Relationships 101

What does dating mean for a man?

Things that men go through when they are dating.
couple holding hand

Dating is a very complicated affair, as far as men are concerned. Dating rules for men are completely different when compared to those of a woman. While some men find it difficult to muster up the courage to approach women, there are others who find it easy to find dates with different ladies. Such extremes involved with dating for men at times create a lot of confusion and complexity. So, for better understanding, we decided to analyse and identify what is dating from a man’s point of view.

What is ‘dating’?

Dating is a possibility to identify and assess the suitability of ‘the one’ prospective partner for a committed relationship. This concept of dating varies for both the sexes. While women are wired emotionally, men evaluate a date rationally. Dating means different things for different men. There are some men who are very clear about what they are looking for in a woman as a partner from the very beginning. Behind their happy-go-lucky persona and gentlemanly qualities, the observation game is quite strong during the first few dates. If a potential date falls short of their expectations, they take no more time but call it quits.

But things are not so smooth and clear for all the men in terms of dating. Each personality has its own kinds of struggles. Some ‘no conversations guys’ find it difficult to open up during their first date which gives women a wrong impression of disinterest. Some ‘ready to commit’ guys just date with the prospect of marriage or commitment in mind, which is a big turn-off for her. Then, there are ‘shy men’ who feel asking someone out is not an easy business. However, if you can screw up the courage to date, there are some sure-shot ways of dating that can help you score top grades on your first date itself.

Top 3 dating tips for men

Dating for men is perhaps the first shot at a long-lasting relationship. It can go either way. You can either win her heart and enter endless flirting on WhatsApp (or at your place) or you can dig your head under your pillow and rue all the wrong stuff you have done and said. Starting from dressing improperly to ordering the wrong food, you can do a multiple number of things which can ruin the occasion.

dating women
Image: MarieClaire.com

Our Bonobology experts understand that dating is a big leap for any guy who is waiting to try his hand at relationships. Therefore, we have compiled some tried and tested dating tips to help all those shy ones to enjoy their first date without any self-doubts or anxieties.

  1. First impression matters: First dates are a great chance to make a lasting impression on the potential date. Women who are meeting men as potential mates also look forward to how they look and present themselves. Usually, they like men who are confident and relaxed in their body language. Take their cues seriously. Dress well, trim your beard, wear a hint of nice perfume and show up with a smile to start the date on a good note
  2. Choose your familiar territory for a dateWe know you want everything to be perfect for your date and we can’t agree more. So, the safe route would be to select the place you have been many times to keep things comfortable for you. Maybe you can fix the date in a café or a restaurant where food is amazing. Instead of sitting opposite each other, try sitting next to each other to feel more connected, like a team. Bonus – Talking about your favourite dish at the venue can be a good conversation ice-breaker for both of you
  3. Ace the art of conversing: Believe it or not, first-date conversations between you also decide whether you will turn up for the next date or not. The ideal way would be to keep the conversations light-hearted and fun. A lady feels comfortable with a man having a great sense of humour. Ask about her favourites in food, destination, holiday or books. Or how she would like to spend her leisure weekends. These questions may sound simple, but lend a great fluidity to the conversations and help her open up without any hesitation. Listen to her carefully and respond, if you have similar interests. These interactions play a crucial role in making the first date successful

How is dating different from a relationship?

Men tend to struggle while analysing their status in dating vs. relationship. Many times, they fail to realise when the dating phase ended and they graduated into a committed relationship. Or they date a lady casually, only to realise their genuine love after breakup. So, identifying the differences between dating and relationships is a crucial step for men to take right decisions at the right time and avoid any complications.

  • Dating is mostly for a shorter time period: The couple is aware of the fact that the dating might not result in something substantial. As per a study, men need only three dates to find out if they are serious towards a woman or not. A guy’s approach to dating is starkly opposite to his counterpart who takes considerable time to gauge their compatibility. But hey! You are not tied up with the three-date restriction while identifying if the girl is right for you or not. You can mutually begin courting to determine if the relationship is going in the right direction or not
  • Dating is fun with caution Dating is more of an uncertain time period wherein people are a bit more frivolous and also at the same time a bit cautious. They try and show their fun side if they are interested in the other party or hold back and do not respond if they are not. The communications are very subtle and for that reason, every ‘date’ counts. Courting, on the other hand, is much more serious. In this stage of a relationship, a couple is certain that they will meet frequently over a certain time period
  • You can date many people: During a dating phase, men can meet many women to find out who is best compatible with them. But the commitment level is the main differentiator while seeing someone vs. dating. Staying faithful and seeing a future together is the major facet of a serious relationship. You definitely feel strong emotional connection due to the love you have for each other. The want and need in a relationship is different from infatuation, usually experienced by couples in the initial levels of dating
  • Another important facet is compatibility During dating, you are unsure of your compatibility with the girl. But while in a committed relationship, you have great mutual understanding and compatibility with the mate. Naturally, in this case you both see a potential future together. So, a proper knowledge of these differentiating factors between dating vs. relationship can give you clarity of mind and save you from further relationship complexities
couple dating
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Related reading: How should a man handle subsequent dates?

