Five Tips for Dating Couples

Couple walking over a bridge at sunsetHave you found someone that maybe could be the one for you? Do you wonder how to make your new relationship the best it can be? Are you spending time debating what to do with your worries or concerns about this particular person? Do you see some problems and wish you could solve them?

Here are five things you can do to make the best of your relationship:

  1. Give seven times more appreciations than complaints or criticisms. Every time you are about to say, “You forgot….”, “You didn’t….” ask yourself if you have expressed enough appreciation lately. If not, put off the complaint. You’ll find that if you lead on this, your partner will follow, and your relationship will be filled with gratitude and fun.
  2. Express yourself. You must get to your complaints at some point. If you don’t you may later find yourself deep into a relationship before you have really decided that it is right for you. Don’t be afraid of saying something that makes your partner anxious. As long as you are not blaming and shaming, it is fine to bring up difficult topics. Even though you have your own opinion, leave some room for curiosity about the situation. You may find yourself in an interesting, surprising, and revealing conversation.
  3. Maintain your connection, calm, clarity, and curiosity. Make sure you are connected, calm, clear, and curious before you speak up. You’ll get your point across more powerfully when you can think clearly, and you’ll have a better chance of being heard. Nobody likes to listen when they are being attacked.
  4. Don’t try to solve the problems in the relationship–solve the moments. Happy couples have problems just like unhappy couples–they just have a better time talking about them.
  5. Give your best. If you give your best in difficult situations you won’t have to keep wondering if you are the problem. Don’t get into this trap. Do yourself proud in difficult situations–stay calm, connected, compassionate, and clear so you won’t have to second guess yourself later. Maybe you’ll find that you like the other person better when YOU stay connected or maybe you’ll find that you are losing interest. Either way, you’ll know.

© Copyright 2010 by Mona R. Barbera, PhD, therapist in Providence, Rhode Island. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Amanda Haywood

    Amanda Haywood

    March 8th, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    It is a great way forward if you can actually go ahead in your relationship with things like the ones mentioned above and be sure tht you will get similar good treatment too, if the person is really good. If not, then you know he/she is not worth you, thus clearing a possibly problematic relationship for you.

  • pauline


    March 9th, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    And don’t go around thinking that this relationship is going to end badly just like all of the rest! When those are the only expectations that you have then that is what is bound to happen. Enjoy the ride, take the advice cited, and live for the moment. New loves only come around a few times in life. Savor them.

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