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Six rules (and goals) for dating successfully

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Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2012 12:57 pm

If you are returning to the dating world after a long time away or if you have not had the dating life you hoped for, maybe it is time to try something different. Reflect on and apply these rules and goals for dating and see if you experience more success and happiness in your dating life. More details and specifics about how to apply these rules are in “The Dating Coach Workbook.”

Rule 1: One thing at a time.

It’s not all about the “be all end all” — marriage or happiness. If you can’t be happy dating, how will you be happy married? That may or may not be an ultimate goal, but either way, one can be happily dating. Our society rushes to that end result.

Goal: Strive to be happily dating only.

Rule 2: Make a commitment to yourself, your dating life and your happiness.

Just like a relationship requires commitment, so does dating. Because dating isn’t all roses (just like a relationship). Dating also has highs, lows and plateaus.

Goal: Set aside a percentage of your pie (time, thought energy) to this dating commitment.

Rule 3: Be honest with yourself.

Therapy, communication, improvement never works and is never successful with a glossed over finish, denial or any kind of dishonesty. Often we want so much for the date to be the one that we see it to be and the person in a better light than they really are.

Goal: Look at reality. Don’t be afraid of the truth.

Rule 4: Don’t succumb to other people’s rules.

“No sex for three months,” “Sex after three dates or the spark isn’t there,” “Don’t date two people at the same time.” You need to make your own rules.

Goal: Make your own dating rules.

Rule 5: Attract the most options and the best options you can.

He or she isn’t going to come knocking at your door. Or it may not be the he or she you really want. It is a numbers game like anything else.

Goal: Be the best catch to attract the best catch.

Rule 6: Be open to different possibilities in dating that what you, friends, family or society expects.

Our family and friends mean well. But often they are the worst counselors, advisors and therapists. Be open to spending some time with someone different than you or others thought you should be with. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Goal: Be bold and confident about your dating choices. Trust your gut.

• Becky Johnston, MA, MBA, LPC, is the author of “The Dating Coach Workbook,” a tool she uses in her dating coaching practice in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 245-6080,, or visit

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