Building a quality friendship is the first and most important step in eventually building a romantic relationship.
If you’re starting to get into online dating after a divorce or a long-term relationship, you might have an urge to find and build a new relationship right away. Going through life alone is hard for most people, so their instinct is to find a mate as soon as humanly possible.
But in most cases, that isn’t the best way to build a quality long-term relationship, for several reasons:
• Diving straight into a new relationship doesn’t give you time to understand what you truly need in a partner.
• Picking people out immediately gives you no chance to see what other types of people are available.
• Your desperation for a partner could cause you to behave abnormally or out of character, creating a flawed perception.
• Rushing into a relationship before you really get to know the other person could have terrible results.
Instead, it’s better to treat the potential partners you find through dating sites as friends. When you build a friendship, your priorities are far different from your priorities in finding an immediate mate. You’ll be looking for characteristics you can tolerate for a long time and personality traits that make someone fun to be around. You’ll also be more likely to act like yourself, allowing you to build a sincere bond.
After you build a friendship, if the two of you are still romantically attracted to each other, you can use everything you already know about each other as the foundation of the rest of your relationship. Building relationships through friendship takes more patience and discernment, but if what you really want is a long-term, meaningful relationship, friendship is the way to go.
Sheila Blagg is a Divorce Mediator certified through the Ohio Supreme courts, & founder & CEO of Divorce 2 Dating, the first social networking site for individuals navigating a divorce. Follow Sheila on Twitter and Facebook!