How To Get The Right Girl/Guy: Communication Skills 101

Many people complain that they can get dates but not relationships, or relationships but not ones leading towards marriage. Here are some tips:

Know your goals. If you are winding up dating the wrong people (or can’t find the right people), focus on whether you are clear (to yourself and others) on what your goals are, and then screen to make sure that prospective dates match these goals. If you are looking for a FWB, LTR wife/husband, wife/husband & kids, etc., you need to know what that goal is and be firm in it. Your goals should not change based on the people you are interested in. If they don’t meet your goals, don’t get involved with them. I’ve known people who complained that they can’t find a girl suitable for a long term relationship, yet they date people that from the beginning they knew did not meet their LTR standard. Focus your time and energy–wasting time with inappropriate people takes time away from finding and spending time with people who actually could meet your goals.

Screen girls/guys to make sure they match your goals. You can easily come up with questions to screen for a serious girlfriend/boyfriend, future wife/husband, future wife/husband and mother/father of your kids, etc. This does not need to be done on a first date but you CAN screen for casual (hookups, open relationships) vs. serious goals (relationships) on an initial meeting.

Example: women who want kids (relatively soon) generally screen men by asking if the men want kids. The only correct answer to this (as far as these women are concerned) is “yes” (as long as it is true)—otherwise, these women tend to move on. Anything that isn’t a “yes” reads as a “no,” so there is no “maybe.” There is a Friends episode about this. What about women who don’t want kids? In my experience, they are upfront with this information, so that men who want kids know to move on.

Another example: People looking for serious relationships (including marriage) often screen for family values by asking about one’s family and relationship with their family.

Yet another example: If you are looking for a relationship, you can ask what the person looks for in a man or woman for a relationship—if he/she describes you, it is going well. (You have also just sub-communicated that you are looking for a relationship.) This leads into the next section.

Sub-communicate and communicate who you are and what you are looking for in a relationship from the beginning. You are setting the frame and managing expectations. This is done before you even sleep w/the person, and includes both what you say and how you treat people you are (or want to be) involved with. Saying “I’m not looking for anything serious right now.” or “I don’t date.” are ways of communicating casual goals. Or, if you treat a girl/boy like a serious girlfriend/boyfriend by making a point of introduce her/him to your close friends/family, having a drawer or toothbrush for her/him at your house, making her/him breakfast, having traditional dates, and doing traditional “couple activities like supermarket shopping, you are setting a serious “frame” even if you don’t have the “defining the relationship” talk.  It isn’t about one thing you do; it’s a combination of things that set the frame. That said, don’t assume you are on the same page–you have to have the talk if there can be a misunderstanding about your gals or something has changed (or you want it to). If your goals are different from each other’s, you are not an appropriate match, and someone could get hurt.

One way to break the pattern of dating (or not finding) the right people is to be open-minded about who we date. Try dating people who you are (or might be) attracted to, but who don’t meet your normal type. There should be some things that are deal-breakers for you, but you should NOT have a huge list, since every item on that list further limits the dating pool (and some of those people may actually be appropriate for you.


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