Michael Chorost's Ten Hard-Learned Dating Tips
What I learned from years of dating.
Posted January 19, 2011
I don't think any man who gets married for the first time at 45, as I did, can call himself a relationship guru. I spent most of my adult life being single, dating, and making mistakes.
But I did learn a great deal along the way. So for what it's worth, here's 10 things I learned about dating.
1. You know a good potential relationship when it brings out the best in you. You know a bad potential relationship when it brings out aspects of yourself that you don't like.
2. Should you "settle"? That can't be answered in the abstract. Every person is a package deal. But it's a red flag if you don't feel that the relationship is bringing out the best in you.
3. If your romantic life is stalled, consider making a major change. In 2008 I sublet my apartment in San Francisco to take a one-year visiting professorship in Washington D.C. It was a huge leap - but I met the woman I married.
4. In your online profile, be honest in a strategic way. I'm deaf and I wrestled with exactly when and how to disclose that. Sometimes I wrote that I was deaf but could hear well enough to use the phone and converse in restaurants. Sometimes I explained it in the first email or phone call. Candor inspires trust, but you have to time it right.
5. Don't spend too long corresponding with someone you haven't met yet. Meet in person after a few exchanges to see if online chemistry translates into personal chemistry. Otherwise, you can waste a lot of time.
6. Consider personal development activities such as meditation retreats and weekend self-development workshops. Not to meet someone, but to learn and grow. I invested time in things like that and they really helped.
7. If you're the guy, don't read your date's body language to decide whether to try for a kiss. Read your own. If your body feels relaxed, it's probably because hers is relaxed - and ready. Learn how to pay attention to your own body.
8. If you're the guy, always pay for the first date even if the woman offers. It's simpler and safer.
9. Don't jump to conclusions when beginning to date someone if you think there's potential. Some people take time to emerge as their true selves, whether for good or for bad. Be patient.
10. Never give up. After each bad date or breakup, take time to pause if you need it - and then get back online and find another date. If you don't put yourself out there, your chances of success are zero.
You can also read my next posting on ten things I learned about relationships.
Michael Chorost is the author of WORLD WIDE MIND: THE COMING INTEGRATION OF HUMANITY, MACHINES, AND THE INTERNET. It's due in bookstores in February 2011. Believe it or not, the book has a lot to say about dating. One of its subplots is the story of how the author met his wife.