Thirteen Things About Dating & Relationships
1 Meeting people is hard. Come on people, unless you are a hermit and not on the internet, you meet people every single day. So stop whining that meeting people is hard when the fact is you’re not making the effort. In fact, if you can’t make the effort to meet people you’re just not ready to be in a relationship; keeping a relationship alive and working takes more effort than finding Mr. or Ms. Right.
2 There’s such a thing as “dating fatigue”. Bah. You’re not tired of dating; you’re just tired in general or too lazy to smile, practice good hygiene, make any effort at all. True, you should not date when you are a sleepy-slacker-dating-putz; but don’t blame it on ‘them’. It really is you, darling.
3 Never make yourself “too” available. The game of playing hard-to-get only entices other game players & puts off sincere people. While it’s true you shouldn’t stalk (it’s illegal) or pant like a puppy at the object of your affection’s heels, the fact is that you should make the time to meet & get to know interesting people — if you are a fascinating woman, interested in many things with activities & plans to prove it, your schedule will make arranging dates difficult enough as it is.
4 Compromising means giving up what you like. Compromising is like trading; you both give and take. As a general rule you should never ever give up what you like to do, be it attending book club, dancing with the girls — or in bed. How can he or she be The One, add to your happiness, when you are giving up something which is vital to your happiness and who you are?
5 Work out in advance where you are likely to meet people. This is like stalking — only you have no clue who you will be stalking. What I believe (and hope!) people who advise this really mean is that you should follow your interests and passions by attending events related to them — where you will naturally meet people with similar interests. For example, you like art history? Attend local university galleries, lectures and book store events. Immersed in what you are interested in, you’re more likely to meet people — friends (who know other people), potential dates, and, sure a few. (Talking with people will help you separate the posers from those really interested.) This is called living your life, finding your bliss, and meeting new people along the way. Even if you’re dating online you need something to put in the profile, right?
6 It’s more difficult for shy people to find dates. It may be a bit more true for the shy males (more on that later), but really, after the first hour or so, even the most fascinating, scintillating bar-fly will find that her groupies have dispersed, the men not ‘in like Flynn’ off circulating. (And the wise woman who receives all that attention from the start also knows she has to chase off a few of those with the biggest swagger in order to view those at the fringe or sitting elsewhere.) You don’t need to be a loud-attention-seeking-missile of an extrovert to get attention.
7 Date in your own league. The experts will say to choose only those ‘targets’ that you have a good chance of dating and couch it with kindness saying, “Don’t aim low; but do aim realistically.” Jeebuz that bugs the crap outta me. Who the hell’s to say what dating league you belong to? Are we to be superficial ninnies who decide that “money” makes for a “better” “dating league” than kindness? Do “big boobs” put you closer to that league? Forget all this crap and just do what you want to do — literally. Like yachts? Get one and go yachting. Ditto horses, fancy cars, art, rare historical manuscripts, etc. Don’t worry if you can’t afford it; there are clubs, groups, lessons, lectures, and other events where you can learn without owning. And should you prefer bowling, darts, beer or whatever it is that you feel is more ‘lowbrow’ and join the leagues, groups, bars etc. which offer those things; rich folks & those with big boobs like those things too. Let your interests dictate your activities — and who you meet; not some silly “dating league” hierarchy.
8 Get a new look, new clothes. While such things can be a pick-me-up for a foul or depressed mood, the truth is a new look can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. Maybe you’re not used to those itchy bangs, eating with red lipstick on… Maybe the shorter skirt length makes you nervous perching on that bar stool, the top which requires a new bra makes you fidget with the straps… Maybe you’ll discover on your date that you’re allergic to whatever it is those new earrings are made of. Ick! Wear only the clothes you are comfortable — and attractive — in. I wouldn’t suggest wearing those old sweat pants you lounge on the sofa in, but wear what makes you feel confident. If and when you update your look, give yourself plenty of time to get used to it before going out in it.
9 Join a gym; begin a health & diet regime to look your best. You should be doing this stuff for you — not dating. Your health matters period. But if you’re not interested in being fit (or being that fit), don’t pose. No one wants to date the super-fit-hot-bod only to find that after months of dating she’s “let herself go.” (See #4 too.)
These last four have to do with politeness v. stupidity. Sure, you want to be polite, considerate, but not to the point of stupidity. Of course, you also don’t want to look like a needy neurotic either.
10 Should you ask your date if they had a good time? No. That’s a sign of a needy neurotic. Wait for him or her to call, ask you out again — or not. There’s your answer. You can & should offer your own, “I had a great time!” — but only if it’s sincere and you are not looking for a response back. (And even if they respond with a “me too” remember, they may just have been being polite; so wait for that call before you believe it.)
11 Should you try to please your date? Well, you certainly shouldn’t be rude! But don’t be a people-pleasing-puppy at their feet either. You don’t have to agree with all their opinions, do what they want on every date. Dates are to help you both determine if you’re a good match. Pretending to be interested in something you’re not, or posing as someone you are not helps no one. (See #4)
12 Should you talk about your baggage? Your ex? Your children? There’s a fine line here between informing someone of the realities of the situation and being an annoying boring record with the needle stuck. As a general rule, talk of any baggage should only be limited to relative conversation (i.e. you are asked) or a need-to-know basis. The latter category consists of things such as you are an alcoholic and you’ve been asked to go to a bar or winery. It also includes things like that you have a psycho ex who follows you about or had friends monitor you — and you’re sure it’s happening right now. (Better to tell your date than to spend it in private angry conversation with some dude by the door, or have to dash without explanation.) When it comes to kids many moms want to shield the children from their dating — which is a good idea until you have a serious relationship. But the people you are dating have a right to know and, yes, the right to refuse dating you because you have children. (Save everyone the long nights crying into the phone &/or pillows and state it up front.) Just remember: Baggage may be something you take with you everywhere; but it doesn’t need to be opened & the contents spilled out everywhere.
13 Should you answer your phone, check messages on your PDA/Blackberry/etc? It’s always a good idea to shut such devices off. Dealing with others on a date, be it flirting with the bartender or talking with your sister, is bad form. If you need to check for messages (boss, babysitter, etc.), do it during a short trip to the restroom — and keep it quick!
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