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By rewel mbugua

All you need to know about dating

Relationships are complex in nature and require commitment and hard work from the parties involved. They require investments of time for them to work.

Dating is defined as the meeting of two people possibly as friends with the intention of assessing one another's suitability to become a life partner. Another definition of dating is the stage in a relationship when it becomes intimate or sexual.

There are various factors that one needs to consider before dating:

  1. Faith/value system — It is difficult to date someone from a different faith because there will always be conflict on various issues in the relationship. This also applies to a belief system because you don't expect your partner to change just because you are dating.
  2. Family origin — It is important to examine in detail the family tree of the person you are dating. How close are they to one another, are there diseases in the family, what's in their past, and how were they taught to treat other people?
  3. Intimacy in the relationship — It is important for each of the parties involved to spell out early what they expect in the relationship. Do they want to date for a few months before the relationship becomes physical or should it be a physical relationship from the word go? This is an important factor and can mean success or failure of a relationship.
  4. Definition of the relationship — There are individuals who enjoy hanging out with members of the opposite sex not because they are looking for a partner but just because they enjoy their company. The other party may end up receiving the wrong signal and think they are dating. It is important to define the relationship beforehand to avoid awkward situations.
  5. Conflict resolution skills — It is highly important to assess if your partner knows the best way to resolve conflicts without any violence. It is important to observe them during their low moments in order to establish if you can live with their weaknesses in the long run.
  6. Passion/hobbies — Do you enjoy doing the same things as your partner? This is a question you need to be asking yourself because this is someone you are going to live with for the rest of your life. However, when it comes to this you can reach a compromise.
  7. Friends they hang out with — It is said you can know the character of a person by the friends they have around them. It is important to know the friends of the person you are dating to give you a glimpse of who they really are because during the dating stage, people are in their best character and they hide who they really are, and this becomes apparent only when you settle down with them.
  8. Social life — Introverts and extroverts have completely different social lives. It is important to discuss this in order to come up with a schedule of when you will be meeting and to give each other space to do what they love.

These are just guidelines on dating. The factors will vary with the individuals who are dating.

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