What you will learn at ‘dating school’.

Last week I went – with a couple of friends (and work colleagues) – to dating school.

What the heck is dating school? Do you learn how to eat correctly, how to speak correctly, how to dress appropriately to attract the opposite sex?

No, no to all of these. In fact, at dating school you don’t really learn all that much about other people. The biggest take-away from the entire experience – besides learning that casual sex isn’t bad – was that dating is more about self-love than it is about love for someone else.

What the heck is date school?

The session was run by online dating website, eHarmony and taught us about the difference between dating online and dating IRL (in real life). The Biggest Loser host, Fiona Falkiner was there, telling us how she'd been successful in her online dating thus far.

We learnt that dating is different for everyone; that people meet their life partner at different ages, at different events, in different circumstances. But there's one thing that remains consistent. You have to learn to love yourself before you can make anything work with anyone else.

Incase you're wondering how much sex other people are having (Post continues after the video)...

It sounds cliche, in a 'I just vomited in my mouth a little bit' corny kind of way. But it made so much sense.

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We had to make a card pyramid. We started with a stack of at least 100 words that represented what we valued in life. We had to ultimately cull that stack to six cards - six of our most important values - and then we had to sort them into a pyramid and rank them from the most important to the least.

It is much harder than you'd think.

The stack at the start.

The 'school' took a bit of the romance out of dating - telling us that looking for a suitable partner could be likened to finding the right career. I understand the logic behind it, but I'm not sure I agree that it happens that way.

At the top of my pyramid was the word 'family'. This is my one deal-breaker. I need someone who values family - that is a must - the rest are just extras that I want, but could work without.

An example of a values pyramid.

Dating school teaches you that while you need to know what you want, you also need to be flexible with some things. The values that don't make it in to your top six - well they can be negotiated or worked on.

I thought I already knew that you couldn't find happiness with someone else until you find happiness within yourself, but the school really hit that home for me.

Don't be a relationship hopper. Learn to love yourself and the life you're living and then if someone comes along that makes it even better, hold on to them.

What dating advice do you live by?

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