12 things men go through when dating

There are different kinds of dating and you have to have the know-how of everything to be at the top of your game. For men, dating could be casual or serious, depending upon their priorities. Basically, for youngsters, dating comes with no pressure of commitment, whereas things take a serious turn when men cross a desirable age and look for committed relationships. So, a better way is to identify what guys like you usually look out for while dating someone through a checklist.

  1. You meet many women for the first date: This doesn’t make you a Casanova. You know what you are looking for in a girl while dating and these first meetings are giving you an opportunity to meet your potential date who thinks similarly and suits your courtship goals
  2. You like her and want to know her better: And a better prospect of deepening this contact is through meeting with a common group of friends. Many men who follow this slow route have agreed on the incredible benefits of this setup. Not only does it give you a glimpse of how the girl reacts naturally in her familiar zone, it also fosters your friendship, which is a basic primer for couple relationships
  3. You meet her for a first date: Congratulations! She has agreed to be your date. This is a green signal that your feelings are mutual. While we know you are encouraged by this, our Bonobology counsellors suggest keeping the first few initial dates light and fun. Compliment her. Give her good company and see the relationship transition to courtship phase. Don’t worry about the future of dating or fear rejection; just let it take its due course
  4. You fear rejection: Post first date, you don’t know whether she liked your company or not. That rejection can be a big blow to your dating aspirations. Well, don’t worry about it. If you are confident about yourself, then you must agree with us that some rejections make us stronger, even in dating. As time passes by, you will understand that the fears and anxieties during the whole dating process are mutual and women also go through their share of uncertainties
  5. You are meeting her more often: Well, you passed the first-date litmus test, which is great. This shows that you both like each other’s company and are spending the time to know each other better. At this level, the relationship is mutually exclusive and it is safe to say you are dating
  6. Sail through courtship challenges: The lady you are dating has her own individuality, which is great. Accepting such differences and challenges strengthens a relationship. Remember, these challenges add spice to a relationship and test you both on accepting each other’s nature, beliefs and passions. If you sail through these challenges, one thing is guaranteed – your dating phase can easily graduate into a mature relationship with great compatibility. So, make yourself a part of healthy arguments with her and celebrate your differences
  7. You are taking more time during the dating phase: Usually, guys take six months’ time to decide whether they are committing to a relationship with a girl or not. But not all of them go through the same certainty. Some men experience ups and downs in the initial dating months, which makes them sceptical whether this dating would work or not. Hence, before you choose to commit, take your own time to come to a conclusion
  8. It’s not just about you, it’s about her too: Dating is mutual and you have to take the girl’s views about commitment as well. Maybe this time you are sure and she is not. Or she wants to take it slow, owing to her career or other responsibilities. If you value her as a person, you will surely honour her views and give her necessary time during dating before she is ready to commit
  9. You are talking about serious topics: Deep conversations come in when you are contented with dating and wish to take the commitment level further. Try to initiate such conversations to ascertain surety in a relationship. You may talk about her future plans. Are you a part of them? Is she more concerned with achieving career goals or ready to balance between personal and professional life? Having clarity over such serious topics may lead to a deeper relationship
  10. You are thinking of moving in together, like a live-in: This is a probable benchmark of dating, where staying together can prepare you for a long-term relationship. You feel as though you are getting less time with each other. Also, you want to see whether you are both ready to sail through real-life challenges like managing finances, monthly groceries, cooking and house rents. So, live-ins are a great way to analyse whether you are meant to be together or not, though they come with their own advantages and disadvantages
  11. Your life has changed and she is the reason: That’s the most beautiful feeling in the world when a dry, dull ‘Hello’ over a phone call gives her an idea that something’s not right. Her intuitive nature and emotional strengths have cushioned the dating phase and made it more enduring. You are amazed by her abilities and she has changed your life definitely for better
  12. You can’t wait to commit for the long-term: You have known her for a considerable time, trust her with your secrets, and are comfortable in her company. Her inner beauty, values and strength of beliefs have inspired you and you are amazed by the changes she has brought in your life. All these experiences signal one thing – you have successfully passed the ‘dating’ phase and are ready to commit to her. Isn’t that amazing? Well, you have sailed through lots of ups and downs in dating successfully and now it’s time to rejoice in the company of your loved one

To sum up, dating is that game where you have to gauge the temperature of the water by dipping your toe in it. We hope all these tips will help you put the best foot forward while dating and help you overcome the pre-dating jitters. So, don’t wait for the magic to happen. Try approaching the girl and let the magic of dating unfold for you. If you need any personal help in dating and communication, contact our Bonobology counsellors for detailed guidance.

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