Dating can be exhausting, to say the very least. It can have more ups and downs and cause more nausea than a roller coaster ride, but we all do it because it's a great way to meet new people. What if there was a way to make things a little easier? What if there was a way to increase the chances of knowing you're with Mr. or Ms. Right on the first date?

Purposeful dating can help you prioritize your wants and needs so that you get a better idea of exactly what it is you're looking for in a relationship. More often than not, it isn't until we start to discuss the real purpose of dating that we are truly able to drill down and figure out what's important to us.

What is the Purpose of Purposeful Dating?

Dating, or courting as it was once called, is a relatively new concept that started when women first entered the workforce at the beginning of the 20th century. Fast forward a hundred or so years, and we are still using dating as the number one way of finding a soulmate.

Though the purpose of dating has not changed, there is a significant difference in the way we date. We're still out searching for the right person, but with the internet now at your fingertips, it's become infinitely easier to sort through hundreds of potential suitors with the simple swipe of a finger. This has made date selection more efficient and has taken a little bit of the guesswork out of the process.

What if there was a way to be even more efficient? Not so efficient that it becomes robotic or any less fun, but a way to increase the chances of knowing if the person is a good match on that first date. It would be great to know if they are looking for the same things we're looking for in life at that particular moment.

This is where purposeful dating comes into the picture. Purposeful dating gives us the ability to figure out exactly what we want to get out of our dating experience. What's the goal? What's the reason for going on the date? What are we trying to accomplish? We take these questions and then focus our dating experience on them. We make that first date more productive without losing the spark that makes dating fun.

How Do You Date With a Purpose?

Dating with a purpose begins by making a plan. This plan should outline any goals we may have. It should pose questions we would like answered by our date and should list priorities we may have in finding a new mate. Remember that your goals need to be as realistic as possible.

Once completed, we organize our list from most important to least important points. We then take our top four, and these become our focus for those first few dates. Remember, if our newfound friend can't meet the majority of those points that we've decided are extremely important to us, then we may need to move on to someone else. The nice thing is that we'll know it relatively early into the relationship.

For example, one goal may be to find someone who is easy to talk to, someone with who the conversation flows easily. If you're going to be spending a significant amount of time with the person for the foreseeable future, you really want to be able to talk to them easily.

With the goal in mind of discovering whether or not you can have deep, meaningful conversations with the person, you can then gear your next dating activity around something that facilitates getting that answer. Perhaps a walk in the park or a quiet dinner where the conversation is guaranteed. In this scenario, you'd also want to avoid things like going to the movies or going on group dates. These are activities that often leave little time for any real, one-on-one discussion.

Another goal may be to find a partner that is compatible with your friends. In this case, a group date would be a perfect idea. A trip to the beach with your friends or some sort of sporting activity such as golf or tennis may provide enough opportunity for your friends to really get to know your date and for your date to make an impression on them.

What if you're at a point in your life where you're really focused on having children? Then perhaps you'd want to see how your date would engage with children. Maybe reading to children at the library would help you bring out this information. Plus, it's something a little different and can show you his or her compassionate side.

Maybe you want someone who enjoys being outside. It's easy to plan your next date around outdoor activities. Try a hike in the woods or perhaps a stroll by the lake. If they complain about missing their Xbox the whole time, then it may be a sign to move on.

Why is Purposeful Dating Effective?

There are a number of benefits to being focused on a particular outcome when you're on your next date. Here are just a few of the big ones!

1. Brings Greater Meaning to Your Relationship
Dating with a purpose can bring greater meaning to any future relationship you may have with that person. You'll know that part of the reason you're together is that you took time early on in the relationship to focus on things that were important to you in a potential suitor. You may also find that it gives that particular date more meaning. By simply being more thoughtful in the planning, you inadvertently become more invested in its outcome. This can be great if things work out but unfortunately can also make it that much more disappointing if they don't.

2. Increases Chances of Finding the Right Person
By using goals and asking yourself questions that need to be answered about the person you're dating, you increase the chances of finding the right person early on in the relationship. Without knowing what you're looking for, it's difficult to know if that person has those qualities you find important.

3. Helps You Meet a Goal in Your Relationship Journey
Many people have goals that they're trying to accomplish in the relationship. Perhaps you're at a point where you want to have children. It would be good to know if the person you're dating wants to have children as well before devoting too much time to them. If you can get those kinds of questions answered in a non-intrusive way at the beginning of your relationship, this will help you know if a second or third date is even necessary.

4. Saves Time
Dating is hard, and many of us want to spend as little time searching for the right person as possible. If we're spending the majority of our dates just showing up, having fun, and leaving, we may not always get some of the answers that we need until much later in the relationship. It's better if we can weed out the less desirable options early on rather than spending that time dating aimlessly.

5. Increases Confidence and Self Esteem
Having a plan in mind, setting goals, and being the one who decides where, when, and how the date will go down can give you more of a sense of control over everything. People generally feel more confident when they're in control of their environment, and this can then increase your self-esteem which may be a desirable attribute your date's looking for.

Remember that there is no foolproof way of finding Mr. or Ms. Right, but by focusing on the goals you set and tailoring your dating preferences to help you get answers to some of your questions, you can more easily decide if this date's the one for you.