How to Tell Your Best Friend You Like Her (Or Love Her)

 

Figuring out how to tell your best friend you love her (or like her) is tricky territory. This isn’t just some random girl you met online or at a bar. When you realize you want to take a friendship to a romantic level, you may worry that:

  • Your confession will make the relationship take a turn for the worse.
  • You will lose your friend.
  • You will get rejected.

It’s understandable that you’re worried about these things. But suppressing your feelings is only going to cause you more anxiety, which ultimately sabotages you I have gotten a lot of questions from my male clients on how to deal with romantic feelings for a friend. That’s why I created this article, which includes 13 tips on how to tell your best friend you like her.

How to Tell Your Best Friend You Love Her, Like Her, or Have a Crush on Her

 Don’t Tell Her If…

When it comes to figuring out how to tell your best friend you like her, honesty is the best policy. Also, you only live once. Both of these things are prime reasons you should absolutely, without a doubt, figure out how to tell your best friend you like her.

However, there are a few instances where you shouldn’t tell your best friend that you have romantic feelings for her. For example:

In these cases, it’s better for both of you to keep your feelings to yourself and explore other options.

Remember That Actions Don’t Always Speak Louder

how to tell your best friend you like her

 

When it comes to figuring out how to tell your best friend that you like her, remember that actions don’t always speak louder than words.

You are not an acquaintance. And you are not simply her friend.

You are her best friend. This is someone you are vulnerable with, who has your back no matter what and that you can totally be yourself around.

In this case, your affections can go unnoticed. Looking at her a little longer than usual, hanging out alone and going above and beyond for her aren’t going to tell her that you like her. She is simply going to think that you are being a good friend.

So don’t show instead of telling. You need to actually sit her down and tell her how you feel about her.

Let Her Know You Need to Talk to Her Privately

how to tell your best friend you like her

 

Find a convenient time and a private place for the two of you to talk. Call her or talk to her alone briefly when the two of you are together to arrange this.

Don’t make it overly dramatic or super cryptic. If you do this, she’ll worry that you want to get together to tell her that you have a terminal illness or something.

Simply let her know that it’s important that you and she get together because you have something you want to talk to her about.

What to Say

Say something like this:

“Hey, when are you available this week or weekend? I have something I want to talk to you about. Don’t worry! It’s nothing bad, but it is kind of important so if we can get together sooner than later, that would be awesome.”

The place you choose to talk to her can really depend on the two of you. Obviously, as best friends, you’ve already hung out enough. There are private or semi-private spots you can pick based on shared interests.

I would suggest, if you two are into it, picking a place with natural surroundings. If you both like to hike, it would be great for you to take her to a trail, sit down and talk there. The foliage will naturally ease your stress and can make the confession less scary and more organic.

Of course, you are going to be anxious about this. That’s completely understandable. But remember this…

It’s Bad to Keep Things Inside

Bottling up emotions is bad for your health.

If you like your best friend, you need to tell her this. The longer you avoid telling her, the more preoccupied you are going to be with these romantic thoughts.

This rumination can affect your stress levels, seep into your professional life by distracting you at work and just make everything a bit more challenging.

I know that making this kind of confession is scary — terrifying even — but it’s going to feel way better in the long run if you express your feelings now.

Remember You Don’t Want to Be Left With “What If?”

That’s the worst.

Remember that the longer you spend wondering how to tell your best friend you like her (and ultimately procrastinating when it comes to doing the damn thing), the more likely you are to miss your opportunity.

If you don’t make a move, another guy will. And if she starts dating someone, you’ve missed your opportunity, only to be left wondering if things would have turned out differently had you said something.

Accept That You Might Get Rejected

how to tell your best friend you like her

 

Being rejected is probably the scariest thing about telling someone you like them. But you need to accept that this is a possibility. Even if you do get rejected, however, it’s still important that you take the plunge and tell your best friend that you like her.

You don’t want to deal with the dreaded “what if?” and, as it turns out, getting rejected is actually a good thing because:

  • It increases empathy.
  • Getting rejected leads to growth and opportunity.
  • As painful as it is, rejection makes you stronger. Being stronger means you will be able to handle other challenges life throws your way.
  • The lows make you appreciate the highs.

Accept That This Will Change Your Relationship

how to tell your best friend you like her

 

Other than the idea of getting rejected, I’m sure that the prospect of altering the state of your friendship is a scary thought.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you. Yes, your relationship is going to change after you tell your best friend that you like her. Once you introduce romance into a friendship, things change.

If she reciprocates your feelings, great!

But if she doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, things can get awkward. Your interactions aren’t going to come naturally like they did before. She’s also going to feel really bad about hurting you, which is going to make it difficult for her as well.

But ultimately, this is something that can also make your relationship stronger, even if it has to stay platonic. The test of a true friendship is facing challenges together and being able to work through those challenges.

Don’t Ever Believe That You Made a Mistake

If you get rejected and face later awkwardness after figuring out how to tell your best friend that you like her, it’s definitely gonna suck at first. You may face feelings of extreme regret and wonder if you made a mistake.

Don’t ever allow yourself to truly believe that you made a mistake. You didn’t. Being vulnerable in this way is a source of pride. It takes strength. The fact that you are even reading this article, deciding how to tell your best friend that you like her warrants a pat on the back.

It is a lot easier to avoid things instead of making changes. But with change comes growth and maturity.

Her rejection simply means that your best friend simply isn’t currently meant for you romantically, but that you are taking one more step toward finding the person who is.

