Carol the Coach: The Success of Dating

The Success of Dating


Why is it that some of the toughest areas in life are experienced in the form of trial-and-error?   Dating is one of those areas in which there is little formal training.  When I work with singles that are going through the process of dating, I believe that reading books, going to workshops and classes, and talking to others are ways to obtain dating life skills. 

Most people come in with a fear of dating.  They make comments like, “I don’t even want to think about dating” or “I hate dating” or “The thought of dating is so scary”.  Many times they are afraid that they won’t be good enough or they fear rejection.  If you have good self-esteem and don’t fall into this category, the opposite might be true.  This would be, “I don’t want to go through the process of meeting men or women who aren’t like me or aren’t who they claim to be”.  If you see yourself in either of these scenarios, look at dating as an opportunity to gain more life experience. Stay positive in order to get the most out of it. 


The most important skill to remember is to go slow.  Dating requires getting to know each other, and the slower you go, the more successful you will be.  If you have great chemistry, you might be tempted to see each other too much, talk to each other daily, or share activities that are too personal too soon (e.g. having sex).  If you take your time you will make fewer mistakes. Just remember, a new date is not necessarily your best friend.  Don’t get too emotionally intimate. It’s important to pace yourself!


 Although dating is a mechanism for finding a life partner, you will have more success if you focus on staying in the present.  Your mission should be to have fun, not to find a life partner.  If and when the relationship moves into exclusivity, you will have a good foundation for that relationship. 


  Know your boundaries. How much do you want to contribute to the relationship?  I know women who say they want to be pampered, and then by the second date they are cooking dinner and doing lots of maternal tasks.  Stop that! If you do that in the beginning of the relationship, you are bound to that lifestyle forever. 


 Believe it or not, dating is a numbers game. So find like minded people and spend time doing things that you enjoy doing. When you have fun, you are much more likely to send out positive messages that you would be a fun companion. If you like to hike, join a hiking club. If you love activities, sign up for MeetUp .com and meet men and women who want to play euchre or go to Indians Games or hang out at The Chatterbox. .You won’t meet anyone sitting on your couch so put yourself out there and and have fun!


 Men will notice you if you are noticing them so don’t play shy…. smile and let him know that he has caught your eye. 

I guarantee if you follow these five steps you will have a winning formula for having healthier relationships and more enjoyable dates!

Remember have fun with it and enjoy the adventure!





Baby Talk?

What can I do to improve my baby’s future?  As a teacher I see moms struggle with this question all the time.  Mothers often feel conflicted as they juggle a variety of obligations: family life, work, community responsibilities.  Our dreams for our children are often coupled with concerns that other commitments may interfere with our time with our children.  We question if this will have an adverse effect.

Partly playing on those concerns, fads abound in the area of early childhood development.  From the use of baby sign to using flashcards to promote earlier reading or math skills, there are many ideas of what you might do now to ensure your child’s academic success in the future.   However, few, if any of them, have research that shows they have a consistent, long-term impact on children’s achievement.  In fact, recent research has shown that even preschool programs, the recent and best hope especially for children from low socio-economic backgrounds, have minimal impact on children’s long-term academic achievement.

But there is one significant piece of great news in recent research reviewed by Dana Suskind, M.D. in her book, “Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain.”  With little doubt, the best thing we can do for our children’s development is something we can all do easily.  TALK.  That’s it – just talk.  To your baby.  As your baby begins to babble, babble back at him.  That’s right – baby talk in a turn-taking conversation.  As your child uses her first words, expand on them.  When your baby says, “Da,” you say, “Oh, you’re looking for Daddy?  Where is Daddy? I think he’s in the garage!  Let’s go see!”  If your child is looking at the snow, talk about snowflakes and snowmen and snowballs.  Pay attention to what your child says and what he likes and turn it into a conversation, gradually expanding your baby’s vocabulary words and the complexity of his language. 

Dr. Suskind suggests thinking of the “Three Ts.”  First, “Tune In,” as in pay attention to your child’s interests and attempts to communicate.  Next, “Talk More,” as in don’t just ask closed-ended questions and give directions.  Talk about why you are doing things, what you like, how you feel.  Describe and narrate your child’s world.  Finally, “Take Turns” means giving your child a chance to be part of the conversation.  Use her comments as a jumping off point to continue the conversation further.  These same techniques are used at St. Joseph Institute for children who have a hearing loss, but the research shows they have a lasting impact on the language and learning of all children.  

What about reading?  We have always heard that reading is important, right?  Of course it is – but it may be as much about using reading as a focus for starting and extending conversations about the pictures, the story, and the characters as it is about recognizing written words.  What about building attention and organization?  They are also built around those interactions, as you talk with your child about how you attend to and organize your world.  Having a conversation about how you put the ice cream last on your shopping list so you can pay for it and get home before it melts is a great way to help your child think about ordering her world.  And won’t that come in handy when she has to manage college applications!

May is National Speech and Hearing Month – enjoy talking with your children.

Teri Ouellette, MS Ed, LSLS Cert AVEd
St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf

Suskind, D. (2015).  Thirty million words: Building a child’s brain. New York:Dutton.