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When you start dating it takes a while to really get to know someone. Who they are really are, how they handle certain situations, their life’s path and if the two of you are compatible or not. What you should do in the beginning is pay close attention to the little things. Actions speak louder than words. Anyone can talk a big talk, but what are the little things they are doing?

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1)      How are your conversations? Do they flow nicely, do you understand each other points of view? Can you have an adult debate without it turning into a boxing match? In the beginning of dating if you feel the person you’re dating just doesn’t “get” what you are talking about, you probably have different ideologies. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s going to make it very difficult to get along with one another. It’s going to cause a lot of battles. Especially when you get into a deeper committed relationship.

2)      How does this person make you feel? Listen to your body, your heart after going on a date with someone. When you leave their presence do you feel light, airy and full of love? Do you have a huge smile on your face that leaves you looking like the Cheshire cat? Or do you feel tired, depleted and negative? If you do not share the same type of energy they could be zapping yours from you. You need to be with someone who has the same levels of positive energy so you can uplift each other in a healthy way.

3)      Do you have the same life plan? When you discuss the future are your ideas the same? Do you both want to get married and have kids? Or is one person not sure yet? Would you rather focus on your career and traveling around the world? First of all you need to know what you want prior to dating so you can find someone who wants similar things. If you know 100% you eventually want kids and your BF/GF doesn’t, well why waste your time? You’re not going to change their mind & if they cave into your demands eventually down the road they are going to be resentful towards you which is not a good environment for anyone.

4)      Do they treat you with respect? Do they value your opinions, feedback, values and listen to you? When you go on dates are you only doing what they want to do? Do you feel like you’re always caving in? Or do they have a respect that well see a movie I want to tonight and next weekend I’ll take you to the sappy chick flick? There has to be a give and take and a mutual respect. There are two people in a relationship, not just one.

5)      Do you have the same belief system when it comes to family? Meaning have you had the conversation yet of how you believe a marriage is? People’s views are very different but usually very deep rooted in this area. All depending upon their childhood / culture and various aspects. You need to know someones core belief system. Do you believe in a 50/50 relationship? Or do you want to stay at home and raise kids and the husband is the breadwinner? On the other hand do you want the husband to raise the kids and the woman goes out into the workforce? Or do you think both parents should work fulltime? Who does the chores? Some men think the woman should work and raise the kids and run the household. I don’t agree with this philosophy, yet my husband did. This is why he is now my ex-husband. We didn’t discuss prior to marriage, well I told him what I believed and he sat quietly thinking he could change me once we were married. That is a HUGE mistake. You will not change anyone. Accept them for who they are and have open and honest discussions both of your belief systems.

The key here is COMMUNICATION. You have to have OPEN HONEST COMMUNIATION. You cannot just listen and make your own assumptions about a person. People may only talk about certain topics because that’s what’s going on in their life at that particular time. Just because a woman is passionate about her business and she talks about it a lot is because that’s the main focus in life at that time. It doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want kids and a family in the future. It means she doesn’t have that in her life at that time. It also doesn’t mean that she doesn’t know how to balance work, kids and a husband.  She will do that when all those aspects are in her life.

Don’t judge, ask questions. Have open non-pressure conversations to find out. Say something like, “I’m just curious, so I see you are very passionate about your work, yet how would you fit a family in there?” Women are amazing human beings we are super woman. We can work 3 jobs, raise children, clean the house, make a fantastic dinner and still be a sex goddess. However the balance comes when the husband and wife work together to make harmony in each other’s life.

So when you start dating, have those small non-pressure conversations. “I’m just wondering….” Find out before you get too deeply involved. It will save you a lot of heartache.

Tara Richter
Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.