De-stress Before You Tell Her

how to tell your best friend you like her

 

Prepare to de-stress yourself before you tell her you like her. Considering taking a yoga class, doing some meditation or deep breathing exercises.

In fact, any type of exercise can help you de-stress before talking to your best friend.

No matter what, you’re going to be nervous, and that’s ok. But practicing some self-care will help you get in the right head space.

Now the time has come.

You want to be open, honest and vulnerable when you tell your best friend how you feel about her. At the same time, you don’t need to be super dramatic and proclaim an undying love for her like you’re auditioning for a romantic comedy or something.

No matter how she feels, this is going to be huge news for her. It’s going to be overwhelming, so don’t add to this by making this confession seem like a life or death situation.

Tell her how you feel and also let her know that you don’t want to lose her as a friend, for your friendship to change, and that no matter how she feels, she is extremely important to you. Doing this prevents any speculation on her end over whether you truly value her as a friend or if you were only friends with her so that you could get her into bed.

The Script

Here’s an example of how you can frame the confession:

“I wanted to let you know that I’ve developed feelings for you. You’re my best friend and I don’t want to damage our relationship or make things awkward, but I have to be honest with you. You’re amazing and I’d like to explore taking our friendship to a romantic level. I know this is a lot to take in, so please don’t feel pressured. If you don’t feel the same way, I understand, but I didn’t want to keep this a secret from you and wonder ‘what if?’”

There are a few different ways she may react to this:

  • She may turn you down because she doesn’t feel the same way.
  • She may be so surprised that she will need some time to process things and figure out her feelings.
  • It may actually turn out that she feels the exact same way about you.

Below are ways to deal with each of these scenarios.

If She Doesn’t Feel the Same Way

You’ve figured out how to tell your best friend you like her. But she doesn’t feel the same way.

It’s going to be painful, but you need to accept the rejection if she doesn’t feel the same way. Thank her for her honesty and let her know that your value of the friendship hasn’t changed.

If you need to take some space from her and time to heal, don’t feel bad about keeping your distance temporarily.

Now that you know that a romantic relationship isn’t going to happen, it’s time to move on.

There are plenty of women out there in the dating world who are compatible with you, even if you don’t realize it.

One of the best ways to open yourself to opportunities in the dating world and find success is by Mega Dating.

I used this method during my 100-date experiment, back when I was unsure if love even existed. It led me to a career as a dating coach and also helped me find a fulfilling, compatible relationship. Years later, the man I met at the end of my experiment is still my boyfriend. I found romantic happiness through Mega Dating and you can too!

What is Mega Dating?

Mega Dating is a dating strategy that involves going on dates with several different people at the same time in order to diffuse your energy by keeping your social calendar full.

This dating process has nothing to do with being a “player” or trying to sleep around with tons of women. It is simply a way to get to know a lot of different people at the same time. By doing this, you are able to improve your dating approach game (practice makes perfect, after all). It increases your chances of finding the right woman FAST.

When you Mega Date, rejection is easier to handle and you’re less likely to get caught up in the chase. This is very important because getting infatuated with one person can be emotionally taxing, particularly when you end up in the friend-zone.

And when women see that you’re keeping your options open and refuse to chase them, an unconscious sense of competition emerges. Basically, Mega Dating amps up your appeal. You may even notice your best friend experiencing a change of heart if she initially rejects you and then sees that you’re not going to just wait around for her to reciprocate your feelings.

If She is Unsure of Her Feelings

Maybe you tell your best friend you like her and she is completely caught off-guard. Perhaps she never even considered the idea of you two as a couple.

In this case, patience is a HUGE virtue. Let her know that you understand this is surprising and she doesn’t need to decide what she wants immediately. Obviously, you don’t want to wait for ages for her to make up her mind (see Mega Dating), but give her some space.

Don’t get clingy or blow up her phone in the interim. If there are mutual feelings there, she is much more likely to give the idea of you and her as a couple a shot if you’re patient.

If She Likes You Too

 

how to tell your best friend you like her

Hooray!

Obviously, this is awesome. You don’t want to go in expecting this to be the result, but it can definitely happen.

If she likes you too, then you can start dating and see where your relationship goes. But tread carefully here. Remember that, even though you have known her a long time, standard dating rules still apply.

Don’t Hop Into Bed With Her

When two best friends agree they want to take things to a romantic level, it can be tempting to jump into bed.

After all, it’s not like you need to go through the typical getting-to-know-you phase of a relationship, right? You’re already there.

The thing is, there is a big difference between knowing someone as a friend and knowing someone as a romantic partner.

You owe it to each other to enjoy a courting period and actually go on some dates before bringing sex into the equation. You’ve waited this long — why ruin the excitement that comes with anticipation?

Follow My Dating Blueprint

As a dating coach for men and expert in this field, I developed a fail proof blueprint for the first three dates. This blueprint helps you pace a new relationship appropriately in order to determine if there is long-term potential. Here’s the plan I recommend for the first three dates:

  • First Date: It should be something that is less than an hour and does not exceed $15.
  • Second Date: This date should be active and free. Consider something like hiking or visiting a museum. Event brite is also a great place to find free events.
  • Third Date: This is the date where you can have a nice, intimate dinner. The third date is often when you will end up sealing the deal.

Need Individualized Guidance?

Whether you want individualized help on how to tell your best friend you like her or anything else related to dating, I’m here for you.

My individualized dating action plans have helped men around the world find lasting love.

