Traditional dating encapsulates the proven method of meeting a potential life partner face-to-face and building a bond through continual interactions. You enjoy getting to know a potential mate through a wide range of settings, whether alone or in a group. The importance of traditional dating is so profound that even non-traditional methods such as internet dating services actually incorporate such face-to-face interactions into their programs to help facilitate more successful partnerships, says online dating consultant Julie Spira, in her Huffington Post article, “Online Dating vs. Offline Dating: Pros and Cons.”
What You See is What You Get
Traditional dating allows you to quickly decipher some important information about a person of interest. It is difficult for someone you are meeting face-to-face to misrepresent their physical description such as body type, size and level of attractiveness, Spira says. With traditional dating, you interact with a person in whom you are interested and about whom you may already know some details. This person could be a co-worker you meet by the coffee pot every day, someone your friends or relatives recommended, the friendly sales rep in your favorite department store or the aerobics instructor at your gym. Having some amount of familiarity makes connecting through traditional means relatively secure.
Intimacy Through Physical Activities
Traditional dating allows for a variety of dating options. You can hang out in groups with your date, whether a gathering of family members, co-workers, friends or schoolmates. Meet up at parties or other planned social events. Get to know your date better as you both interact with each others' friends. Participate in physical activities side-by-side, such as team or individual sports. Interacting in this way allows for deep bonding and the building of a closeness between partners, with or without sexual intimacy, says researcher on human behavior, Helen Fisher, Ph.D., in her article, "How to Build Intimacy in Your Relationship," published on Oprah.com. Through activity dates, you can get to know your partner in more diverse ways than you possibly would through alternate forms of dating.
Interact in Natural Settings
Traditional dating methods allow you to become familiar with a person in real-world settings. This is especially possible when you interact in groups or out in public. Pay attention to how your date responds and reacts to the waiter, attendants, friends and family members. This can give deeper insight into your partner's character and personality in ways that are more profound than how a person represents themselves in words. The response to difficult situations can also give you some clues to how your date will respond in similar situations in the future.
Bond Through the Sharing of Gifts
A meaningful memento can express affection even more strongly than words. No amount of virtual messaging can beat the gifts that romantic partners exchange. For some people, a token is important as a visual symbol of love and a deep connection to their partner, suggests relationship counselor Gary Chapman, Ph.D., in his book "The 5 Love Languages." You can make, find or buy gifts for your partner. These can be anything from flowers, cards, poems and songs written especially for the object of your affection to the purchase of an item you know your partner will love. Carve your name in a tree in the park. Write a letter to your partner. Seal it with a kiss and spritz with your favorite fragrance. Many people cherish old letters and poems and return to the spot where they had their first meeting even years after being together.
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Latoya Newman is a novelist who wrote and published her first novel in 2012. She has a background in education, research and counseling. She taught at the elementary level for eight years, and has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada.
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