

1. Do shop around.
Don't stay focused on one person until you've given yourself a choice.


2. Do listen.
Don't monopolize the conversation. You'll learn even more about your date, and be more relaxed.

3. Do focus on friendship.
When you’ve just met someone, you can't know where it might go, so concentrate on developing the friendship. You can have as many friends as you want.

4. Do get feedback. 
Offer your comments on the event or the restaurant, and ask your date what he or she thought of it, for future reference.

5. Do let your date know if you enjoyed his/her company.
A compliment is always welcome. If you'd like to do it again, say so.

6. If you promise to call, mean it.
If you've decided not to continue the relationship but feel you can't say so, don't make empty promises.

7. Do tell the truth.
Don't lie, but also don't share too much too soon. You don't need to tell your date about other dates if you two have no agreement about exclusivity. Wait until the relationship has progressed to exclusivity.

8. Do pay attention to the clues about your date.
You need to learn about this person's character, not just looks and charm.


DATING DON'TS

1. Don't assume your date is exclusive.
Talk about this before you commit to it.

2. Don't be afraid of silence.
Occasional silences allow a conversation to feel natural and unforced.

3. Don't make sex the objective.
Good reasons for going slowly into sexual activity include: reducing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, avoiding the awkwardness of intimacy with a total stranger; averting codependent obsession; and having sex to look forward to.  If and when sex is right, it will happen -- there's no advantage in rushing.

4. Don't date beyond your budget.
It doesn't impress your date if, in the long run, you have to make an embarrassing confession, and "buying" someone's company doesn't work. A wide disparity in income calls for frank discussion early on. If your date spends a lot on you, reciprocating with a home-cooked meal, a hand-made gift, or needed repair work will even the tally.

5. Don't get too self-conscious. 
The media focus on youth and fitness these days can make anyone feel insecure and unattractive. Look your best, then forget about it. Instead of worrying what your date thinks of you, focus on what you think of your date.

Tina Tessina, Ph.D., has been a licensed California psychotherapist for more than 30 years. She has authored more than 11 books, including "Money, Sex and Kids"; “The Commuter Marriage: Keeping your Relationship Close While you’re Far Apart”; "How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free"; "The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again"; and, “It Ends with You: Grow Up and Grow Out of Dysfunction.”  Tina can be reached at tina@tinatessina.com.




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