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Dating Advice for Someone Who is Inexperienced

Updated on February 8, 2015

Whether offline or online dating, if you lack one of the most important skills in human relations, chances are you are bound to fail miserably, possibly on your first date or somewhere later down the road.

According to Human Relation specialists, in the language of transactional analysis, each conversation between two individuals is called a transaction. Every social or work-related contact you have with another person involves a series of transactions between ego states.

In a social setting for example, conversation between two people can be either complementary, crossed, or even ulterior in nature. When you are dating someone, whether you are out together, or having a conversation with them online or via phone, the conversation between you and that individual may end prematurely, if your date doesn't get the kind of responses anticipated, due to your lack of sensitivity, lack of empathy or your overall poor communication skills.

Complementary Transactions

In the case of complementary transactions,Human Relations specialist, James and Jongeward, defined a complementary transaction as one that occurs when a message sent from a specific ego state of one individual gets the predicted or desired response from a specific ego state in the other person.

For example, let's pay very close attention to this scenario: Two persons I shall call Joe and Sally, were both out on a date. This day in question, Joe needed to talk her because he was feeling depressed with financial issues. Sally noted he sounded somewhat down and asked him if he was okay. He told her that he may have to find a job that pays more. Sally replied " I can only imagine how you are feeling at the moment Joe, it's certainly not easy getting by these days."

As you can see, the above conversation illustrates one that's complementary in nature. Joe was hoping to receive a sympathetic response from Sally and he indeed receives the expected response, so communication will likely to continue. According to Eric Berne, the first rule of communication is that communications will proceed smoothly as long as transactions/responses are complementary.

Crossed Transactions

A crossed transaction occurs during a conversation between two individuals when the sender of the message or the person who says something does not get the type of response he/she had anticipated from the other person, but instead, gets a response that surprises and irritates him/her. When this occurs, communication and emotional control usually breaks down. A crossed transaction will create tension between two people.

Take for example, if Sally had responded instead "It may not be possible for you to find another job, things are pretty tight in the job market right now." Sally's response would not have met Joe's need for a sympathetic word or an empathetic response. This is not considered effective communication but rather frustration that may cause the conversation to be terminated prematurely.

Ulterior Transactions

This occurs when the statement of comment you have made says one thing but has another concealed meaning. In the context of human relations, this is considered an ulterior transaction. The hidden message is sent disguised as a socially acceptable communication. Like crossed messages, making statements or comments that are ulterior in nature, should be avoided because they create unnecessary barriers to effective person-person communication.

In regards to this type of communication, the second person does not know whether to respond to the hidden meaning of the message( if it can be identified) or to the surface meaning of the message. The result is often an unproductive emotional reaction to the situation.

Statements or comments that are ulterior in nature often cause a breakdown in friendships or relationships. The road to successful dating online or offline, can be sidetracked or marred by vague ulterior statements, or comments, during a conversation. It's best not to make people search for hidden meanings.


No doubt, good communication skills is one vital key to successful dating, so be careful of what you say or how you respond to comments or statements during a conversation with your offline or online dates. You should avoid saying things that may either make your date feel uncomfortable or statements that send messages that are ulterior or crossed in nature; This can create a major obstacle to your success in building potential strong and lasting relationships.

Remember, sometimes people just need to talk to someone who is willing to listen to their problems, someone who can offer some support. During a rather sensitive moment like this, you have to be very careful of the things you say or how you say whatever you have to say.


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    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks Bella Nina,when I first came across all this information I was somewhat astonished!It made me really think. It really made me realize the importance of good communication skills. No doubt, good communication skills is the art of making others feel comfortable. It can help you to seal a deal, land you a great job etc, but more importantly, it's definitely the key when it comes to dating in general!

    • Bella Nina profile image

      Bella Nina 6 years ago from USA

      Very interesting. Made me stop and think about the way we communicate overall. Voted up.

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      Kerlynb,it's always a pleasure reading your hubs/comments. I sincerely believe you shouldn't have any problem meeting a compatible partner! Your communication skills are great and so are your overall human relation skills. I think I have raised a lot of critical points that should not be overlooked. You should test these a let me know the outcome. Good luck!

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Argh! So many Filipinos have given online dating a try, but not me :( This year, I just might :) Wish me luck! I'll use your hub as a guide.

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks for reading this hub pajamazzon. It's always a pleasure sharing information I find worthwhile sharing!

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      Hi vocalcoach,thanks for your comment and your vote. It's always a pleasure sharing my new findings!

    • pajamazzon profile image

      pajamazzon 6 years ago

      This is a great hub! thanks for sharing your thoughts

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I love learning new things and did so in your hub. I voted up. Well done.