Want to get started? Head over to my calendar and book a new client 1-on-1 Zoom session with me or one of my colleagues today! During this intro call, we’ll discuss your dating goals, create an action plan, and see if my 3 month coaching or matchmaking programs could be right for you!

How to overcome the fear of rejection

When you’re on the receiving end of rejection, it feels anything, but good. Rejection can be painful and if you’ve been rejected before, you can become fearful of it happening again. How do you overcome your fear, to enjoy the dating process?

I know from my own experience and from my coaching practice that fear of rejection is one of the reasons many people stay away from dating for many months or even years. They may make a conscious decision to do so, or their behavior may be driven subconsciously. Maybe you pay for a dating site, but don’t send any messages. Perhaps, you stay busy with work and don’t make time for romance. Staying out of the dating game is a form of self-protection.

Fear of rejection is also the reason why some people choose relationships with partners who aren’t good for them, whom they don’t find attractive.  If y0u’re not invested in the relationship, it won’t hurt so much if the person leaves you. This is another form of self-protection.

Our goal is to date happily, to date confidently and to date people we actually want to have a relationship. So, it’s important to understand why rejection hurts so much and to build an emotional resilience, where we’re not scared to fall in love.

These four steps might help:

1) Stay emotionally healthy

When someone rejects you, often your first thought is that there’s something wrong with you. There’s an assumption that you’re not attractive enough, slim enough, smart enough or young enough. Your self-esteem takes a knock. It’s natural to want to be wanted, to want to be chosen or picked. Rejection hurts. But it will hurt far less if you are dating with a healthy self-esteem, a strong sense of worth and a good degree of emotional resilience.

When we go dating with a deep yearning for love, affirmation and validation, we are ultra-sensitive to rejection. So, the best thing we can do is to spend time, before the dating process, loving and affirming ourselves, building up our self-esteem and strengthening our emotional core or our inner oak tree, as I like to call it. Are we feeling steady and stable? Are we well nourished and nurtured? Are we well supported? If we can answer ‘Yes’ to these questions, we won’t be so scared of rejection and we’ll bounce back quickly from it.

2) Put things in perspective

If we are emotionally stable with healthy self-esteem, it will be much easier to put rejection into perspective. We’ll be able to step back, see the big picture and realize that the fact that we’ve been rejected says more about the other person than it does about us. They are looking for someone different. They believe there is another man or woman who’s more suited to them.

That is their prerogative, just as it yours – because we all get to choose. We get to accept someone or reject them based on whether we think we’re a good match. There are indeed many more fish in the sea (many clichés are true!). The sooner we’re able to allow this particular person to move on by, the sooner we’ll be able to meet someone else that’s right for us.

3) Heal from past hurts

There’s an expression I often use in my coaching and writing: if it’s hysterical, it’s historical. In other words, if our reaction is exaggerated and disproportionate to the circumstance, it’s likely that our past has invaded our present and that the incident is triggering painful memories. This is particularly important in the context of rejection.

Many of us experienced some form of rejection when we were young. Perhaps we were born prematurely and spent time in an incubator, which felt like abandonment to our tiny minds. Maybe our father or mother worked away. which left a feeling of rejection. Perhaps your parents divorced, which left you feeling a sense of abandonment and rejection by the one that moved out.  And when we were young, we weren’t emotionally mature, nor did we have the support around us to process and heal our painful feelings. So, the pain got stored inside. In my case, I found ways to avoid my pain, including binge eating, drinking too much and working too hard.

Many years later, getting rejected by someone you’re dating, the pain feels overwhelming again. You may only have been together for a few weeks or months, but you’re devastated. This is because the pain in the present has triggered the pain from your past – prompting an avalanche of multi-layered emotions. You can avoid this avalanche effect, if you take time to understand the hurt that is buried deep in your subconscious,  and to process, so the pain goes away.

4) Reach out for support

Some people will be able to overcome their fear of rejection simply by practicing lots of self-love and self-care, and by maintaining a healthy self-esteem. Others may require additional support, especially to process the deeper hurts that might be blocking them from a healthy relationship. Over the years, I’ve had lots of support from friends, fellow professionals and this has enabled me to work through my fears of abandonment, rejection and loss, which has lead to a committed relationship. If you feel that you need support, I encourage you to reach out to others and to give yourself this gift.

Dating can be scary, and committed relationships require a huge leap of faith. It’s OK to be frightened. I hope these steps help equip you to find courage and confidence in dating and to enjoy the process.

7 Signs She’s Cheating On You And How to Handle A Cheating Girlfriend

Looking for signs she’s cheating on you?

Infidelity is arguably one of the most painful and damaging things that can occur in a relationship. Because a healthy relationship is built on a foundation of trust, honesty, friendship, and intimacy, learning that someone has cheated can destroy a couple’s entire foundation.

If you’re in a relationship and you think she’s cheating on you, that gut instinct is something you shouldn’t ignore. That does NOT mean that she is definitely cheating, but if you sense something is amiss in your relationship, pay attention to certain signs she is cheating on you. Some signs can be pretty obvious, while others are extremely subtle.

But before I get into the signs she’s cheating on you, keep the following in mind:

You Are Not Responsible for Your Partner’s Infidelity

Cheating can crush your self-esteem and leave you wondering what you could have done differently in the relationship to prevent her from stepping out on you. Ultimately, she made a choice to be unfaithful and she needs to take ownership of that choice. Although several issues in a relationship can lead one partner to cheat, cheating is never excusable.

I hope these signs I have listed will provide you with some insight into a cheater’s mind, and hopefully offer some solace if you are currently experiencing a betrayal in your relationship.

