Let’s face it. For some, dating can be a clumsy, down right confidence deflating activity. And it can be quite painful.

But it doesn’t have to be.

As an intelligent woman, there are so many things that you are good at or have mastered- activities where you don’t second guess yourself. But like most activities and skills you have mastered, you just need to know the basic skills involved and then build up from there. Dating is like interviewing for a job but in a playful manner. After all you are looking to fill the role of boyfriend or husband, can they play the part you desire? But the key here is knowing the role they need to play for you because like filling a position, they need to have the right qualifications. And if you don’t know your criteria, you need to take note as you begin dating to see what you like or don’t like about another person.

Here are the 6 basic skills to dating:

  1. MASTER THE ART OF CONVERSATION– This is an opportunity for you to get to know him and to see where you both have similar interests or views. Ask questions or tell something about yourself to discover these similarities and does he meet your criteria. Do you really want to get to know him more after the date. Just make sure that you aren’t asking “yes” or “no” questions. And make sure you aren’t hogging airtime. The conversations should be split between the both of you. If it isn’t either someone is nervous or not interested. TIP: When just getting to know a person, go to a place where you can talk and hear each other such as a quiet restaurant, coffee shop, park, etc.
  2. CREATE CONNECTION–  Most successful relationships are based on mutual interests. That doesn’t mean that he has to like every thing you do. In fact, having a few different interests can expand your world. Be engaging- be focused on your date. Listen to what he is saying and ask questions back about what he just said. It can be as easy as “what was the best part of that?” and so on. It doesn’t have to be difficult. TIP: The goal of a date is to see whether or not you like him and if he likes you, not to have an expectations of any kind. At the end of the date, if either one of you isn’t feeling it, it’s okay. If you wanted a sports car, would you settle for a family sedan?
  3. BE INTERESTING- Learn to ask good questions, validate the your date and tell stories to create engagement. People remember good stories. It can also break the ice and reduce anxieties. Be charismatic. TIP: Have a few interesting or fun facts about yourself ready to share and ask your date to share the same.
  4. HAVE FUN– Dating should be viewed as hanging out with a friend. It’s about 2 kids playing together. If you aren’t having fun, is it because you aren’t enjoying your time together or is someone being too serious? And no man wants to hear you complain about your last date or how long it has been. It’s a red flag. TIP: Allow your inner child to come out and play. Don’t be afraid of laughing at yourself. It shows a man that you are confident, which is highly attractive to a man.
  5. HEAR HIM–  Be a good listener- don’t try to fix him. TIP: The worse thing a woman can do is to give a man solutions to his problem. Don’t do it unless asked. Men are the problem solvers, women create emotional space.
  6. BE VULNERABLE– If you like him, let him know! And if you aren’t feeling the connection, let him know in a nice way. Be straightforward and honest and don’t be afraid to ask the same of him. Allow yourself be vulnerable. TIP: If you are interested, tell him that you like him and that you hope to hear from him soon. Don’t play games.

One final note about dating: men want to be noticed and women want to be liked. If you want to make a lasting impression on him, praise him for the little things, like smelling nice. That will get his attention. If he’s a keeper, he will return the same to you by doing things for you. You’ve got to give to get.