Wifeys and Gentlemen,
Recently, and by recently I mean two days ago, I read a horrid article entitled “5 Unavoidable Rules for Women when Dating”. Pardon my language, I know “horrid” is a harsh word, but as I read through the 6 page blunder, I couldn’t help but think to myself how (mostly) incorrect and outdated the advice being given actually was!
Note: The article was written in 2013.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I personally cannot stand when someone gives women this “sage” advise on how to win her man prize, and either only spouts the most basic bitch information or finds a way to pigeonholed all women into these tiny little boxes with no room to be themselves. So naturally, I had a thought. Why not write my own list? Right now, gun to my head (dear God, not literally), I asked myself “What advice would I give to my friends (men & women alike) when they are making the choice to get out there and date?”
I suppose before reading this, I should make you aware of (warn, I mean warn) you of two things: a) I am NOT fully versed on all of the politically correct phrases and topics of modern-feminist ideals; this does not mean that I am not down for equality and all that, it just means that I chose to express myself and my ideas in this way, and I think that’s okay! b) I believe that dating and relationships involve a tiny tiny bit of game-play, will power, and hard work! c) and really really hear me on this…dating is about YOU! The hard reality is that no one can tell you how to do this better than you can tell yourself. Advice is great, it’s fun, and it might help you try something you never did before, but do not ever let anyone (not even me) tell you how to do something that doesn’t feel like you! Challenge yourself, push yourself outside of your comfort zone, but please, stay true to that unique personal essence…we all love it so much!
And now…without further adieu (because seriously, I’ve take enough adieu to sustain a whole post! ha!) My Top 12 Rules for Successful Dating: I am making this a 3-part post, so rules 1-4 are here today. Rules 5-8 will be posted next week, and rules 9-12 will be posted on 12/12 (see what I did there? Don’t act like you’re not impressed.)
1) Not everyone deserves a shot, trust yourself and your gut.
This is always hard because I am a real champion for taking and giving chances. When I say “step out of your comfort zone” I mean that sometimes it can be so valuable and amazing to date in territories you’ve never considered. Not that into a certain kind of music? Say yes to that concert invite and see if you change your mind! Never been on a date with a tech-nerd, an accountant, a hippie? Why not give this one a shot!? One date does not mean marriage and you never know which guy/gal might turn out to be just your type.
However, if you’re feeling a little uncomfortable with someone’s comments after meeting them for a coffee? It might be time to make an exit. Is the girl you’ve been messaging on Twitter giving you a bad vibe? Maybe don’t invite her to your house-party! Met a guy on Twitter who wants you to meet him in his dark van and is asking you to come alone with no cellphone? Don’t go!
…I know, extreme example, but you get the idea! Bottom line: Not everyone deserves a second chance! This could mean a second date, or even a first! You are NOT (repeat) NOT desperate! You don’t need to compromise. & if someone has rubbed you the wrong way or left you feeling strange, you do not owe them more of your time if you do not want to give it. There are billions of people out there, walk away!
2) Sex on the 1st date (in most cases) is a HUGE mistake.
For every rule, there is exception. However, I am not talking about exceptions today. This is one of those areas where I know I might get some backlash, but please, hear me out! Sex is kind of a big deal WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A RELATIONSHIP! If you’re into hooking up right now, then go for it! But if you’re about to go on a date with someone you think you really like, if you’re about to see someone and you think it will really go somewhere, if you’re on date and feeling butterflies/seeing stars, resist the urge! Don’t do it.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: both men and women really like sex! (gasp) But stigmas are real. A guy who jumps into bed too soon is a player, not serious, or uncaring and a girl who does this is a slut (it sucks and it isn’t true most of the time, but it’s really how we think). In our modern world, hooking up with a hottie is a well-accepted and pretty sweet goal. But if you really like a guy or girl and want to see where it could lead, I urge you to wait…just a few weeks…and give yourselves a chance to develop intimacy. Fun fact? It takes about 3-5 weeks for humans (men and women) to form a minor personal bond. In those weeks, you’re cultivating knowledge about this person, getting to know his/her likes and quirks, and starting to care about them. Think of how much better the sex will be when you have an idea that this person might be invested. 3-5 weeks is short, but not too short. & It’s long enough to keep your image in tact, knowing where your relationship might be headed.