Signs She’s Cheating on You

She Accuses You Of Cheating

signs she's cheating on you

signs she's cheating on you

This is one of those oft-missed signs of a cheating girlfriend. After all, why would a cheater want to even broach the subject of infidelity? And what right does she have to accuse you of wrongdoing when she’s the one stepping out on the relationship?

Still, being accused of cheating is a telltale sign that you’re being cheated on, and the cheater can be motivated to point fingers for a few reasons:

-She is attempting to throw you off balance in case you accuse her

-She wants to use your potential infidelity as a way to justify her actions if she gets caught

-She is deeply insecure (which I mentioned can be a trait in cheaters)

-She now understands having the capacity to cheat and has become paranoid you would do the same

Overly Affectionate

signs she's cheating on you

signs she's cheating on you

Another not-so-obvious sign of cheating is a sudden and overwhelming amount of affection from your girlfriend. If your girlfriend suddenly becomes much more interested in sex and being touchy-feely it could be a combination of guilt and an amped up sex drive.

Lack of Affection

Just like being overly affectionate is a sign of cheating, the opposite can also be true.

When your partner becomes cold, distant and unaffectionate, it can be one of the most painful feelings and is often what make people question loyalty. There are several ways that someone can act disconnected in a relationship, from the unintentional to the downright cruel.

She is Feeling Remorse

She may be guilty and depressed over her infidelity. Although no amount of tears or apologies can excuse a betrayal like cheating, someone who shows remorse (often, these are the people who will take it upon themselves to confess to you that they cheated) can at least offer you the apology you deserve and provide some closure.

If you notice your girlfriend has seemed sad and depressed, has been unable to talk to you and become distant, it could be a sign she is cheating on you. She will also likely have a difficult time looking at you when you do interact because of her extreme guilt.

She is Checked Out

Sometimes detachment is not accompanied by any type of anguish. A cheating girlfriend may also be an extremely selfish (or even sociopathic) person. She may either feel inconvenienced by the prospect of leaving the relationship or simply not care to bother themselves with the common decency of breaking up.

Regardless of the scenario, remember that you always deserve honesty and respect. Do not internalize cruel treatment as a reflection of anything wrong with you. People who cheat have issues that are their own and that they should take responsibility for.

Schedule Changes

signs she's cheating on you

signs she's cheating on you

If she suddenly has been working “long hours” at her job or going out for many more “girls’ nights” than usual, this could be a sign of cheating.

If she is particularly vague about the plans, that can be a sign as well. 

She’s Secretive About Technology

She used to leave her phone on the counter for all the world to see but lately, she seems to have an iron grip on her phone and won’t allow you the slightest glimpse.

Or, maybe she’s been spending a lot more time on her phone texting, hitting the “ignore” button on a call with lightning speed (and some thinly veiled anxiety), or taking phone calls in another room…on the opposite side of the house…after locking the door.

If you notice unusual behavior when it comes to her phone, laptop or both, you could have a cheating girlfriend in your life. 

She Becomes Extremely Angry and Defensive

If confronted, cheaters will likely become extremely defensive. They may even try to make you feel guilty for your “lack of trust” and you may be the one who ends up apologizing.

In reality, when someone doesn’t have anything to hide, an accusation or question about infidelity should come as a surprise. Their reaction is usually going to be one of confusion and — assuming you have not broached the subject in an angry, abrasive manner — compassion.

Think about how you would feel if someone told you they were worried you were cheating on them. You’d probably feel both surprised and concerned, right? You would want to put their mind at ease, but also find out exactly what led that person to the conclusion that you had been stepping out on the relationship. Making the person feel guilty and turning tables wouldn’t occur because — as an honest person — you would have no motivation to make them feel bad or distract them from the issue.

Signs She’s Cheating on You #7: Her Looks Have Changed

signs she's cheating on you

signs she's cheating on you

If your girlfriend is suddenly hitting the gym much more frequently, losing weight or has been tending to her appearance a lot more recently (e.g., she’s changing her hair, wearing more expensive or provocative clothing, wearing more makeup etc.), these all could be signs she is cheating on you. 

They may be trying to alter their looks in hopes of attracting different men or getting back in shape in preparation for reentering the single world.

Moving on From Betrayal

Breakups are hard no matter what. And when cheating is the cause of a breakup, the pain can be particularly severe. Be sure to reach out to friends and trusted family members when you are dealing with this type of a breakup, and practice self-care.

And when you’re ready to get back into the dating world, we’re here to help. Visit my calendar to book a new client 1-on-1 Zoom session with me or one of my coaches.

During our session, we can briefly talk about your cheating girlfriend and other past relationships – but more importantly, we’ll devise an action plan in order to help you move on and reach your new dating goals! We’ll also discuss my coaching and matchmaking programs could help you reach your long term dating goals.

A key dating strategy I recommend to ALL my clients is MegaDating. MegaDating is a dating process that involves dating multiple people at once in order to diffuse energy and increase your self-confidence.

MegaDating is NOT about sex or secrets. Before you find a partner you want to be exclusive with, you will go on several dates with different women in order to see that there are plenty of fish in the sea, which will keep you from settling for the wrong person and can also alert you to red flags. MegaDating also allows you to practice your dating strategies, which will decrease your anxiety and make you more appealing to women.

I used MegaDating during my 100-date experiment, and the process benefited me immensely. During my research, I found a great long-term partner, and the same can happen for you!

