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Philippa Courtney



How Can I Tell Which Guy I Should Date?


Dear Philippa,

It's been a while since I've dated anyone and I've just started meeting some men from the Internet. I'm enjoying the attention and conversation but I don't know where it goes from here. How do you know which one to meet again and should I hold out for someone better, etc.

Leslie, Virginia Beach, VA


Dear Leslie,

Congratulations for getting out there again. It sounds like you have the right attitude about meeting men. You're enjoying yourself and that's the most important sign that you're doing the right thing.

I also like that you seem to be focusing on yourself in this process instead of doing what many people do, which is to twist themselves into a pretzel trying to figure if the other person likes them or how to get the other person to like them. Which brings me to your question: How can you tell which guy you should be seeing again? My short answer is that it's all a matter of how you feel when you are around these guys.

By focusing on how you feel, you tune into your instincts. You can look past the outer packaging, the physical impressions that can get in the way of your better judgment. Mr. Right may not appear as your usual physical type.

The other reason for tuning into how you feel does is that it helps you connect at the all-important emotional level, not just the analytical level. Most people have a subconscious checklist in their mind when they are meeting someone new. It may be that they want someone with certain looks or someone who shares certain interests.

Trouble with the checklists is that even if the person you fits all your criteria, there still may be no real connection at the emotional and chemistry level.

Having interests in common is good for conversation, but it is not the chief barometer for compatibility. You can always teach someone a sport or share an interest with a friend. What matters is that your style, the way you relate to the world, your passionsthe things that make your heart sing, your values and your goals need to be somewhat in alignment.

And frankly, you can't cover all that territory during a first date. That kind of information unfolds with time. So what you are really looking for are some markers, positive indicators that this is the kind of person that you want to meet again.

At this stage you aren't even deciding which one of these men is right, because your best approach is to date several people at the same time. Let the guys you meet know that you are in this discovery stage, figuring out whom you want to spend time with. This has the added benefit of demonstrating that you aren't desperately searching for someone, which will make you even more appealing. It also gives the guys the same option, so they can discern who their Ms. Right is at the same time. If you compare notes as you go through the process, you'll build a friendship. Then when you are both know what you want and it seems to be each other, well, the celebrating becomes the best part.

For now just enjoy the process and focus on how you are feeling. You may or may not meet Mr. Right through this whole thing. It may be a Mr. Right for right now. It doesn't matter as long as you are enjoying yourself and learning to recognize the kind of guys who are best for you. Enjoy the journey.



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