Communication and flirtation are two of the ways in which men’s and women’s differences can cause problems in a relationship. But how do you actually get into a relationship? Men’s brains are wired to look at things in a more straightforward way, whereas women’s brains take into account emotion. After a couple have been on a few dates, the question often raised is: are we dating? Following closely behind is: what does that entail?

What Is Dating?

I used to say that I had been on a hundred first dates but only a handful of second dates. But that doesn’t mean that I dated more than a hundred men. Those that I went on second dates with could possibly be considered men that I was dating, but even that is a stretch. If we ran into someone I knew during the first few times I was out with a man, then I would perhaps say that we were “on a date,” not that we “are dating.” There’s a difference. Although the term “dating” is as non-committal as you can get, it is still a label that can be given prematurely and can inadvertently cause a freak-out.

The problem is that not everyone sees dating the same way, and that can lead to a lot of confusion. Where a man will be enjoying getting to know a woman after a few dates without putting too much thought into it aside from “Is she interesting and is there chemistry?”, that same woman’s brain is running a million miles an hour. She is wondering if he likes her, if he sees a future with her, if he’s going to kiss her, if he’s going to ask her out again, if he’s dating anyone else, if she wants to see him again, if she can picture herself with him in the long run, and so on and so forth. So, you can see how far apart the two sexes are mentally while on the same date.

De-Stress Dating

Exposing how differently each sex regards dating is not meant to make you more stressed out about dating, but it is nice to have some insight as to what the person sitting across from you is thinking about. Simply put: the typical man isn’t thinking about the next date, he’s focused on the date you are on and not worried about what date number this is or what that means. Meanwhile, the typical woman is thinking about if there will be another date and if that means you are dating.

Instead of getting frustrated by these differences, take a page out of the other sex’s approach. Men can take dating a little more seriously and understand that a third date is much more serious than a first date; if you’ve gotten that far, you will be crossing the threshold into “dating” very soon and should think about whether that’s something you want. And women can be influenced by men’s thought process (or lack thereof) and not overthink and over-analyze each date too soon. Instead, they can try to be more present for the current date

If you are willing to tune in to the other sex’s way of thinking then you can really help your dating life. Being aware that the woman across from you is likely over-thinking the situation you can assuage her concerns by letting her know that you are interested in getting to know her better (or putting her out of her misery if you’re not interested). And conversely, women can live in the moment like their date and enjoy it for what it is rather than trying to predict the future.

You may also be interested in 5 Insightful Dating Tips From Your Jewish Mom

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