It’s funny how things can make you numb. It’s kind of frustrating. I mean, there are things that I call my best girls about because I know I should be feeling something more. So I question more than I should, and I make smaller things into bigger things because I don’t know how to feel sometimes. Aside from an initial attraction to someone I can’t connect romantically when the moments are right. (Not that I am supposed to right now.) I guess I am saying, even though I have sworn off relationships for a year, I still want to feel feelings toward someone so that I can execute will power in saying, “In a year, we can do this.” Things that used to sweep me off my feet all of a sudden don’t. Either I am getting unabashedly less romantic, putting walls up for the better so I don’t fall so hard and get hurt again, or I am losing hope that love actually exists. Not to be depressing, I just don’t see it much anymore. Of course maybe I never understood what love really is in the first place. Divorce rates are probably higher than they have ever been. Affairs are all to common. What’s happening? Well, I can’t answer that, but I can tell you some tips I have learned from my past
relationships disasters. And these apply for both men and women.
- First and foremost, follow your gut. It’s not just gas from dinner last night. That weird feeling that makes you concerned is not butterflies in your stomach. You know what butterflies feel like. You know the difference, yet you make excuses and justify the bad behavior of a first date or lack of dates. If you have any bit of doubt, don’t continue. There are so many people out there. Don’t stay with someone who makes you feel like you have gas.
- Secondly, women, don’t be with a man who can’t take you out on a date. And guys, if she’s not worth a date then she’s not worth a relationship. Dates are not over rated. They are old-fashioned, romantic, and necessary. Yet somehow, asking a woman where she wants to eat and paying for it is considered a date these days. Surprise us! Take us out and make us feel special. Don’t make us plan it. Women, let the guys do this. Don’t get all controlling about it. Let them romance you, as they should. I’ve been guilty of fighting off the romance and I regret it. Don’t be prideful. I’ve also been guilty of letting guys think that coming over to watch a movie is a first date. I’m sorry, if you aren’t picking me up at my house and taking me out somewhere, it’s not a date. We ALL give up on pursuing and desiring each other. We put ourselves on a couch making out before we’ve even awkwardly held hands at a movie theater. We are TOO comfortable.
- Pay attention to the relationships with family. If a person cannot honestly find something good about their parents, they are not ready for a relationship. I know not all parents are as great as mine 🙂 (love you mom). I know some dads are abusive and moms are hateful, but there is ALWAYS something to be learned in bad relationships. With parents and family, make sure the person you are interested in can say something nice about their family. Pay attention to how often they talk. What do they talk about? Heed negative jabs as warnings. You know when someone is joking and when they are not. I received so many warnings that I ignored and shrugged off as jokes.
- On the same note, make sure their own family actually likes them. Believe it or not, I have dated more than enough people whose families can’t stand them. THAT’S A REALLY BAD SIGN!!
- In the same way that a person should be able to find good things about bad family relationships, so it goes with past romantic relationships. When relationships end, a person should grow. I feel like I have grown and am continuing to grow. If a person can’t look back to someone they loved and remember why, then there are still feelings there that shouldn’t be. Hatred toward a person is a very strong emotion. It means there is still pain there. It means things have not been let go. If they haven’t let go of someone, they can’t hold on to you. DON’T JUSTIFY THIS! If they haven’t moved on, they don’t have time for you, and you don’t deserve that.
- Make sure they have friends. Good friends. Make sure they hang out with their friends. Someone who has to see you everyday is not healthy. They are not well with their own being. They should want to see you, but they should have friends that are just as important. They should want you meet their friends. And by gosh, they should want to meet yours. The whole “your friends, not mine” argument is invalid and usually means they are hiding something. If they are genuinely interested in you, they will genuinely be interested in your friends.
- Don’t date someone with kids if you aren’t ready. If the other parent is still alive, you are in for it. Don’t let them tell you otherwise, there will ALWAYS be another woman or guy in the relationship. If you can’t handle that (and I clearly couldn’t at the time) DO NOT do it. Don’t think it’s gonna work because you have “such a romantic connection blah blah blah.” It won’t. Refer back two bullet points. If it’s gonna work, you should never have to see the ex early on in a relationship. You shouldn’t even meet the kids for 6 months. Be strong about that. Honestly, you shouldn’t have to be strong about that. The parent should be strong enough for the both of you.
- Pay attention to what your interest does in their free time. If they can’t bring something to the conversation, they aren’t worth your time. They should have hobbies more than just video games. Nothing is more disgusting than someone who lays around all day long, all the time. Granted, there are days allowed for vegging out. When someone literally means “nothing” when you ask what they did that day, it’s a BAD SIGN! And pay attention to how they eat and take care of their body. You will adapt those habits.
- Manners are not overrated. Much like dating. Pay attention to manners. Guys should be opening doors. Girls should be classy.
- If you talk about faith, ask them why. Find out more than if they just believe in something. Ask why.
- Ask the tough questions. If they say something odd, dig deeper. Don’t shrug it off. Deal with it then and there. If you feel they are lying, they probably are.
- Lastly and most importantly, KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!! Be confident in who you are, what you want, what you believe. Don’t be shy to walk away from the weirdos that line up at the door. Surround yourself with people who make you better.
(For my readers, I have a project for you. I want you to comment lessons you have learned. I will add them to a separate post later.)
Here’s to avoiding past mistakes and always growing.