What I learned about successful dating from being an actress

 

The acting life can easily become all-consuming. Emotions flying everywhere – nerves before auditions and shows, not knowing if I’ll get the job or not, excitement on opening night, heartbreak when I’ve worked so hard for a job and then find out someone else got it! Having performed in shows like ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ on the London stage and ‘Mary Poppins’ internationally, I know it’s a roller coaster, unpredictable, a whirlwind, and a joy.

Hannah Grace as Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera

Our jobs can become so much a part of who we are that sometimes it’s hard to leave our work persona behind us on dates. Other times, elements of our jobs can really help and we can use our work expertise in situations such as dating. Perhaps you are a teacher and can bring out the best in people, or perhaps your job requires you to make calculated decisions which helps you to know whether a relationship is worth pursuing.

It’s also important to know where to draw the line with work. Perhaps you have a high flying job and interview a lot of people – you need to make sure you relax and not interrogate your date! For me, I kept my acting career low key on my online dating profile until people got to know me. Either people were put off by the unsociable hours and the lifestyle or they were stage struck by the apparent glamour of an actor’s life. The practicalities of being an actress sometimes hindered relationships which is why I wanted people to know me for who I am. The acting profession can appear ‘glamorous’ and I didn’t want that to be an ‘idol’ in a relationship.

The important thing to remember is that your identity should be in Christ. You are a Christian first and foremost, not an actor, a plumber, a banker or a concierge. That comes secondary to Christ. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Hannah in costume for Mary Poppins

For me, there were many parts of my career that I could use in the dating environment. Here are three key things anyone can learn from:

Dealing with nerves – The nerves we get from dating can do strange things to us – we can freeze or babble in our conversations. Thankfully I work with my nerves every single day from performing on stage. Many times I’ve gone on mid-show for a role that I’ve not done before, or as an understudy, I could go for months without doing the role, only to be told I’m on at a moment’s notice. With live theatre, anything can happen, (and it does!) the nerves never disappear but you have to find a way to cope to keep them under control. Thankfully experience with dealing with nerves, helped me to channel them in the right direction (most of the time!) with dates.

Hannah Grace getting ready for Phantom of the Opera

Putting myself out there – With the competition in my job, I’m used to having to network and make sure I’m outgoing in my personality in order to make a good impression and be remembered. I tried to build relationships during press night parties of shows, by showing a genuine interest in people rather than treating them as a target to obtain a selfish end. Giving someone your full attention without agenda also helped in dates, by fully listening, giving eye contact and hopefully putting people at ease.

Making a good first impression – With auditions, the casting panel have made up their minds about you within the first few seconds. A judgement is made on whether you suit the part through how you look, act and conduct yourself. A good first impression is vital and part of this includes presentation and confidence which I incorporated into my dating life. I took time working out what to wear, how I looked, how I would introduce and present myself and how I wanted to come across. Entering a date with confidence (even if you don’t feel it!) without being arrogant was something I learnt from my auditions. Prayer before each audition and subsequently before each date helped me to put my confidence in God and not in my own strength.

A work/life balance is important but sometimes you can choose certain qualities from your work to help you gain confidence in dating. “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3: 23-24.)

How to find a date who shares your values

 

In dating, everyone you meet comes from a different background. What makes each person unique is their own culture, personality, and upbringing. Your own experiences will shape exactly what you would like in a lifetime partner – and what you want to avoid!

Sometimes you might be drawn to someone who is similar in all respects; at other times opposites attract. Both can work well, and both can have their challenges. Being open about what you’re looking for in a partner early on can help to direct whether a relationship is worth pursuing or whether it’s a dead end.

A string of disastrous dates gave me quite a checklist of values I wanted to see in a partner. The older I got, the longer and more unrealistic the list became! Some values were non-negotiable for me, but others were a bonus. No-one you meet will tick every box, but you and your prospective partner must work out what are vital values and what you can compromise and work on. These ‘tick-boxes’ will be different for everybody and that’s can make a relationship interesting. Getting past the small talk and delving in deeper can really enhance emotional connections too. How you raise sensitive issues is important; you or your partner may have past hurts, so it’s good to take care when bringing up deep topics.

I had four different ways of bringing up my ‘non-negotiables’ when I was keen to find out more about someone and what could develop between us:

 Time and place

I had a couple of dates with a guy who brought up early on that he’d expect me to move to Ireland giving up everything I knew and loved. This put a stop to this relationship early on, although for some people relocating is not a problem. From this I knew that I had to be sensitive with how I brought up the topic of wanting to live near family with any prospective partners. I had to find the right time and place to bring up this conversation because for me, being near family was hugely important. We both needed to be in the right frame of mind to talk through something as big as living locations.

 Putting things to the test

When you or your partner are in certain situations it’s a good opportunity to see reactions and coping mechanisms, especially about your non-negotiables. For me, family values are important – having come from a very close-knit family (including my extended family), it was vital to me that my prospective partner would slot in easily and be a part of this family as a whole, embracing them, and I with his. I wanted my parents to feel that they’d gained a son, and his parents that they’d gained a daughter rather than that they’d lost a daughter or son. Seeing future partners in these scenarios can really show whether that is feasible or not.

 Actions speak louder than words

Putting God first was my biggest ‘tick-box’. I’d dated some ‘part time Christians’ which didn’t go any further because I wanted someone to lead. I could see in everyday situations whether that was the case or not – was church a priority, did they include God in big decisions, and were they open to pray, and read the Bible with me? Sometimes the way someone acts shows you their values without words – take time to observe.

