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Before the first date and deciding if to date

How do you know if someone that you've found you want to date?

Dating All Hours - dating decisions, dating criteria and deciding if to dateYou've viewed some dating profiles, maybe seen some dating profile pictures you've liked the look of, or liked what you've read about someone, or a bit of both. How do you know if you want to take it to the next level and take the plunge and decide to go on a date?

Do you know what you want?

This can sometimes be the hardest bit, knowing what you want! It can help, although maybe not that romantic, to have a think about and write down and perhaps create a list of what you do and don't want. More specifically, it can help to write down all the things from a date and/or relationship:

  • you would like to have
  • what you must be able to have or experience

This could range from general things like having a sense of humour and likes/dislikes to quite specific preferences like hair colour and hobbies. In addition to this it can also be just as important to know and understand what you think you are prepared to compromise on. For example, where they might live, what they do for a job or profession, what hours they work.

Getting in contact

It's all very well knowing what you do and don't want but some things like a sense of humour you have to figure out by being in contact with them. By getting in touch with a potential date or someone you've seen you like can maybe help to build a rapport and build self-assurance as to whether or not you both may like one another. This can help on the date by knowing a bit more about one another to help with finding things to chat about, what you have in common and built each others' confidence before the date to help with any pre-date nerves or "butterflies" (more on pre date help).

What form of communication?

  • Website messaging - This is whereby the dating website that you have seen the person on that you might like to date, has a messaging tool to be able to send messages to this person. (This messaging tool is also available completely free to Dating All Hours members.) This can be an easier method to message people and with Dating All Hours you can use the "Contact Control" tool to maintain control over who is and who is not able to contact you.
  • Email - An easy and often free form of communication although if you give out your email address it might be difficult to have a degree of control over who can continue to be able to contact you.
  • Text message or SMS - using your mobile or cell phone to send a short message is convenient although the downside is that they may now have your phone number and you are sometimes limited by the number of characters you can use for each message.
  • Phone call - Being able to speak and chat with someone can have some great advantages. When you communicate with someone you usually do three things:
    • 1. Obviously the things that you actually want to say!
    • 2. Tone of your voice to vary how you say things and the speed at which you say them
    • 3. Use body language like moving your arms, your body position and how you "hold yourself".
    A telephone call allows you to use the first two types of communication and you can also gauge what you say by the reaction you get. Written forms of communication are not as good as being able to take these all onboard and get to know what you are like, although with the advantage that writing allows you to be able to give a considered response. Although the main disadvantage is that again once they have your phone number you may lose that degree of continued control over them being able to get in touch with you.

To date or not to date, that is the question?

So by now you've maybe decided what you want and what you could compromise on for a date; maybe you have been in touch or got on contact, but how do you decide if you like them enough to go on a date? Sometimes this can be specific, for example, they fulfil your list of criteria, they are what you want. Or maybe you just have a "bit of a feeling", maybe a slight warm "fuzzy" feeling, some excitement "butterflies" or there might be a bit of chemistry between you. Or maybe you still just don't know! If you still don't know, it could be just the case that dating is just not a scientific process, you have to go with your "gut instinct", or potentially review and re-assess the criteria that you want or are looking for in someone to understand if you are being true to yourself and deep down that is what you really want.


Taking that step from searching for dating profiles and going on a date can sometimes be nerve-racking and worrying or alternatively fun and a lot or excitement, or a bit of both! Either way good luck with it and don't forget your safety on a date and we also have some first date checklist help.

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Related links:

  • Dating at work
    Some light-hearted tips of the pros and cons of dating at work

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