First dates can be pretty daunting experiences, but they can be
downright annoying or painful if both parties are not on the same page
from the beginning. Being 'on the same page' means wanting the same
type of relationship that the other wants. And research shows that many
singles start and continue with relationships without ever getting clear
on this issue from the beginning?.often with heart-breaking
How many singles have dated someone for months - even years -
without realising that they have different relationship goals. One of my
clients dated a lovely man for over 6 months only to realise he was still
living in the same house with his 'ex-partner'. "But we have separate
bedrooms!" he said in righteous justification. Another male client was
'going steady with' a woman who he kept wanting to propose to, but
every time he asked to meet her friends or family or do something more
than say home and have pizza and sex, his date got edgy and they
ended up staying home and having more pizza and sex. Eventually he
realised she enjoyed his company but had no interest in going
further?but had 'forgotten' to mention this to him. And my favourite
example is from couples who decide to move in together and one
partner says, "Let's just see how it goes", and the other thinks it's a
definite precursor to marriage.
All these examples are people who are not on the same page, who
have not discussed clearly enough 'what they are up to' in the
There are 6 Types of 'lover' relationships
3. Let's see how we go (live together, but not necessarily committed)
4. HugBuddy (non-committed, respectful, sensual, non-sex partner )
5. BonkBuddy (non-committed, respectful sex partner)
6. One night stand (wow, yes! a one-night stand is a form of
Each type of relationship requires the same amount of honesty, clarity
and respect (yes, even the one-night stand!). So what type do YOU
want?and are you willing to talk clearly and honestly about that to your
KNOW YOURSELF FIRST
Before you go questioning a potential date about the type of relationship
they want, it could be useful to start with some clarity about yourself?
1. What sort of relationship do you want
2. What sort of relationship are you capable of having/doing?
It can often be best to start with the second question - what sort of
relationship am I actually capable of?? It's important to know the
difference between wanting something and being capable of doing it.
For example, you may have just come out of a relationship and know
you're not fully emotionally clear of it, but decide you want some
companiable sex with an old lover/friend. You go ahead and have sex a
few times, but then start getting keen on him, and then jealous and
angry when he tells you he is going out with other women (even tho you
previously agreed that either of you could do that).
So even though you thought you wanted a BonkBuddy relationship,
you're not actually capable of having one. (By the way, if you're curious
about the idea of HugBuddies and Bonkbuddies, read 'Succulent
Relationships for Singles" by yours truly)
Or perhaps you want a committed relationship, but you don't have a job,
in fact you haven't had one for over 2 years and you're deeply in debt,
but you'd really like a lovely relationship to keep you warm at night.
These people want a certain form of a relationship (i.e. BonkBuddy or
Committed) but they are not capable (as yet) of sustaining that particular
form of relating.
Here are some factors that get in the road of being able to start or
sustain a committed relationship.
o Not complete from previous relationships - emotionally, financially,
o Not financially self-sustaining.
o Living with parents - especially if you're over 25ish
o Going thru a big change in life - i.e. solar return, work change
o Depression or other debilitating mental states
o Poor communication skills
o Poor understanding of what love and relationships require.
So let's say, none of the above factors apply to you?.you know what
you want?.and are ready and available for a committed relationship.
You're not desperate, you just prefer some deep relating in your life. And
you've decided that you only want to go out with people who are on the
same page as you. Why? Because life is too short and beautiful and
precious to waste with people who don't want the same things as you.
You put your profile up on a dating site (AwareConnections.com is a
great one for people who want to be a bit more conscious in their
In the body of your profile, you state clearly that you're looking for a
committed relationship. Sure, you're going to turn off a few people, but
since you're turning off people you don't want, it's a bit of a plus really.
At some stage early in the proceedings on a first phone call or first date,
it is essential to pop the big question nonchalantly into the conversation.
Just be laid-back and not treat the whole thing like the Inquisition - men,
especially, hate being 'inquisitioned'.
"Tell me about the sort of relationship you are looking for at the
(Oh mi gawd, how can I ask that?
they'll think I want to get married on the first date!!!)
If they get edgy, just explain, that despite the fact of their incredible good
looks, sexy body, rolex watch and bursting bank account, you don't want
to get married to them yet, you just want to know if they are into the idea,
in general i.e. would they be into a committed relationship if they met
someone with all the boxes ticked?
Then, if they actually say they are keen to have a committed relationship
with the right person, ask ?
"WHY would you want committed relationship?
What's the purpose of a committed relationship for you"
As a coach, I'm not often a fan of 'Why?.?" questions, but in this
situation it can be really useful for 2 reasons. Firstly, it can be a great
way of deciding if your potential partner is just saying stuff that sounds
good (i.e. lying, so they can get to look like a nice, decent person who
only wants nice, decent committed relationships when in fact, they just
want another date, or get you into bed)?.and secondly, 'why' questions
usually get people to go inside and search deeper to bring out what is
important to them. It can be extremely interesting to find out what they
mean by 'commitment' and whether their meaning jells with your
By the way, what do YOU mean by "commitment?? Commitment is
known as a 'fluff' word?.as in, it means many things to many people. I
had a friend who married a guy because he was into commitment ( and
a few other things :) Trouble is, they didn't discuss to see if they shared
the same meanings. She used to come home from work in the
beginning of their life together and find him on the phone with his back
to her, talking animatedly to old girlfriends. Even though he said he
wasn't sleeping with any of them, and she believed him, his behaviour
just didn't feel like 'commitment' to her.
So when your date answers, listen carefully to see whether your
meanings and needs and theirs match up. If they just want some
companionship or sex, it doesn't matter how spunky and wonderful they
are, it would just be a waste of time continuing going out with them.
Beware of the 'they'll change, once they get to know me' story. If you
want a 'deeply intimate, spiritual, tantric' type of commitment, and she
wants a 'nice comfy, lets-not-rock-the boat, you do your thing, I'll do
mine' sort of relationship?it's best to move on while the going's good.
Remember, Clarity is Power and dating can be fun and successful as
long as you take responsibility for finding out all the information you
Frances Amaroux is the director of Australia's first holistic internet
meeting place - AwareConnections.com - launched in August 2004. The
major aim of the site is to connect like-minded people (Cultural
Creatives) together and provide a wealth of information and education
to support people in having more conscious and sustainable
She is also the resident 'LoveCoach' on the site - with 15 years
experience as a relationships educator and Counsellor/Coach. She has
facilitated 1000s of individuals and groups - including "Unleash the Flirt
Within!... how to become more playful, succulent, and irresistible." .
She has also co-facilitated a series of forums called "She says /He says
- Peace talks for the battle between the sexes" and is writing a book
called, Succulent Relationships for Singles - HugBuddies and