A Modern Single Girl’s Dating Checklist
Your first kiss with someone, the first time you fool around a little with them and the first time you finally get it on with them — it can hard deciding when the right time is. There are no hard and fast rules for when, of course. Five minutes into the first date can be a wonderful choice for some, and waiting until after the wedding can work for others. A lot depends on the specifics of your case.
A lot of the time, relationships no longer feel as good once you’ve tried it all out. If you want to avoid the feelings of disappointment and awkwardness that come with intimacy with someone you’re not that interested in, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Imagine how it will feel — afterwards
It can be great fun trying to imagine what it’ll be like when you finally get a chance to do it with someone that you’ve had the butterflies over for a while. It’s not quite the same when it comes to imagining what you’re likely to feel when you’re all sweaty and exhausted afterwards.
Whether you’re contemplating your first kiss with someone or considering sleeping with them, do everything in your power to imagine what it will feel like once you’ve done everything that you’ve always wanted. If you work hard on getting your imagination to realistically represent in detail what it’ll be like, you’ll have some reliable answers on whether you want to go through with it.
If it’s your hormones boosting you and nothing else, they’ll abandon you the moment you’ve had sex, even if it was very good. And you may not feel very good about the whole thing. If the person answers deeper needs within you because they are good, intelligent, ethical, kind or anything else, you’ll still feel good about having been close to them, once the hormones evaporate.
Your imagination needs solid information to work on, though
Your imagination isn’t a crystal ball. It isn’t capable of producing insights out of thin air. You need to give it facts before it is able to work its magic. If you only know someone for a couple of days, your imagination will probably be unreliable when you try to think of what it could be like afterwards. To give your imagination more fodder, you want to get to know the person better. It isn’t about waiting. Instead, it’s about knowing more.
If you have no idea what there is to know
If this is one of the first relationships you’ve ever been in, you probably won’t know what people mean when they tell you that you have to “know someone better.”
There is actually a lot to know. You need a checklist of great, probing questions to ask. These questions will be relevant whether or not you plan to pursue a serious relationship. If you only believe that it will be a short fling, the answers to these questions will give you something to think about as you try to determine if you’re about to tangle with the wrong person. If you do hope for a serious relationship, the answers will be vital for the long-term decisions that you need to make.
- What kind of relationships have they had in the past, and do they speak respectfully of those people?
- Do their friends seem together?
- Do they seem happy in general?
- How are they with money? Do they keep track of every dime?
- Do you see a streak of codependence? Or do they like healthy, functional independence?
- What kind of political and religious ideas do they hold?
- Do they like their work?
- Do they seem vain about their looks, their car, or anything else?
It takes time to find answers to these questions. You can’t go in with a checklist and start an interrogation. You want to gently work these questions into the conversation over a period of time. The more questions you have answers to, the more you’ll find your mind thinking intelligently about how far you want to go with this person, and when.
It’s also a little about waiting
Putting off the first move towards intimacy can pay off in other ways, as well. To begin, it gives you a greater sense of control. Wanting the upper hand doesn’t have to be manipulative when it’s about becoming more comfortable. Waiting will also tell you if he really likes the idea of being with you. If he’s sticking along waiting for his big chance with you, it’ll tell you something about how he values you, and make the moment that much nicer for both of you.
There are practical benefits to waiting, as well
It’s 2016, and Hollywood movies still show besotted couples tumbling headlong into bed with their eyes lit up in romantic expectation. While it’s wonderful to have all this, you do need to lay the groundwork first — meaning, you need to determine how safe the sex is going to be. You need to ask those awkward questions.
Have they had STD testing done recently? Have they ever tested positive for anything communicable?
The way they react to these questions should tell you a lot about how mature they are. You want great, cooperative answers.
Pursuing a relationship needs some planning and thought, no matter how casual you plan for it to be. A little planning can help you make sure that you feel just as wonderful afterwards as you always hoped.
Jayden Brown is a relationship counselor. She loves to share her insights on human relations whenever she can. You can find her posts on many living and relationship blog sites.