It’s also a good barometer for the person you’re seeing. If someone can’t wait for 3-5 weeks to get up in your undies then they might not be worth it, make sure you both want the same things. Taking it slow is really really worth the investment; don’t be afraid to take longer and don’t feel bad if you both cave in. Exceptions do happen, and that’s fine!
Challenge: Try it the next time you start something. Even if you only last a week longer than normal, see if there is any kind of difference that comes from taking it slow. What harm could it do? Eh?
3) Make them earn your devotion, your love is a gift, not a right.
Love, while pure and honest (blah blah) is a choice. We choose who we love and who we stay committed to. Relationships, however (especially in the early stages), are sometimes a game; a battle of wills. It is my firm and honest belief that when dating, we can never give someone 100% of everything we have. Laying our cards on the table is important (especially the older we get) but some cards we must play close to the chest. 100% of ourselves for someone else is a level of dedication best saved for the very very long term.
We also must protect our crazy! There will be another post on this in the future, but for now, please don’t go spilling out all of your insane love rantings and insecurities to your new bf/gf in the first month of dating! You must play safely and wisely. You must keep some stuff to yourself, for yourself. My rule of thumb? When you’re dating someone and you’re really feeling it, give them 65% of you…but hold onto that last 45% for a while. Dole it out here and there for as long as you two are together until you know it’s going to last (more than a year, maybe even more than 2). This bit (45%) will be there to help you heal if things don’t work out. It will remind you to spend time with your friends, call your mother to check in, and concentrate on school & work when you need to. It will help you ask for “me time” when you need it. It will remind you to speak your mind and tell you it’s okay to argue, challenge, or disagree. It will give you strength to walk away from someone who is hurting you.
45% is less than 1/2, but it’s so so worth it.
4) Be as available as you want (or don’t want) to be.
This rule sort of piggy backs off of rule #3, but speaks to a slightly separate issue. For this, I’d like to share a personal story:
In my previous very significant relationship, I dated a man who I spent the entire day texting. From the moment we started chatting and for almost 6 years after, we were always texting (I will come back to this behavior in a later rule, but the excessive texting isn’t really the point here, it’s the time). During that relationship, he never actually called me (maybe once or twice a year), cheated on me frequently (he lived about 1.5 hrs drive away), and sometimes would randomly show up at my place and interrupt my plans when he hadn’t bothered to make them with me. I would drop everything for him. Always respond to every message quickly (and then wait hours for a new one), and I alienated a lot of people in the process. I gave him everything I had. & it took me a long time to heal when he was gone. Pathetic? Eh, I was a different girl then…but once that relationship ended (for good, the 4th time) I promised myself that I wouldn’t be so quick to give another person so much of my time so soon. In subsequent relationships (including the one I am in now), sometimes I ignored a text or two. Sometimes, even when I had no plans, I said I was busy. And, as time went on, sometimes I said I was totally free, dropped all of the plans I had, got into a car at 10:30PM and drove from Sacramento to San Francisco just to “hang out” with my guy for a few hours and listen to music (and it was great) :-).
Basically, let this be up to you. Find your balance. Some people believe that making themselves available is the best way to go, and that’s fine if it works! Some believe making themselves very scarce is better, and that’s okay too (my current boyfriend was like this for months! ugh!). Being on both sides of the spectrum, I will always be a champion for balance and stability. Refer back to rule #3, is this excessive or minimal availability giving away more than 65% of yourself to someone too soon?
Relax, just be you. The right person will accept it, and let you come into your own.
& so concludes my first 4 of 12 rules. Check in next week when I go through parts 5-8 and, in the meantime, maybe do a test run on rules 1-4? Let me know how it goes! Feel free to comment below. Do you agree with these rules so far? Is there anything you’d add? Take away?
Until next week, Happy Holidays.
Carry on Wifeys 🙂 ❤