The idea of dating someone as a boyfriend, and dating someone for the first time as a girlfriend, is something that we’ve all had our share of experience.
We’ve all dated our first boyfriend, who was the one to say, “You look so good!” or “I’ve never been so happy in my life!”
But for many, dating someone has a different meaning altogether.
“It’s a feeling of love and appreciation, where you’re being taken seriously,” says Rachel Pender, founder of Love & Friendship, a website dedicated to understanding and connecting people who have dated before.
“I love seeing that when we talk to someone they’ve never met, it feels like they’re taking the time to really understand what it means to be in love.”
When you’re dating someone, you’re also showing your appreciation for them, says Rachel, and giving them the opportunity to be as understanding and accepting as possible.
This is why dating someone first is so important to you, Rachel says.
“When you’re talking to someone for dating purposes, you have a duty to make it feel like a date.”
Rachel says that for her, dating a boyfriend was a “great and fulfilling experience” that made her feel loved and accepted.
So what’s the best way to do that?
“It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, it just means you want to make them feel loved, and you want them to feel safe,” she says.
To that end, Rachel suggests two steps to take: 1.
Show them you care about them.
This will be an easy one to understand if you’ve dated someone before, and for Rachel it was “very simple” to make that point.
“Just show them how much you care,” she advises.
Be honest and candid. “
You should be willing to talk about anything that concerns them.
Be honest and candid.
Show that you care and that you can understand.
This could be a great time for them to start seeing you as a partner, and that they will feel like they can trust you.”
Keep it fun.
“If you’re really serious about your relationship, you should be really serious,” Rachel adds.
“And when you have that much love in your heart, it makes it really easy to have fun with it.
It’s like you’re playing the lottery and it’s like a lottery ticket.
You can just sit there and enjoy it.”
She also recommends starting with a simple conversation: “It should be something that’s just like, ‘Hello, I’m dating you.
Are you going to make me a girlfriend?’
That will get them to open up, so they’ll feel more comfortable.
And if they’re a little bit nervous, make it fun, make them laugh, or make them smile and they’ll be happy.”
In Rachel’s experience, these two simple conversations can lead to more than just feelings of love, she says, adding that if you don’t show the other person your love and respect, it can lead them to doubt your commitment.
“They’re more likely to think, ‘Oh, it’s not going to work.
I don’t want this relationship,’ and that’s a big mistake,” Rachel says of people who feel unsure about dating someone.
She suggests dating someone on the first date instead of just waiting for them on a first date.
“This is what I do in my relationships: I say, ‘You’re my first date, so we’re going to talk.
What’s your date?’
And they say, well, I can’t say that, because I’m not going out on a date,'” Rachel says, laughing.
“But you should say, if you’re going out, then let’s do it.”
This article originally appeared on Love & Harmony.