Dating. This word can cause excitement and consternation at the same time. Some people are ready to jump on new meetings and unpredictable adventures, but others are terrified to open their feelings to a stranger. I talk to Geneviève Gresset, Master Executive Coach at Ignite Dating, about dating, how it affects our mental health and tips on how to make your dating life successful.
Why do you think dating is important?
Relationships are the key to success in both our personal and professional lives, but they take time and effort from both parties to work. When it comes to our personal relationships, dating plays a pivotal role, not only when you are single but especially after you have met that special someone. It is important to carry on working on a relationship to keep the excitement alive.
When you are looking for a relationship, dating plays an important part in getting to know someone so you can assess how well you get on and whether that chemistry is there before committing to them. Some people may know instantly when meeting someone if that spark is there for them, others find that the chemistry is slow burning and comes over time – but either way, dating and meeting the introduction in person will help you to decide if there is potential there for a long-term committed relationship.
However, when you have successfully found a match and have started an exclusive, committed relationship it is important to remember to still date your partner and make an effort in your new partnership too. Never take it for granted. As human beings, we are sociable creatures who rely on the interaction that we receive from those around us, so it is vital to show affection and interest in your partner even if you have been together for some time as it helps build a strong foundation and deeper connection between you both.
Do you think that dating is a must in everyone’s life?
Definitely! Whether you are single or in a relationship, dating is vital to our health, wellbeing, and happiness – not only in relation to how we feel about ourselves but also for those around us. Every person we date has the ability to shape our future perspectives on love and relationships, so it is important to give any potential introductions time through dating to understand what you are truly looking for in a potential partner to allow you to attract the right type of person for you.
How do you think dating affects our mental health?
If you date in a healthy way, dating can be a great experience and releases all the happy chemicals that we need to feel good about ourselves and the people around us. By dating and working towards a healthy relationship, you will find that you have a more secure dating attachment style which allows you to be the best version of yourself, both with and independently of your partner.
However, if it is done destructively then it can be very damaging for our mental health long term. If you think about affairs for example, the fallout from uncovering the truth about an affair can have a massively detrimental impact on the innocent party. They may find it hard to trust people in the future, struggle with a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem and find themselves looking internally as to what went wrong and blaming themselves for the affair. This torment will have a negative effect on the person’s mental health and they may need some support from a professional relationship coach to work through those feelings and get them back on track with their dating journey when they are ready.
Can you give us 5 tips to make your dating life successful?
There are things that you can do to make your dating journey a successful one.
- Be curious – when you start dating, whether you are new to the dating scene or have been single for a while, make the most of the opportunity to discover what you really like in a partner – and what you do not! Date people that you may not have necessarily considered before, because you never know what experiences they will introduce you to, and you may even find that missing piece that you have not found before.
- Be open – life is not a checklist, not everything goes to plan and sometimes we have to grow and adapt. The same can be said for dating. Life is too short to spend it lonely looking for the ‘perfect’ partner, because no one is perfect and that is what makes us all unique. Decide which traits are deal breakers and meet every introduction with an open mind. After all, you might even find something you never knew you were looking for!
- Date authentically – understanding what you are looking for in a partner and knowing what you have to offer will allow you to date consciously and authentically to ensure that you attract the right person
- Good communication and engagement – these really are the key to success when dating. You need to be reliable when it comes to your communication with any potential partner. While we do not expect people to constantly message the other person, a certain level of communication and engagement is necessary to move the relationship forward. For example, if you agree to call your date at a particular time or make plans for a date in person, be reliable and stick to those arrangements. If for one reason or another, plans need to be changed communicate the problem with them with plenty of notice, so they are not let down last minute.
- Most importantly, enjoy it! Your dating journey should leave you feeling confident, energised, and safe and open you up to a whole world of new possibilities and experiences for you to appreciate. Dating should not leave you feeling exhausted, negative, and uninterested in the people that you are meeting. If this is the case, you may be suffering from dating burnout and it may be time to take a break from your dating journey to refocus on what is really important to you.