 Let God take control

God allows things to come up naturally in conversation without having to force it. An example of this for me was having to talk very early on in my relationship with my husband about premarital sex. This can be difficult as we all have different pasts and opinions on this. For me personally, I was saving myself for marriage and if my partner wouldn’t respect this, then he wasn’t the one for me. He wanted to visit me on tour – my heart raced as I knew I’d have to confront the ‘living’ arrangements and ask him to find a hotel. However, being open and honest from such an early stage meant we knew where we stood, he respected my morals and actually he too was nervous to bring up the topic, ultimately bringing us closer.

The ‘essential qualities’ are best brought up earlier on in order to know where the relationship is going, but other qualities can be a pleasant surprise. There were other values that I wanted to see in a partner, but sometimes time is needed to give the ‘bonus qualities’ opportunity to develop. When finding out about someone, praying and partnering with God through the process is vital, keeping Him at the centre. God is, as always, in control – trust Him and let Him drive your relationship.

Dating now? How to build connection over distance

 

The current guidance on not meeting in person creates a big dating challenge: how am I meant to get to know someone I can’t meet? On the surface, it could seem impossible to get to know someone well. But…Praise God! There is no reason to stop dating – in fact it’s a great time to start!

Imagine dating from the comfort of your own home without the awkwardness of deciding whether to shake hands or hug, wondering who is going to pay and absolutely no risk of an embarrassing moment when one person goes in for a goodbye hug and the other doesn’t! We’re privileged these days not to be confined to one way of communication – the first generation to have technology at our fingertips, and it’s simple to start making the most of it, even in difficult times.

Just think of the advantages! There’s no waiting for someone to arrive or being unsure if they look like their picture and the advantage of being in a safe, comfortable environment too, hopefully with less background noise.

When I first met the man who is now my husband on Christian Connection, our dating relationship was predominantly on FaceTime and WhatsApp, so I can empathise. I know just what it’s like to get to know someone but not physically being able to see them – welcome to my life! But believe me, it can work – I hope I can encourage you with a few tips to help.

Start talking

One of best things we did was to get ‘offline’ as soon as possible and start actually talking. Once we’d found out enough about each other to feel safe to exchange details and start to connect off the site, a conversation soon followed. It’s amazing what you can cover with a phone call, scary though it sometimes is to jump into talking. If you’re too nervous for that as the next step, you could text first and build some rapport. Text conversations can cover a lot of ground, but maybe proof-read before you send as some comments including humour and irony can be taken out of context.

Act with integrity

Don’t play games. It can be tempting to try and second guess someone’s motives and react: ‘he hasn’t texted me back so I can’t send a text’. Going down this road will only mess with your head and create confusion – if the person in question is worth his or her salt, they will want to reply to you and find out about you. It should be easy. If they’re not up front and available for you, then perhaps they’re not the one for you.

‘Meet’ when you can

If physical meetings can’t happen, remember the wonders of video calling. There are so many options, and having a face to face conversation (albeit on a screen) is really important. You could even do a virtual quiz on YouTube together to help with any awkwardness (there’s a helpful list of virtual date ideas on the Christian Connection blog here). There are also plenty of online Bible studies and church services you could join together, if you’d prefer to mix in a group scenario initially, and it’s a good way of getting to know the other person spiritually.

Be practical and prepared

If you’re doing a video call, make sure you have a tidy space around you – you can tell a lot about a person from their surroundings, so make sure it’s how you want to be perceived! Try to make sure you have a strong connection so you don’t have the awkwardness of the WiFi dropping out or a freeze frame in an embarrassing facial position! Try to also make sure that there’s a lack of background noise – it means then you can focus on each other and give each other the respect and time to get to know each other.

God can turn situations round for good – so try and see the positives during this time. There is no reason to let Coronavirus stop you dating, instead be safe, proactive and enjoy the different experience!

How to date optimistically | Christian Connection Blog

 

Dating can be tricky at the best of times. We may struggle to meet compatible people or fledgling relationships may fail again and again, leaving us back at square one. Add in huge challenges such as the coronavirus, which has led to social distancing in many parts of the world, and we might be tempted to throw in the towel. So how do we hold on to hope?

Let’s remind ourselves first why it’s important to date with an optimistic mindset.

I remember the times when I wanted to give up dating altogether. The men I messaged online didn’t get back to me and, although I tried to be open to people who weren’t my usual type, the guys who got in touch with me weren’t suitable.

Apathy set in.

Why bother? What was the point?

My pessimistic mood was a slippery slope. I paid my fees for dating sites but rarely contacted anyone online and my profile sat languishing for months, no tweaks, no updates, no new pictures.

Looking back, I see that I was sabotaging my search for love.

I was dating with a fixed mindset, taking every knock-back as a confirmation of an unhealthy core belief that I’d carried around for years – that I would never meet anyone; that there was nobody out there for me. Instead, I needed to date with a growth mindset. This would enable me to see every interaction, date or relationship as a learning experience – a stepping stone that would lead me eventually to my husband.

Plus there was something deeper going on. I realise now that for many years, I didn’t actually want my online search for love to be fruitful because I was afraid of intimacy and commitment – afraid of risking my heart in case I got hurt. It was convenient to keep telling myself the story that I wouldn’t meet anyone online.

Check your mindset

To prevent falling into the same trap, check your mindset before you log on to your dating site or go on a date, virtual or otherwise. Are you feeling energetic and upbeat? Do you have a growth mindset? Are you ready for a new learning experience? Are you ready to have fun? Are you feeling interested in and curious about another person? Are you open to new opportunities?

