On my last blog, I wrote about my sobriety experience. I touched a bit on my relationship with my fiancé, and a few people had mentioned they’d be interested in hearing more about that. My experience finding Jeremy was a bit unique. I hadn’t had a serious boyfriend in a long while, and I hadn’t had a healthy relationship in much longer than that. For a while, I put the idea of a romantic relationship on the back burner while I focused on getting healthy and trying to figure out who I was. When I re-emerged, I decided I was going to do it my way. If it worked, fantastic! If not, that would be fine too.
I didn’t do anything revolutionary. In fact, I was doing the same things that mature people had been doing all along. What I realized was that I had gotten sucked into the trap of thinking there were certain rules I had to follow to date “successfully.” When I removed the alcohol and found some confidence, it was a whole lot easier to ditch these silly rules and find what I really, truly wanted.
Note to readers: Some of this might be common sense for you. I literally have no qualifications to give relationship advice except a whopping ONE successful relationship! Even so, over-sharers gonna share.
There is nothing wrong with going on a lot of dates.
When I decided I was really ready to find a relationship, I basically became a professional dater. I would get coffee after work with one guy and then grab dinner the next night with another. There’s nothing wrong with that. The more people you meet, the better you know what you’re looking for. If you’re serious about meeting someone special, increase your odds by simply meeting a lot of people!
One day as I was leaving work, a co-worker asked how I could possibly be going on another date. Ignore comments like that. Shop around!*
*Don’t sleep around.
Don’t waste your time or their time.
If you’re going to become a professional dater, it’s also crucial that you respect everyone’s time (and your own). This new trend of “ghosting” people is absolute B.S. If they ask you out for a second date and you felt zero sparks and saw no potential, tell them that politely. Don’t ignore them or humor them with a second date. Trust your instincts and be kind.
It’s important to mention that once you meet a great person, don’t go on any more dates. Come on, people. If you have a great first date, put your energy into seeing where that relationship will go. I know a lot of people like to keep their options open, but I’m a firm believer that you should give your all to a relationship you’re excited about.
Remember the rule of “F*ck yes or no.”
I’ve talked about this rule before, and I can confidently say it’s the ONLY concrete rule of dating I followed. Unless you’re so optimistic and giddy about your date that you want to yell, “F*ck yes,” then it’s a no. Don’t waste your time if you only feel lukewarm about someone. Conversely, don’t waste your time on anyone who clearly only feels lukewarm about you. You want a mutual “f*ck yes” while you’re dating.
Don’t act like someone you’re not.
Okay, we learned this in kindergarten. It’s a big cliché. But it’s also a lot easier said than done! When I was unsuccessfully dating, I wanted to be the chill, easygoing girl that guys fall in love with in the movies. I thought if I could drink beer and never get jealous, I’d be a catch. If you’ve ever met me, you also know that’s NOT ME. I’m quirky and I’m spastic and I have big emotions. I can be sensitive and I do have expectations for a partner. Own your personality. The longer you try to be someone you’re not, the longer it’s going to take to determine if you’re actually a good fit with someone. You can’t pretend forever. Speed up the process and just be your damn self.
Take rejection as a blessing in disguise.
If someone isn’t into you, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Thank them. Their rejection frees you up to meet someone who is as crazy about you as you are about them. I love that quote, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” Move along! You are one step closer to finding the right person.
Put your cards on the table.
This goes along with #4. Say what you’re feeling. Here’s a little story. I went out with one guy who was pretty cool. Right off the bat, he said he was interested in finding a fun girl to spend time with, nothing serious. Then he asked me what I was looking for. I responded, “Oh, I’m definitely looking for a boyfriend.” A couple of years ago, I would’ve answered, “Casual? Yeah, that’s me! Super chill, no expectations, that’s totally me.” Ha! No way. We knew right away that we were on different pages, and it saved us a lot of time (and it saved ME a lot of hurt feelings).
On that same note… I was crazy about Jeremy the moment I met him, and he knew it. 🙂
Be the kind of person you’re looking for.
This was a huge epiphany for me. I wanted a guy who was honest, loyal, hardworking, and kind. How on Earth could I expect that from a partner unless I was also honest, loyal, hardworking, and kind? Whatever you’re looking for, be that. When you know that you’re bringing the best possible version of yourself to the table, you can expect others to do the same. Plus, it’ll help you remember exactly what you deserve.
So… that’s it. I told you that it wouldn’t be anything groundbreaking! However, it can be so hard to remember these things in a generation where everyone seems to always be looking for the next best thing, and “seeing someone” seems to be a game of who can pretend to care less. By knowing who you are, understanding what you deserve, and being brave enough to stand by both of those things… you’ll be golden.