Finding a person with your values

Not everyone is looking for a ‘hook-up,’ but to take things slower

By Nancy Plummer, Columnist, The Times

NancyPlummerLogoIt’s a given that if someone is looking for a quick hook-up they just need to jump on Tinder, OK Cupid, and too many more sites and apps to mention.

But when it comes to meaningful relationships, where and how do women with values find dateable men who still have “old-fashioned” values? Many of my clients want to date slowly and even wish to stay celibate until marriage. As odd as this may seem to you, research from the National Institute of Health reveals that three percent of people in the U.S. are abstinent until marriage and almost eleven percent from religious communities do not engage in pre-marital sex. Three percent may seem like a small number, but that’s more than 10 million people wanting to wait until marriage. Below are three great tips to help you date according to your true self and higher values:

Tip 1: Start with dating sites that will help you date with values. My top five favorite dating sites for my “traditional” clients are eHarmony, ChristianMingle, Match, Zoosk, and Christian Café. Whichever one(s) you choose to use, remember that choosing to use one of these online dating sites doesn’t insure your finding a man who will wait until the wedding day. It’s up to you to ascertain if your date is on the same page with you, and even more importantly, that they have the dedication and desire to stay on course.

Tip 2: Be clear about your values and boundaries. At All About Connecting we advise our clients to be mindful from the very beginning with their pictures, profile, communication techniques, first dates, and courting to ensure they get the respect they are seeking. As I always say, “It starts and ends with you.” In other words, you may want to date a man who is willing to wait until marriage, but if your profile pictures show lots of skin, you need to realize that you are sending a mixed-message. Thus, be sure to post pictures that are attractive and fun, but conservative. Write a profile that expresses your values and desire to find someone fun, but who also holds to more traditional values just like you. Write emails and texts that reflect discretion; thus, be diligent with good grammar and spelling, write in a formal manner, and write and even text in full sentences. Before the first date, make sure your date calls you to introduce himself, then again before your date to confirm, and make sure he is the one who makes the reservation. When you show up for the first date, be on time, wear a pretty, albeit conservative, dress or skirt, and expect him to open doors and hold your chair before you sit. If your tables manners aren’t quite up to speed, do your homework; read up on Emily Post’s etiquette and practice at home with a girlfriend. As Emily Post’s said, “Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything.”

Tip 3: Be impeccable with your thoughts, words, and deeds. Sadly, too many women wish for a gentleman to walk into their life, yet they themselves are not acting as a lady in their actions. Too many women show up late to date, dressed in skin-tight dresses, talk with their mouth full, and let their date kiss them on the first date. They let the man dictate the rules of engagement, rather than assertively communicating their own values, boundaries and expectations. They accept their date’s poor behavior, rather than addressing it as soon as it happens and nipping all poor behavior in the bud.

My advice is to recognize that there are no “rules” anymore, and thus it is up to women to communicate to their dates how they wish to move forward. Tell your date up front your expectations about your dating journey, from keeping the physical element at bay for a whatever time frame you are comfortable with – even kissing, to how you wish to communicate, how often to see each other, and your timetable. Don’t be concerned about scaring men away; let those that have no interest in waiting to walk away at the start, rather than having to deal with so much pressure. However, it is vital that you are committed to having a very healthy sex life when you do get married. I have many clients who have married men who were willing to wait, and their relationship with their husbands seem stronger than my clients who choose not to wait before their wedding day.

As Don Miguel Ruiz says, “Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”

Nancy Plummer is the President and Founder of All About Connecting – a Personal Dating, Matchmaker and Relationship Coaching service.

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