On a deeper level, is your heart open? Are you open to intimacy, to commitment and to love?

It’s also important to check your expectations. When we put pressure on a first, second or third date by expecting it to turn into a marriage, we can come across as anxious and panicky on our dates. As I say to my coaching clients, at this early stage of the dating journey, we are simply gathering information. We keep things as light as possible and resist having conversations that are too deep or intense, as this can create a false sense of intimacy.

If you’re only able to date virtually right now, check out some of the virtual dating ideas in recent Christian Connection blogs – you can have fun with a dinner date, a book discussion, a movie night, a games night or a virtual walk together.

Trust in the timing

You’ll be able to keep your dates light, enjoyable and free from pressure if you’re able to trust in God’s timing, rather than trying to control outcomes to fit your own schedule.

I know from experience that this is easier said than done.

You may want a family and feel like you’re running out of time. You may feel impatient because you’ve been dating a number of years without success. You may worry that all the suitable people will be taken or that men or women will deem you to be too old.

But panic dating isn’t healthy and rarely leads to successful relationships. I know this because I’ve tried it. Potential partners may pick up on our panic and decide to walk away. We might put pressure on people to commit before they’re ready, causing the relationship to break. I’ve done this too.

If you feel that you’re panic dating or feeling a lot of pressure to make things happen quickly, pause for a moment and allow yourself to connect with your feelings. Beneath the anxiety and worry, you might connect with loneliness, grief, regret, sadness or fear.

Make space for these feelings – we have to feel them to process them and heal them. And then, when you’ve felt your feelings and done some healing, make an effort to bring more joy into your life, through social activities with friends, through hobbies, creative pursuits and so forth (as best as possible, of course, if you are restricted by social distancing).

Once you’re feeling joyful and lighter inside, reach out to potential dates again online. Who would you like to chat to? What would you like to find out about that person? What fun activities could you plan together?

Keep it light. Keep it enjoyable. And trust, as much as you can, that your romantic life will work out in the way it’s supposed to and that the timing is spot on.

How To Have A Civil Break Up

How you do it matters, especially if you want to leave the relationship on good terms?

Why do some couples call it quits, and how can you break up amicably? In a new study, Superdrug Online Doctor surveyed 1,000 individuals about what caused them to end their relationships, exploring the thoughts and feelings that commonly precipitate breakups. Here are some of the results. 

Before the Breakup

There are many reasons couples might not work out. But, according to the study, 31% said mismatched aspirations had caused them to break up – the highest percentage of all of the reasons analyzed. Other popular reasons included falling out of love (29%), a lack of communication (27%), and feeling their partner took them for granted or that there was a lack of trust (22% each).

On average, women waited longer than men to broach the subject of breaking up once they decided to end things.

But do people know they are going to be broken up with before it happens? The survey shows that 1 in 3 people who were dumped said the breakup came as a surprise. Once respondents noticed a lack of communication, less time spent together, and a feeling of something being wrong, they knew there was reason to be concerned. 

But 11% of respondents broke up with someone because the sex was bad, and 10% of those surveyed ended the relationship because of mismatched sex drives. More than 1 in 4 people noticed less-frequent sex before being broken up with.

However, almost half (47%) of couples who don’t live together did not stop having sex before breaking up.

How to Avoid a Messy Breakup

There are many ways to end a relationship, but what are the best ways to avoid a messy breakup? Almost 3 in 5 respondents said they had a clean break up when they respected the other person. In the messiest breakups, people tried to create distance before the end. 

Additionally, people were more likely to have an amicable breakup if told in person. Of the people who took this route, 80% had a clean breakup, compared to only 66% who reported breaking up on bad terms. The worst way to break up with someone, according to the study, was to do it through a text message. 

While most relationships end, taking some of these statistics into account could help avoid greater heartbreak later on

BREAKUP TECHNIQUES: FROM MESSY TO MATURE

No one approaches breakup conversations with high expectations: No matter how well you communicate, feelings are bound to get hurt. Still, our findings suggested that some tactics and choices could help the process of splitting up go as smoothly as possible.

Respondents who said their breakups were “clean” were far more likely to have remained respectful to their partner and kept their composure during the difficult conversation. Of course, these behaviours are easier said than done: Once accusations start flying, it’s tough to keep your cool.

People who experienced clean breakups were also much more likely to be clear about why they were ending things and to avoid creating false hope.

Experts agree that being honest and firm is actually the kindest way to end things. While some may be tempted to soften the blow, lack of clarity will only lead to more hurt.

Another important breakup conversation takeaway: The medium matters just as much as the message. While most breakups happened in person, 23% of messy ones took place over text message.

Unfortunately, texting after a breakup can be even more cowardly, keeping someone emotionally engaged after parting ways. However they unfold, though, our findings showed that messy breakups have lasting ramifications, making it much harder to move on.

via GIPHY

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Making connections: 6 socially distanced date ideas

 

If you’ve been waving and messaging on Christian Connection you might soon be looking for some virtual date ideas. With the right technology, there’s something to suit everyone, providing plenty of opportunities to build deeper connections, get to know each other and have some fun. Video platforms make it possible to see each other while chatting, and there’s been a big increase in more structured activities too, from interactive games to couples book clubs, bible studies and live online events.  For those who’ve had long-distance relationships, video calling and distance dating will be familiar territory. But for those who haven’t – and for long-distance daters who need some inspiration – here are some ideas that’ll get you started.

