The World of Dating According to Tim
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The World of Dating According to Tim

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

CLE Fort Lauderdale student, Timoteo Kelly, gives us his perspective on dating, what it means to him, and shares his “must-do’s” on any date.

What does dating mean to you?

date-selfieI see dating like training wheels for a romantic relationship.  Once we get comfortable with each other, we can be more serious.  When those wheels come off, we will either fall or take off.  Getting to know someone in a romantic way helps me to determine if it is a good fit for our personalities.  I look for compatibility and good communication skills.  It is very similar to hanging out with a friend, but having a romantic twist.  There may be flirting, asking about what they want out of life and seeing how much that matches my own life purpose.

Why date?

One day I would like to get married.  I am open to looking for that special someone, and having fun along the way.  I like getting to know myself while learning what I want out of a life partner.

Do you believe in soul mates?

I believe in multiple potentials, but there might be someone who is best.  Ideally, that relationship would last the rest of my life.

What would your ideal date be like?

I like the idea of walking on the beach here in Fort Lauderdale and talking.  I tend to like picnics, so bringing food along is a must.  Ideally, we would be connecting on an emotional level.  I used to emphasize more physical attraction, but have realized that there is so much more to look for.  For example, I look for emotional connection and shared philosophy/values on life.

What do you value in a relationship?

I look for acceptance about who I am including all my strengths and faults.  I believe in compromise, but I also believe that we should not try to change the other person to be something they are not.

What would you say are the “must-dos” on a date?

  • Practice Good Hygiene.

    Have you showered? Have you brushed your teeth? The answer should be “yes” to both. I typically dress “casual dressy” which involves a button down shirt and nice jeans. If I am unsure about what to wear I typically ask someone with good style or a female who I respect.

  • Have a Plan.

    Have an idea about where you want to go.  Don’t be afraid to keep it a surprise.  Individualize the location based on what you know she or he likes.  If you don’t know for sure, everybody likes to eat.  Although it is cliché, dinner and a movie works pretty well.

  • Be Flexible.

    Don’t be afraid to change plans on the spot based on how she or he responds.  Flexibility is important, so be open to listening to suggestions.  Have back up plans based on his/her energy level and enjoyment.

  • Have fun.

    The date is not always about the other person, it is about you too.  Don’t worry too much about being nervous because most likely she or he is nervous too.

  • Be considerate.

    At the end of the night ask permission before you engage in any physical contact.  Both parties need to feel comfortable and safe.

  • Follow-up.

    After the date, I typically let them know within the first few days that I had a good time and would like to see them again.

  • Don’t overthink.

    Avoid over thinking after the date.  I typically stay busy with other things in my life.  I give them space to think about the date and figure out how they feel about proceeding.

Remember, dating can be a fun and enjoyable way to get to know yourself and others.

Newsletter Articles – September 2014

romance and respect

Most of the relationships in our lives are built on shared interests, similar experiences, and, most importantly, mutual respect. Respect is equally as important, if not even more so, in our romantic relationships. I’m sure we’ve all had that one relationship that wasn’t necessarily bad, but still made us feel unfulfilled on some level. Usually, it’s a lack of respect from one or both parties that makes the relationship suffer, which is why it’s important to always remember to have respect in any relationship both for yourself and for the other person.

First Date

That stomach-churning, nerve-inducing, awkward yet exciting day is here. Yes, you are indeed headed out the door for your first date. Here are some tips for your date to run a bit more smoothly, make a great first impression, and find out if you are truly compatible. These tips will keep your date fun, smooth, and memorable.

dating

Twenty-first century dating has introduced a variety of new potential opportunities to meet others through the internet, and our students may be particularly drawn to online dating and social media. Dating is an important developmental experience for our students and it’s important to teach them how to make good decisions in order to effectively and safely navigate in a complex social world.

different levels of friendship

Young adults in CLE programs have a wide variety of experiences in making friends. For some, past social interactions were limited to being with high school peers during class with little to no socializing after school or on weekends. Other CLE students created and maintained friendships from elementary school, and easily make friends when they come to CLE.

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