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Dating: 3 Urgent Psychological Strategies You Need to Know

Has there ever been a time in which dating was easy or simple? I don’t think so, but I also agree that today’s circumstances can make it harder to discern reality, find a good match and know which decisions to make when it comes to developing trust and establishing a healthy romantic bond with someone.

The good news is that we also have more insight and knowledge available if we are willing to learn how to better navigate dating and relationships. That is what I aim to bring you here.

Before a moratorium on things relationships, I had never used Psychology to my benefit or protection. I didn’t even feel comfortable with the thought of it, especially when there is an overspread preconception that you are always being analysed in the presence of a psychologist. Reflecting, I wish I had done it though. What good is Psychology for if we don’t use it to improve the life we lead?

Here, I share three gender-neutral psychological strategies, meaning they are useful whether you identify as a man or a woman. I learned them the hard way, and I wish I had applied them sooner when dating. However, since learning and applying them, I have been able to identify people who looked good on paper and perfect to the eye, but who were not a healthy match for me. I hope they help you do the same.

Pay Attention to Language

The words people choose can tell a lot about themselves, the way they perceive the world and how they treat others. Words can also be used as bait though. This is often accomplished by using words that appeal to our ego but which do not speak to our life philosophy and essence.

Superficial and over-the-top flattery can make us feel good in the moment but, eventually, it makes us feel uneasy and like there is a certain void that is constantly left unattended. We are not propelled forward, into a meaningful direction or sense of being grounded, rooted in ourselves.

The mismatch between what we hear and what we feel can also make us feel confused and sometimes even guilty. If they are saying all the right things and they are rather attractive, why do we feel insecure and uncomfortable?

We can examine and reduce this dissonance by calming down, asking probing questions and mindfully paying attention to the answers we get. Here are some questions we can use to guide our observation:

  • What sort of expressions do they use?
  • How do they refer to other people?
  • What is the narrative they hold about life in general?
  • Are there words that make you feel uncomfortable?
  • Is there passive-aggressiveness in their speech?
  • Are there words of criticism with little to no compassion?

Feel the Energy

As the saying goes, energy does not lie. Energy is our emotional blueprint. Emotions are hard to control or prevent because they are quick, spontaneous and reflected in our body language. When observed in another person, they can be a great source of information.

Emotions allow us to evaluate a person’s honesty and authenticity. Sometimes what we see with our eyes is a mask that hides people’s intentions and deepest fears. We can feel very attracted to someone and for that reason ignore important signs or the initial red flags that a person's energy carries.

Next to verbal language, it’s important to pay attention to energy and non-verbal cues. We can tap into this information by being connected to what we feel when we are around the person we are dating. However, for this assessment to be as accurate as possible, it is also important that we work on our emotional intelligence skills.

We need to be in tune with our emotions and strengthen our capacity to be mindful. Only then we will be able to capture the quality of resonance that exists between us and the other person. If there is any disturbance in how we feel, if we don’t feel safe or secure, it is a sign to slow down.

Slowing down means we take the time to reassess the situation or decide to part ways. This can also be a great opportunity to see how the other person responds to our needs. If we feel rushed to be in a relationship or pressured in any way, then we might need to reconsider how compatible we are with that person and how aligned that person is with the partner we envision for ourselves.

Notice the Treatment

Words without action are empty promises. On top of reading someone’s energy, we need to notice how the other person treats us by paying attention to their attitude and actions. We need to be aware and sure that words are combined with adequate actions.

Someone whose attitude and actions do not match their words will offer us a frustrating experience. They will not be reliable, and we will not be able to hold them accountable. Here are some questions that can aid our reflection:

  • Are they constantly late to meet up with us?
  • Do they go without notice for hours on end?
  • Can they show up for us and practice what they preach?
  • Are they attentive? Caring?
  • Do they display genuine kindness toward us and others?
  • Do they keep a reasonable relationship with people in their life?
  • Can they make amends?
  • How do they treat themselves?
  • What sort of people do they welcome in their lives?


The process of dating is not straightforward and we may not have the right strategies in place. However, we can learn to train our awareness and ability to discern reality a bit better. It is possible to make wiser decisions by giving ourselves the time to observe and reflect.

Paying attention to someone's language, energy and overall treatment are three strategies that can take some time to develop and bear fruits. There are no shortcuts here though. We will only learn through trial and error so I recommend you start using these strategies each time you have the opportunity to meet someone new.

Remember to give yourself time to feel and think. Don't rush into dynamics that can end as situationships instead of thriving relationships or partnerships. Respect yourself, your time, your mind, your body, and your spirit. Allow yourself the time to meet someone, ask questions and see if their treatment matches yours.

We all are worthy of a healthy and suitable match. It is better to wait and see, and readjust how many times we need, instead of falling head over heels for someone who may not even be who we thought they were through their projected words.

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