Two-player games

Time at home is often a dream for gamers – and if you haven’t had the chance before, now could be the perfect time to give gaming a try. If you have a headset you can play and chat at the same time, making it less intense than a ‘face to face’ video call date. There’s a two-player game style and genre for everyone – choose from sports, retro arcade, puzzles, strategy, role-play and more. How competitive you get is up to you!

Quiz nights

Keen on showing off your general knowledge or impressing a date with your in-depth insight into ’90s pop music or football stats? In the throes of COVID-19 local events are going virtual, and that includes quiz nights. Sign up for one in your area or search by subject and join a team together. It’s also a great way to find out what your date’s areas of interest and knowledge are, and engage in some healthy debate.  You can also check out Christian Connection’s virtual events and suggestions for online meetups here.

Book club

Whether you’re revisiting an old favourite or starting something new, books are a great source of entertainment, distraction and comfort in lockdown or isolation. Instead of shutting yourself away, you could make your reading even more sociable by doing it as a pair – and chat about what you both learn, find entertaining or are moved by. It does require a degree of commitment, making it perfect for couples who’ve just started seeing each other and are seeking to build common ground.

Dinner date

Just because you’re not meeting in person, doesn’t mean you can’t eat together. Just get creative over a video call. Set a time, set the table and decide on the type of food you’ll be eating. It could be take-out or home-cooked, as long as you can arrange it to be ready for the same time in your respective homes. You could have a relaxed brunch, a leisurely lunch or a long dinner. Don’t forget about atmosphere – maybe light a candle if it’s evening, have something nice to drink and dress as you would if you were out and about. If you have a housemate or live with family members, you can ask them to be your waiter for the evening – or ask for a little privacy!

Drawing

If you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since school, you might be thinking it’s too late to get creative. Think again! Lots of people are turning to drawing and painting just now, as a therapeutic and relaxing activity. Did you know you can digitise your creativity via online drawing sites? Well-known artist David Hockney has been using his tablet to create striking spring landscapes, and while that might be a bit ambitious, you can start with a doodle and build up to something more detailed. Find online art sites that allow you to share your work with your date and even add to the same picture. It’s also a very calming, mindful activity ideal for easing any anxiety you may have.

Praying and spiritual practices

Attending church or a homegroup in person may not be possible for a while, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your spiritual life. Instead, why not make a date for some prayer and bible reading? If you don’t have access to video calling, you can still pray for one another on the phone, follow a reading plan or do a Bible study together. This will be invaluable as the weeks progress, and with lots of services available online, you can still attend virtual church together.

These ideas can be applied to many different dating scenarios, not just the current situation. Whether you’re socially distancing, long-distance dating, have caring responsibilities that keep you at home, travel for work a lot, or have a chronic illness, the virtual world gives access to all sorts of possibilities. So rather than focusing on what you can’t do right now, focus on what you can. And who knows what new doors might open in the process – as well as the new skills you might pick up!

Next: Learn how to set up a virtual date.

Love, Virtually: Making Connections From A Distance

 

Now we’re all staying at home and avoiding contact with anyone outside our households (I hope!), where does that leave us when it comes to dating and relationships? First dates are notoriously awkward, but at least if you’re in a pub or café, or doing an activity together, you can make small talk about your surroundings or what’s happening around you. Not so easy in a video call! Interacting through a screen may help you discover if there’s a spark, but it’s harder to really connect when we’re communicating from our individual bubbles. So, how can you get more from your virtual dates?

Without the usual distractions, chatting by video call is an golden opportunity to take the conversation a little deeper, and start to discover whether your date’s interests and values align with your own. Keep the chat flowing by asking questions (write a list if you’re worried you’ll dry up). Consider things like… Why did your date choose their career, what do they like about it, and what are the challenges? What’s the story of their Christian journey? Who are the most important people in their life? What are their passions and interests? What kind of church do they go to, how does it help them grow, and how do they serve? What feeds their spirit and brings them joy? Take time before each date to consider what you know so far, and what you want to delve into further. You could even make a “20 questions” game out of it.

If you’ve been on several virtual (or real-life) dates with someone before meeting became impossible, or you’re already in the early stages of a relationship, no doubt you’re frustrated that you can’t meet in person. It feels unnatural not to be able to interact physically (no, not like that!) but you can still continue exploring what makes each other tick. In fact, enforced separation can actually help you get to know each other on a more profound level, as you have no choice but to engage in deeper conversation.

However, don’t forget the little things, as these are what strengthen the connection in a long-term relationship. Ask how their day went, especially if they were facing a challenge such as a tricky work call. How are they coping with living and working in lockdown? Observe their changing moods – when they’re happy, or are feeling low and need a boost. Get to know their daily habits. This is also a time when you might start to bond spiritually. Some people like to pray together by phone or video call. If your church is livestreaming services, you could “invite” each other to church.

A note of caution, however: it’s best not to get carried away and assume too much at this stage. When you’re lacking company and things to fill your time, it’s easy to over-invest in a virtual relationship, which may not survive when normal life resumes. Make sure you have lots of contact with friends and family too, and other outlets for your energy and emotions. And always consider how well you really know and trust someone before sharing personal information.

But if you hit it off, this could be the perfect time to grow a future relationship. Remember, many married couples are apart for long periods of time for work or military service. They report that frequent contact, staying involved in each other’s lives, and supporting each other emotionally is what sustains their bond. If they can do it, so can we! And when this pandemic subsides, we can meet in person, in the knowledge that we know and understand each other on a deeper level than before.