If you’ve done your homework, you now have the beginning of a relationship blueprint that will serve you well. It’s like beginning a road trip; you need to have a destination in mind or your journey will not be fruitful. And, it probably won’t be completed as you had hoped. Now for learning a way to qualify and quantify your experience of each new person.
Your next step will be to create a dating journal. This will be a work in progress, where you will record your strongest impressions following your first contacts and first several dates with any new person, and should continue until you have resolved any questions in your mind and decided to either proceed or not. My suggestion is to use a real notebook journal, and keep it in a safe and secure place. If you are using an electronic function, be sure it is password protected so that only you can access it.
Once you meet someone, whether online or in person, and there is a return contact, it’s important to begin to make note of what you see, think, feel, and learn. Make a page for each person, and I suggest to my clients that they divide the page into at least 2 columns – one for the good stuff and one for the not so good. If that doesn’t work for you, try a narrative form. For example:
John or Susie Smith
3/4/17 First text contact. Like the picture, very attractive. Profile states they enjoy many of the same things as me, such as travel, reading, entertaining and hiking. Seems pleasant.
3/6/17 First chat. Started off well, but right away made comments about how I look, my “great body”, etc. Maybe just interested in sex? When I didn’t pick up on that, changed subject. Agreed to a coffee date.
3/9/17 Met for coffee. They choose a good place, convenient for both of us – is considerate? In person, did not look like their picture, I think the picture was old. Not so honest. Honesty is very important to me. But, still quite attractive. Had good conversation but noticed that just kept asking about me, did not respond in any detail to questions I asked them. I didn’t feel comfortable with that. At the end they asked to meet again, for dinner.
You can see that this is a record of some things that felt appealing, and some things that raised questions. I suggest to my clients that they note questions to be resolved, such as confronting them with why they don’t answer direct questions, or why they use an old picture.
Don’t be afraid to reflect on what you like, don’t like, what you need to explore, etc. That’s how you will learn about possible “red flags”! Check in here in a few weeks for Part 3 – Dating Red Flags That Anyone Should Consider.