The main purpose of dating is to find someone who has the qualities, values, and beliefs that you desire in a partner. Physical characteristics, personality, and financial status are some of the things which are considered when deciding if they suitable as a future long-term spouse.

I used to love dating before I met my husband; free food and a good laugh, why not?! I now realise they were most probably expecting more than a peck on the cheek at the end of the night. Guys this is not cool! A girl you are dating cannot be bought; and if they can do you really want someone whose more interested in your wallet than you?

I am now more clued up and emotionally mature, so if I were not already married, I would approach dating with a different attitude. Yes, it is time to have fun and enjoy yourself but, I also wouldn’t waste time with someone I didn’t feel I had a real future with. I would have worked this out by really observing who they are as a person, not just how they treated me, and I would also pay more interest in their dreams and ambitions.

I probably made so many mistakes because I never had any guidance on dating, as you probably haven’t either, I mean it’s not something that is taught at school.

Dating is a time for both individuals to size one another up to see if this person is right for them and would fit well into their lifestyle. The kind of questions that might be arising are:

  • Am I attracted to them?
  • Do they have the same moral standpoint as I do?
  • Will they get along with my family and friends?
  • Are they interested in the same activities as me?
  • Do they value the same things that I do?
  • How do they treat other people?
  • Will they understand how important my interests are to me?
  • Are they ambitious, motivated, and determined to achieve their dreams?
  • Do they have a positive outlook on life?

Along with these questions above I would want to observe them as a person to see if they have the qualities that make a relationship go the distance. These qualities are:

  • Emotional maturity
  • Passionate & affectionate
  • Honest
  • Trustworthy
  • Empathetic
  • Loyal
  • Respectful
  • Good communicator
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Playing fair
  • Self-love and confidence
  • Anger control
  • Passion & affection
  • Individuality & independence
  • Sense of humour

A lot of these qualities go hand in hand, for example if someone were honest and respected you, in turn you could trust them, and they would be loyal to you. If a potential partner had good communication skills and effective problem-solving abilities, then they would be empathetic and play fair (in terms of resolving a disagreement).

It is in-built from cave man days to look for ideal partners that we want to reproduce with. So, they should also have some qualities and beliefs that we think our children would benefit from, for example a keen interest in sports. They may also have a particular eye or hair colour that we envisage our offspring having.

I wish I understood all of this when I was younger, it would have saved so much time dating the wrong type of guys, because as time passes by and we get older the search for love becomes harder. People have started settling down and are having children so you’re pretty much left with the younger ones who haven’t settled down yet or the older people who are divorced and have baggage. Finding my husband was like finding buried treasure at sea (but I got there in the end)!

When it comes to dating people with children you must really consider whether you are prepared to take on that baggage, particularly if you do not have any children of your own. Their child will always come first before you (and rightly so). If you already have children yourself, you might actually prefer to date someone who also has children, so they understand what it is like to be a parent.

Generally speaking, having kids can put you at a disadvantage whilst dating. You are less likely to have lots of free cash to splurge on a date or the ability to be totally spontaneous. Ladies, you might also find that your figure hasn’t snapped back to how it was before had kids, I know mine hasn’t! I am not saying this to put you off dating, quite the opposite actually. What I am saying is stop doing it half-heartedly. For the females wanting to have kids one day, your biological clock is ticking and to all humans – life is short! So, stop dating with superficial agendas like a free meal or hoping to get your leg over!

Having had some kind of ‘education’ on dating and really understanding the qualities to look for in a possible partner I feel like the whole dating game would have been so much simpler and more straightforward. I would not have given so many people the benefit of the doubt or persevered with them for so long. A key quality that should be observed is how they treat other people (forget how they treat you for a moment) for example, how they treat the waiter, their mother, friends and colleagues will speak volumes about their character.

Dating Ed:
What are the purposes of dating?

The purpose of dating is ultimately to find someone you feel has the qualities values and beliefs that you desire in a partner. The two must also find one another sexually attractive. Often the future would be to head towards having a long-lasting relationship where some peoples end goals may possibly be marriage or in this modern day it may be to have a lifelong companion.


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