Making the Right Moves when Starting to Date
When you feel drawn to someone, it can be difficult to know how to show interest in dating them. Depending on your personality, you may feel shy, nervous, or worried you’re coming on too strong. Or maybe you haven’t had great dating experiences, and you want to get things right this time around.
I’ve been where you are, and I know how challenging it can feel. But the good news is there are some simple ways to show interest in dating someone, and there’s always extra help and support when you need it.
Of course, being present is only going to help strengthen any friendship and relationship, but it can also be a good way to show interest in someone you’d consider dating.
When you’re with the person you’re interested in, remove or quiet sounds and technology that would otherwise distract you. Ask them questions about their life, listen thoughtfully, and allow them time to talk about what interests them.
Not everyone is comfortable with physical touch, even when it is not flirtatious. But you can still show interest in someone while respecting their personal space.
That might mean sitting near someone in a group setting, making eye contact during a conversation, or smiling at someone to reassure them.
I’ve talked to a lot of people who are frustrated with how dating seems to work for others, but not for them. Sometimes this may be because two personalities just don’t click.
But I think it’s often because too much focus is placed on what we think we notice, what we think the other person feels about us, and how interested we think the other person is. It can feel more like a game or a test than getting to know someone, and it’s not hard to see why that can be frustrating for so many people.
The antidote to this problem is to be clear about your interest in someone by letting them know. Of course, you don’t have to tell someone everything you’re feeling right away (and that would probably feel very uncomfortable). But there’s nothing wrong with saying things like:
- I enjoyed our conversation the other day. I’d like to get to know you better. Would you like to have coffee?
- It seems like we have a lot in common, and I really enjoy talking to you. Can we stay in touch?
- I really hope your job interview goes well. Will you let me know how it went?
These are all great ways to start out. If you’ve spent quite a bit of time with someone as a friend, and are wondering if there’s romantic potential, finding the courage to discuss that will take all the guesswork out of the relationship. Plus, it won’t be such a drain on your energy.
There’s no single, perfect way to go about this, but I’ve seen a few things work well:
- Ask if they would like to go to a party, school function, or work event together.
- Let them know you’ve enjoyed getting to know them, and ask them how they would feel about going out to dinner, a movie, or coffee.
- When they have a special celebration (a promotion, great results on an exam, a birthday, etc.), you can suggest doing something together to celebrate.
Starting with a group date might be easier than a one-on-one, especially if you have mutual friends who are in a happy relationship. And don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do together that won’t break the bank (like coffee, a picnic, or a trip to the museum).
I want to encourage you to take your time and ask for help and guidance when you need it. Dating relationships don’t happen overnight. If your faith is a big part of your life, it’s a great idea to pray for confidence and clarity when dating. God helps us find wisdom amidst some pretty confusing and challenging situations.Take your time and ask for help and guidance when dating. Dating relationships don’t happen overnight. If your faith is a big part of your life, it’s a great idea to pray for confidence and clarity when #dating. Click To Tweet
If you’re wondering where to turn for dating advice, TheHopeLine is here for you. Talk to a HopeCoach about your dating questions, or check out our e-books and podcasts. We are here for you, and I wish you the best in all your close relationships.
When you feel a strong attraction, it’s hard to know if what you’re feeling is lust or love, understanding the difference is key find out more here.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez