Dating can be exciting and it can be nerve wracking too. Every encounter could open the door to the man of your future, and it could just as easily lead you to the most boring night of your life with someone that you suddenly realise is truly incompatible for you.

There are however, some things which you can do to help you to make better dating decisions, have better dating experiences, and ultimately lead you to better choices in a life partner. 

1. Be Honest and Open

Be yourself and be honest and open about what you think. Reading minds is not a known male attribute, for that matter, it isn’t a known female attribute either, so make your positions clear and communicate what you think openly and without prejudice. This will allow you and your date to have a better idea of who you are as a person and whether or not you really are compatible with each other. 

2. Give Thanks

Men try awfully hard to impress women on dates. They buy flowers, pick a nice dinner location, buy movie tickets in advance, hold doors open, make an effort to come by and pick you up after work. All this takes time, effort, planning and money too! So always let him know that you appreciate everything that he’s done to try to make the date a successful one. It’s the polite thing to do, and it shows that you are capable of thinking beyond yourself and your expectations. 

3. Look Your Best

Taking care of your appearance and dressing appropriately tell your date that he’s important to you. That you think he’s special and that he’s worth the effort. So brush your teeth, style your hair and put that pretty outfit on! You’ll feel better about yourself too, and that self-confidence is itself immensely attractive to most men.

4. Make it a Date with Friends 

Go on group dates with his friends and with your friends. Seeing how a guy behaves with his best buddies will tell you a lot about who he is. If he acts differently when he’s alone and when he’s with friends, or if your girlfriends tell you a different story about how he behaves when he’s out in a group, then you need to pay attention. The guy you are dating may not be as genuine as you think he is.

5. Offer to Pay

Whilst it’s common for the man to pick up the tab, it’s always appreciated if you offer to pay, take turns or at least split the bill. It’s a nice gesture and it tells him that you are willing to be an equal partner in most of your endeavours.

6. Enjoy Your Independence

An independent woman is always attractive. Do what you love to do, don’t feel you have to always follow the man you are dating or depend on him. Everyone wants to build a family with someone they feel is strong and capable enough to make the effort a joint one. 

7. Some Men Take Longer to Commit

It’s true that some men take a bit of time to decide if they really want to make the relationship a committed one with long term plans. So don’t think of the first few dates as an audition for marriage. Just let yourselves get to know each other and see how things develop. Don’t start talking about children and joint versus single incomes in a family, wait a while and see how things develop. There will be a time and place for those discussions. Having said that, if he’s been dating you for a few months and has not given you any indication that he thinks that the relationship is serious, then you need to re-evaluate the situation and decide if you should move on.

8. Don’t Assume You are Exclusive

It’s a scary thing to bring up, but the truth is, guys can date you and not think twice about dating someone else, especially if he hasn’t declared his intentions. So if he has yet to introduce you to anyone as his girlfriend, or you haven’t met his friends and family and you’ve been dating for a while, you might want to come out and ask him if he thinks of your relationship as an exclusive one, or one that’s still open. 

9. Date Someone Who Accepts You for Who You Are

No matter how good his intentions are, you cannot date someone who wants to change you. You are unlikely to change, and dating someone who wants a different you, is only going to result in unhappiness, resentment and conflict in the long run. So date a guy who loves you just the way you are.

10. Don’t Settle for Less

You know what’s important to you. You know which values, attitudes and beliefs are core to your life. Don’t date someone who doesn’t share those with you. Don’t date someone who doesn’t feel that you are worthy of all the love and attention he has to offer. Even if your biological clock is ticking, all your friends are getting married and you are scared of growing old alone, don’t settle for anything less than the best for yourself. Doing so denies you of the chance to meet your perfect match, staying with the wrong guy means putting the right guy on hold.