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I know that I hit the love jackpot with my husband, Tom. He is seriously perfect, and I often joke with him asking how I got so lucky. But, honestly, luck was only part of the equation. Most of it was intentional. Yes, there was a little bit of right place, right time in the mix. And, I won’t deny that. But, when I get asked by friends how I landed the perfect man, there is some science behind it. So, let’s look at some practical dating advice.
Dating Advice for the 21st Century
Put Yourself Out There
I know that your grandparent’s love story is touching and you want one just like it. I love my grandparent’s and my parent’s love story. My grandparents met during WWII, he was an Army officer, and she was a volunteer. When he asked her out his Northeastern Maine accent was so heavy that my grandma just smiled and nodded, not actually knowing what he had asked her. And, the rest is history. Cutest meet cute ever! How has there not been a movie made about them?
Everyone loves a good love story! And, I understand it’s normal to want one that is like a fairy tale. But, that is no reason not to put yourself out there. Things like dating apps may not seem romantic, but what is really tragic is not having a love story at all because you weren’t willing to go where eligible people you may be interested in are.
Before I continue on this one, if you are ever uncomfortable say no. I am never, ever saying that you should ever do anything that you truly don’t want to do. Always listen to your gut. I almost didn’t include this bullet point, because I don’t want it taken the wrong way. But I think it’s an important for people who are actually looking for love, so I’m keeping it.
In middle school dance class there was a rule, if someone asked you to dance, you said yes. And, I think that should go for dating too. If someone asks you out, say yes. Now, again, if you really don’t want to say yes to someone then don’t. Say no! I am not saying you should put yourself in a bad situation. You should never feel uncomfortable. I am saying that sometimes the love of your life could be right in front of you, and you not even notice. I am talking about the guy who works in finance on the 12th floor who is nice, cute and makes you laugh but is totally dorky. Just try it out for one date. And, if after that you’re not feeling it, then don’t ghost the person, be polite and straight forward, and say that you just don’t see any romantic connection. If you don’t give someone a chance, you will never know. My guess is that you will end up seeing someone who you weren’t sure was your “type” in a new light and if nothing else have a fun or interesting experience. You can’t find love though if you turn down every date.
This might seem counter to the above point but I don’t think so at all. You may not know if someone is a good match for you or not before you go out with them. If you give them a chance and turns out this guy is really cute, and oh so nice, but dumber than a box of rocks, move on! I will repeat, move on. Do not continue to date someone who isn’t up to your standards because you are worried about being alone. Being alone is better than suffering through life with someone you settled for. It will cause resentment on both sides with enough time. Next thing you know you’ll wake up, it’s 5 years later, and you have wasted years of your life on someone who wasn’t worth you, and a relationship that you probably knew in the beginning wasn’t going to work out.
Know Your Deal Breakers
To know what isn’t worth it to you, you need to figure out what your deal breakers are. And, stick to them. These shouldn’t be superficial. They should be real things that actually matter. If family is the number one most important thing to you, then someone who is a workaholic and doesn’t value family time probably isn’t your ideal match. Know your deal breakers. I am going to put one on your list for you, they are married or in another relationship. Deal breaker. You do not want to be the other woman. If he does it with you, he will do it to you, and that is not the kind of man you want to build a life with. Not to mention girls stick together!
Sometimes deal breakers don’t make themselves known right away, you could invest years into a relationship before your deal breaker rears its ugly head. But, be prepared to walk away. Never lose that ability to walk away and get yourself out of a bad situation. Cheating is a big one that may not show itself right away. If that is a deal breaker for you, and in a monogamous, healthy, mature relationship, it should be, walk away. He may promise it will stop, but I have watched women stay with a cheater and be lied to and cheated on time and time again for decades. Don’t let that be your life. Respect yourself because he does not respect you, and move on.
Cut Him Some Slack
I want you to repeat after me, no one is perfect. Well, except for Tom. Tom is perfect. But, other than him, no one is perfect! And, my guess is, neither are you. I know I’m far from it! So, after you define your deal breakers, if something isn’t on that list, cut the other person some slack. Maybe they are always late. For some people, that might be a deal breaker, but it also might be because he is creative, his mind is working a million miles per second, and he gets caught up in beautiful moments. If you love his creativity, then maybe he gets some slack on how it presents itself to the world, aka being late. Or if he is diligent, dependable and thorough, but that also means he researches everything to death, try looking at the positive of the amazing vacation he will plan, or the retirement plan you will get to enjoy in your later years. Don’t focus on someone’s flaws, they might not be flaws at all.
What dating advice would you add?
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My best advice is to never give up and when you least expect it, sometimes that’s when it appears.
I also have advice for married couples & married couples with kids: Still go on dates! Maybe it wont be as often as before but its extremely important to focus on you guys too. Dont be afraid to pay for a babysitter once a month (esp if you dont have family in town that can help for free) and splurge on yourselves. I know too many ppl who refuse to do that and their relationships are failing. They tell me we only can because we are kidless-nope! Those that want to make it happen, end of story!
I think I would add to keep in mind that people do change over time, but not that much. If there is something you don’t like about the person you are dating but you think you can “fix” him or her, you are bound to be disappointed. My husband and I have been together for almost 13 years and we are definitely different than when we started dating, but he still loses his keys a billion times a week and I still complain about the same problems I complained about 7 years ago! Neither of us has been able to fix the other’s problems yet.
Love this!! Especially the give everyone a chance. I think we’re so hung up on our list of what our guy should look like/be like, that we are letting a lot of amazing guys pass us by! How did you and Tom meet?