Example from the couch: The questions you need to be asking yourself when you are dating.

Just because you aren't struck by the lightning rod of love, doens't mean it isn't 'something'...

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It's just been my birthday, the sun was out, I had back to back birthday dates with friends and family. The feeling of love was overwhelming. I felt good. And that's how it's supposed to be, right?

Right! This applies to dating also. It's supposed to feel good.

Case in point. I saw a client last week with a past of meeting 'wrong people', a single parent who hadn't dated for some time and was now going on one with someone 'from the Internet'.

"I don't know what to do! I am really nervous!"

We concentrated on calming those nerves in the session, but at the end I gave the following advice: you are not there to impress the other person, you are there to notice whether you are having a good time.

The following day we had a debrief. The date had gone well and a second was in the cards. My client was happy, but had a niggling thought. While the date had been nice something was missing.

So I asked: "did you have a good time?"
"yes"
"did you feel relaxed?"
"yes"
"does your gut instinct say no to seeing this person again?"
"no"

"then see this person until your gut feeling gives you a clear answer"

My client gave a sigh of relief. This was helpful and the second date went ahead...

According to Barbara De Angelis, of "Are you the one for me?" (1992), some people are mislead by a 'love myth' that reads: When it's really true love, you will know it the moment you meet the other person. Aka 'love at first sight' syndrome.

What my client was experiencing was a conflict between meeting someone they liked, yet not being struck by intense feelings of love. If you have a tendency to believe in love at first sight (as the only indicator of love), you may be forgoing good potential relationships simply because you do not take the time to get to know the other person.

Slow down. Enjoy yourself. Savour the moment. You don't have to (and often don't) know right away. Your best indicator is whether you are having a good time and that should inform you of whether to see that person again. One date at a time.

Madeleine Mason Roantree

Dating Psychologist, The Vida Consultancy Ltd

Dating and relationship expert, with an MSc and BSc in psychology, pending counselling psychology doctorate, Cert. in Applied Positive Psychology, plus cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), person-centred and psychodynamic training. Madeleine offers personal coaching and counselling sessions as well as seminars and workshops. Having experience in marriage, divorce, dating and relationships, Madeleine is passionate about helping people to understand their own needs and getting successful results in their personal relationships. She was shortlisted for Dating Expert of the Year 2014 and 2015 at the UK Dating Awards, plus nominated best dating expert in the world at the 2016 iDate awards. She has worked with various publications such as TimeOut, Daily Telegraph, The Independent and continues to blog at LifeLabs. In 2016 she founded the UK Dating Fair, an annual event for singles to get dating advice and meet the best dating experts in the UK, she is open to collaboration and idea exchanges within the helping profession.

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