There’s a lot of information and advice written about how to find a date, where to have it, what to wear, how to present yourself or how to behave. Yet sometimes, the most difficult part is none of those things. It’s after a date that a lot of people can experience nervousness, usually stemming from uncertainty about what to do next. What you do after the main event is over can be as important, if not more so, as what you do before and during.
Regardless of whether you consider your date a success or a failure, it’s always possible to have a post-date plan of action. The great thing about this, is it means you always have a check point, one that stops you getting carried away or motivates you to be honest about your needs going forward. Our feelings are such strong drivers of how we behave, that leaving them to their own devices after a date doesn’t always play out well.
Don’t be ruled by your emotion
Sure, dating can be a very, very emotional adventure and even though we may not like to admit it, it’s a process that can leave us vulnerable. When we arrange to go on a date, we’re openly admitting to the world that there’s a space in our life yet to be filled. Not everyone is comfortable doing this and after a date a couple of things can happen.
The first is that, joy of joys, the date went fabulously and we come away feeling the person we needed has arrived, that we have the answer we’ve been looking for and anything beyond this is mere detail. It’s a wonderful feeling to have and we must enjoy it, but prematurely pinning all your hopes onto one person after one date, is dangerous to your emotions. It is better where possible, to be thankful that there are people out there like this that do exist, not that you have met the only one. Use it to renew your faith in dating and not as reason to begin a plan of relocation or marriage.
The second thing that can happen is either your feelings aren’t reciprocated or the date doesn’t go so well and you slide the other way into anger or disillusionment. This is really the more damaging of the two because it can introduce negative energy into your dating life, which may follow you into your next experience. Whatever goes wrong or is a disappointment, always remind yourself of why you went on the date in the first place. Do you still need or want that thing? If yes, then you must create a plan in which self-pity, swearing off the opposite sex or general rebellion, is time-limited. It might include watching a movie to unwind, listening to a song to reboot your motivations or simply exercising to burn energy. Whichever you choose, it needs to be swiftly followed by some sort of action to keep your dating mojo fun and progressive, whether that’s changing your profile or being clearer about your needs.
Stick to your values
When a date is a success people can sometimes become so over excited that their relationship values and what they require long term from a partner flies straight out the window. Compromises are made too soon and the wrong version of your ultimate relationship goal is communicated.
Let’s take an example; if as a woman it’s important that a man show interest before you reciprocate and that he be the dominant party, then after a date you may not wish to immediately initiate texting with times and locations of your next availability. Likewise for a man, if you want a woman who appreciates a slower pace of dating, then bombarding her with calls and texts the same night is going to set a precedent you may find difficult to maintain.
What you set into motion after date one is just as important to the course of your future relationship as anything else. Don’t underestimate the power of a post-date strategy.
Article commissioned by elite match making service Berkeley International