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In the book Smart Dating Donald Black examines ways to start and build a healthy relationship He explores the areas of looking for dates choosing the best date and dating them His most important points which he stresses are listening and showing that they are listening the importance of nonverbal communication and making the other person comfortable Black has based his research on personal experience book research and from interviews from thousands of other people Black relays the importance of communication in his book by saying Effective communication is critical to successful dating 150 Listening is one point Black stresses regularly throughout the book Listening to the other person not only makes someone a better person and a friend but also allows them to become a wonderful person in the eyes of others because of they are being supportive and attentive 46 Becoming an effective listener also makes relationship stronger 189 Listening allows people to know more about the person they are speaking with reducing unpredictability if they were to go on a date with that person To get to this point of getting the other to self disclose people are suppose to ask questions and get the other person talking If someone begins to know the person they are talking to then it lets them see if you like the person based on their attributes and personality 174-5 A lot can be learned in the first encounter yet people must make sure not to come to conclusions on the person based on first impressions 78-9 Black explains ways of showing listening by leaning towards the other person getting on their side and attempting to understand what the other person is saying 47 He describes other things too for instance Looking the other in the face not thinking about what to say next being aware of what the body is doing not interrupting and trying to understand 188 He does point out that some
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