How to meet your match.I wrote ‘how to meet your match’ as a result of the many clients I work with, telling me how much anxiety and disappointment they experience, playing the dating game. Relationship coaches like myself are in agreement that dating seems to be getting harder, and there’s one main reason for that, not really knowing the person.

You may be heading off for your first, first date or maybe you’re meeting someone new for the third time this week, or anything in-between, which ever it is, you will no doubt be a little anxious, full of dread or full of hope, maybe all of those emotions, so how can you cut through the bull?

Chances are you’re asking your self the same question ‘how to meet your match’, hopefully this will be the last time you will have to go through the rollercoaster of emotions which go hand in hand with finding your forever partner.

Dating coaches the world over are sharing with their clients the importance of being authentic and cutting through the bull, the importance of ‘really’ getting to know the important things from your date and hopefully your future partner as quickly as possible.

The problem with bull is, once it starts flowing, it takes on an energy of its own, so start as you mean to go on and get to know the important, true thoughts and feelings off your date, sounds easy right! It is, you just have to change what hasn’t been working in the past, after all the definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

The same goes for dating, if you’re spending too much time on people who clearly don’t match, then that isn’t good for your wellbeing and self esteem.

So how can you get to know the person sitting beside you, I mean ‘really’ know them. These ‘how to meet your match’ tips, will help you to learn quickly, whether a second date is on the cards or whether it was someone you learned from.

How to meet your match – 5 tips.

What makes you laugh?
Dating is like jigsaws matching.In all of the studies into ‘what singles want in a partner,’ a good sense of humor ranks in the top 5 attributes. Single men and women want a partner who can bring humour and lightness to the relationship. Discovering what makes your partner laugh will tell you about his/her personality and outlook on life.

This topic will help you understand whether he/she has the capacity to be funny and serious at the right times to meet your needs, or whether they are more concerned with their own needs (a narcissist).

Who are the most important people in your life and why?
More likely than not, they’ll have an instant reaction like, ‘my parents’ or ‘my colleagues’ or ‘my kids.’ In addition to understanding the other person better, this question allows you to assess his or her ability to form and maintain close relationships and the history they may have with people, who may or may not become part of your life.

Pay attention to their facial expressions and body language when they answer your questions, especially this one.

Do you have a goal you’re pursuing?
Goals should be nurtured, cultivated, and acted on. Hopefully, you have dreams for your future too, whether they involve career achievement, world travel, or starting a family. You want to know if the other person’s goals match with your own.

Listen closely to discern if your dreams are compatible and complementary.

If their goals/dreams would make it difficult for you to meet yours, then ask just how important they are to them.

What do your weekends usually look like?
How their free time is spent says a lot about a person. If they work their ‘day off,’ they may be career-oriented, maybe even a workaholic.

If they spend the day coaching a kids’ soccer team, it’s a good bet he loves sports, enjoys kids and wants to help others excel.

If he watches TV and plays video games all day, you may have a couch potato on your hands.

This question is a must, if a long-term relationship is on the horizon, it will quickly move on from candlelit dinners to something much different, how different is important.

Where did you grow up, and what is your family like?
Psychologists agree one of the most reliable indicators of a person’s emotional wellbeing as an adult, is their childhood and early relationships, their attachments to their main caregivers/parents.

A stable, satisfying childhood, someone who had their emotional needs met will make for an easier relationship.

This doesn’t mean that you should reject someone who had a difficult upbringing, many people myself included have worked on their ‘self’ to become fully functioning.

Knowing that an individual has the insight into his or her family background and has at least worked on any past hurts and issues, shows an ability to overcome them.

These topics will help you decide whether your date has the capacity and spark to make it to a repeat date, and maybe something very special.

If you would like more relationship advice you can contact Relate or talk with a therapist or dating coach online.

Paul Parkin – online therapist and relationship/dating coach
May 2018