Perfect Match Couple Counseling

How to Start Dating Slowly and Intentionally

How to Start Dating Slowly and Intentionally

Dating today is fast paced, with swiping on dating apps and hookup culture taking the modern dating scene by storm.

With fast-paced dating seen as the norm, dreaming of slowing down the dating
process might make you feel out of place or old-fashioned.

But slowing down the dating process is possible. When you take dating slowly,
there’s less pressure on you and your date to reach the next level.

Instead, you take that time to get to know the other person at a level deeper than the attraction stage.

When you date slowly, it’s possible the connection between you and your dates
fizzles out. When that happens, you might feel like you wasted time because
something didn’t work out.

But on the flip side, it’s a sign of paying attention to how compatible you are with
someone – without the rush of endorphins from the attraction stage influencing your judgment.

Follow these tips to date slowly and intentionally:

1. Decide what your “dating goal” is. Are you just trying to meet people and learn
what you like? Are you ready to settle down and find a lifelong partner? Do you
just want to date slowly and see what happens? Decide on a dating goal
beforehand to help you with any decision making!

2. Get to know your values. Writing down what’s important for you can help you
pay attention to whether or not potential matches align with your values.
Your values are the North Star that guides you throughout life.

  • Think about your past partners, friends, and others in your life and which
    values they have that resonate with you.
  • What is most important to you?
  • What non-negotiables or deal breakers do you have?

3. Give yourself a few dates before passing judgment. One of the best parts
about dating slowly is the opportunity to get to know someone on a deeper
level. While first impressions matter, go on a few dates with someone before
making a decision! That will give both of you time to get over first date nerves,
or for you to notice a red flag pop up.

  • Pay attention to communication patterns. How does the person you’re
    dating interact with staff?
  • Assess compatibility over chemistry. While chemistry is that spark you
    initially feel during the attraction stage of dating, compatibility is how
    well a person aligns with your everyday life over a longer period of time.

4.Be transparent about your expectations. You don’t have to start planning a
marriage right away or decide on your children’s names. But if your long-term
goal is to get married or have children, discuss that before you make a
commitment beyond the dating stage.

5.Build connection with your date through curiosity. To build genuine
connection, ask these questions over a series of dates.

  • Tell me your life story in five minutes.
  • Describe your idea of a “perfect” day.
  • What are you most grateful about?
  • What do you value most in a friendship?
  • Tell me about your biggest accomplishment.

6. Show up for the date with intention. To truly date intentionally, put effort into
the process and find someone who matches your effort! Aim to go on three
dates with someone over the course of three weeks. That’s the perfect period
of time for you to start getting to know them.

  • Put away your phones. Spend quality time getting to know the other

Slow dating gives you the time to imagine how someone fits into your life. You get
to know a person and see how respectful they are, if they share your values, and if
you have similar lifestyle choices or goals.
The person you choose to commit to doesn’t have to be perfect – but they should fit well into your life!

       *DISCLAIMER: This is general advice and not directed at any specific situation.


Sue Resnik of Perfect Match Couple Counseling


Susan Resnik is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified SYMBIS Facilitator who specializes in couple counseling. She’s been in the mental health counseling field for 25 years and has won multiple awards on her counseling excellence.

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