How to get out of the Serial Casual Dating Rut. Kevin Lobo speaks to Life Coach Malti Bhojwani and a Clinical Psychologist
Stop being a playa - as featured in the Mumbai Mirror
Kevin Lobo speaks to Clinical Psychologist Salma Prabhu and Professional Life Coach Malti Bhojwani to help you break the pattern.
You’re tired of casual dating and want to switch to a more serious lane. Here’s how to shift gears
Posted On Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 12:37:47 PM
So you have been adding more partners to that tally board you've maintained in your diary. Olympic record close at hand. But suddenly you are hit with the realization that you want something more from your relationships. Casual dating can be a fun experience, but if you indulge in it for too long a time, it can turn into a pattern. And emotional patterns are very hard to break. If you are sick of dinners leading to drinks, and then a little sweating between the sheets, heed the advice of our experts.
Casual dating within its limits is fun, but a lot of people tend to hide their demons behind it. Life Coach Malti Bhojwani says, “Many people who date casually are not happy with themselves. They think they are not good enough for a serious relationship, hence they will not commit to anyone.”
Such people even when they want to make a conscious switch to dating seriously are unable to do so. To rectify this problem clinical psychologist Salma Prabhu has a solution. She says, “Such a conflicted person must spot what he or she is looking for in a relationship. It could be anything from emotional to sexual to having fun to just wanting someone to talk to.”
This “identification analysis” is the key to realizing what is wrong in the first place. Your dates and the decisions that you take during them are indicative to an emotional need. Once these are identified, you can work on changing things around. Only after you have identified what your pattern is and have decided to work on it, can you be open to dating again.
Now, this might seem really obvious but it is not. For people who have been dating casually for too long, having a serious conversation about what they are looking for in a relationship can be the most difficult part. This is a combination of both verbal and non-verbal communication. Prabhu says, “Everything from your body language to the way you treat your date signifies how serious you are looking to get. So for example, if you meet your date and tell him/her that she is looking hot and not beautiful or charming, your message is clear.”
A person who wants to be in a relationship will make the effort. So messaging and calling, and taking the effort to woo a person, is all part of it. Bhojwani says, “If you have an air about you that you are too cool for relationships or that you will do anything to not appear vulnerable, it is one of the biggest signs that you are looking for something casual. If your inner feelings of wanting something serious and your portrayal of not caring how a date is going to go are incongruous, then there is something wrong here.”
Because casual dating is all about finding the shortest way to a short-lived happiness, venturing into the real dating world can be full of hurt and rejection. You need to prepare yourself for this mentally. You need to try and judge a person faster as well. Salma Prabhu says, “You can't keep going out for dates and then realize that the person is just like the others you were going out with casually. I would recommend not more than two dates with a person, to judge how they are.” This may seem like a short period of time, but you can't go around feeling de-motivated and frustrated when things don't work out.
Draw a thick line
Bhojwani feels that while most people can turn down a booty call, serial casual daters find it a very difficult. “You have to stop taking every opportunity that comes your way. You need to sit back, and choose,” says Malti. Sleeping on a first date is a strict no-no.
“Instant gratification is something that serial casual daters get so used to that they have to relearn the art of saying no. Let your partner shower you with attention, let them woo you. You aren't playing hard to get, you are just taking things slow so that you know where this is leading. If your date is not interested, he/she will leave. At least you know you aren't part of that cycle any more.”
Many serial dating ‘Barneys’ think they are not good enough for a serious relationship
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