What does it mean to date successfully?
Success when dating can mean different things to different people. While most people are aiming to achieve the ultimate goal of finding that long-term committed relationship, it is possible to date successfully before you find that special someone. Enjoying the process and dating authentically, will lay the foundations for a successful dating journey, allowing you to meet the right types of people who resonate with you and align with your lifestyle, aspirations, and values – someone who is just like you.
What do you recommend for successful online dating specifically?
We have all heard the horror stories that come with dating online, but it is possible to protect yourself from those experiences and allow you to meet genuine people who are looking for love through these platforms. Online dating apps and websites have become a hunting ground for scammers looking to take advantage of vulnerable people in recent years, so be mindful of them and when you start talking to someone new be sure to ask lots of questions and trust your instinct!
It is also advisory to get on a call and video chat prior to meeting anyone to verify that they are who they say they are, as this will negate any possibility of you turning up to be faced with someone that looks nothing like their profile photo. When you get to the stage of meeting in person, remember to date safely and follow safety guidelines, always making sure someone knows where you are going and letting them know you are home safely too, may seem like a small task but it can make a huge difference to your safety.
If you are worried or concerned about the safety of online dating then there are alternative options out there, such as matchmaking and introduction agencies like Ignite Dating. Agencies like these will carry out essential ID checks on any potential clients that they onboard to provide you with a safe and secure way to date.
Is there any pre-dating preparation one can do to ensure dating success?
There is lots of pre-dating preparation that you can do to ensure dating success, but ultimately it depends on where you are in the process. If you are anxious or unsure about what you are looking for or if you are ready to take that next step, book a chat with a relationship coach and carry out some basic research from trusted experts to see what you should do to get confident and date ready. From relationship retreats to one-to-one coaching sessions, there are many different options available so you can be sure to find something that works for you. If you do not prepare and understand what you are truly looking for in a partner, you will end up meeting the wrong people and wasting a lot of time which in turn leads to feelings of failure and ultimately see you giving up on your dating journey.
In your opinion, what are the typical mistakes in dating?
Communication is a common mistake that people make when dating, particularly when it comes to either over sharing too soon and rushing into something or through lack of engagement with their dates. Communication is a key life skill that we are taught from a young age, but when it comes to dating all the rules seem to go out the window. It is important to maintain a balance in those early days between sharing enough with your potential partner to show that you are interested in them and allow them to get to know you, without divulging too much information too soon and scaring them off.
Another thing that people are guilty of is having unrealistic expectations as to what they are looking for in a partner. Nobody is ever going to tick every box on your checklist, by having unrealistic expectations you are setting both yourself and others up to fail and ultimately shutting yourself off from some great potential partners and even ‘the one’.
Do you think it is ok to ask for feedback from your partner even if you are not going to see each other again?
It all depends on whether you have just had one date or several. I think if you have had a few dates and the other person has decided not to pursue a relationship, then it is ok to ask, “did I do or say anything that put you off?” This will then allow you to learn whether you are subconsciously doing something that is jeopardising your future relationships, so you can work on it. However, only ask the question if you felt there was a genuine connection both ways otherwise it is pretty obvious why a second date won’t be on the cards! The more confident you become the easier it will be to read the situations and ask the right questions.
But, if the uncertainty and anxiety of dating is something that you find daunting, working with a matchmaker may help you. It is not always their favourite part of the job, but matchmakers will always be honest with you. Although it is not always nice to hear either, if you have been on a date and the other person did not feel a connection, they will let you know right away so you can move on and begin meeting with other potential partners who may feel more of a spark.
How can our readers contact you and follow on social media?
To find out more about Ignite Dating please visit www.ignitedating.co.uk or you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. To read more about Geneviève Gresset and her achievements in the industry please visit https://ignitedating.co.uk/professional-matchmakers/ or follow her on Instagram.