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When it came to dating, I was always supersupersuper picky. As in, if I didn’t think we’d end up riding off into the metaphorical sunset on a metaphorical white horse, labels weren’t going to happen. Once college hit, I found myself in the wonderfully sweet relationship in which I currently find bliss.
I had some not-so-storybook romances to muddle through throughout my past dating life. (It happens to basically all of us, right?) But, I held myself to a couple of “rules” to ensure that my happiness, sanity, and focus were always maintained to the umpteenth degree. And I’d like to think that they worked. Major props to Mom for instilling many (ok, most) of these puppies within my love brain.
These are a “Dear Self…” sortof collection.
- If you don’t see it going somewhere long term, end it. Stupid for high schoolers, right? Because how many people are lucky enough to find their “one” at age 15? But everyone still holds on to ideals with people who just aren’t their ideals. Don’t wait around for people to change. Ain’t nobody got time for dat, and you have a whole heckofalotta living to do in the meantime.
- If the guy doesn’t think you’re “cool enough,” then we’re not going to get past the second date. If the guy thinks you’re anything “too much” or “too less,” actually, you might as well say sayonara now. “Too smart” doesn’t actually mean you have too much intelligence. It just means it’s not the right guy. “Too ambitious” simply means the dude isn’t dreaming big enough for the two of you. “Too many shoes” means you should run now (in the cutest wedge booties you own), because you cannot marry someone who is not OK with a closet expansion or the occasional shoe haul.
- Being turned off by your laugh. Dude. I squeak and sometimes snort and roll around on the couch and double over and can’t really control it. If the guy can’t embrace your little quirks, he probably won’t embrace your bigger quirks, and that won’t be ok. And besides, better to be laughing than crying, right?
- If you’re not comfortable with how something is progressing physically, it’s probably time to stop. (Going with the whole “fairytale loviness,” a kiss does not turn every frog into your Prince). Physical things can come later when you’re with someone who you really trust and love. Like, really trust and love. Something that you probably, realistically speaking, don’t actually have when you’re 16 and “in love.” Waiting is ok. It’s not a weakness. It’s a strength. It’s your wild card. And it’s ok.
- You need to be whole before you can find your other half. Embrace the single life. (Ironic in “Rules for Dating,” right?) If you’d be better off single than in this relationship, don’t get in the relationship in the first place. Focus on you. Focus on all of the things you’d do if you had 36 hours in a day and Beyonce’s confidence level. Focus on getting to know other people as friends – who they are as people, what makes their braingears turn and their blood boil – without thinking of how good of a kisser they are or if they could secretly be theone. Be completely, wholeheartedly, unabashedly content with the awesome human being that you are.
Added pluses were if the guy had a wickedly witty sense of humor and enthusiastically tolerated my obsession with musical theater.
I’d like to think that my rules worked out quite fabulously thus far.
What are your gotta-have-it and no-way-José moments in dating? Shareeee themmmmm withhhhh meeeee! Because I’d love to hear from you.