A fellow blogger and I got together and threw this one together over a week or so.
1. You don’t need a girlfriend to be happy. In fact, if you believe this to be the case, you aren’t ready for a dating relationship, my dear friend. Your girlfriend, if and when you find someone willing to deal with who you are, should never be who completes you, but someone who adds to you. She should be complementary, not necessary. Living without that person, breaking up with them, or them leaving you should definitely make you upset or sad to think imagine or experience. At the end of the day, though, you will survive, and you must allow happiness to ensue with or without. If you can’t make yourself happy, how do you expect to make another person happy?
2. Nice guys don’t finish last. Losers finish last. Don’t be a loser. The fact of the matter is that you can deliver the flowers, take her to her favorite restaurant, be there for her when she’s devastated or ecstatic, and be the best man for her a woman could ever want, and she could still find a reason to break it off. You can be her best friend always searching for the right timing to make a move and try to elevate your friendship to the next level and then you’re friend-zoned (and now a moment of silence to our fallen brothers that have been plopped there). It’s not because you’re too nice or not nice enough. It is because she isn’t the right one for you. Don’t ever buy into the idea that nice guys don’t ever get the girl. Just be patient, hold tight, and, well, hurry up and wait. Because one day, a girl is going to walk into that coffee shop you spend so much time reading your books and jamming out to Ed Sheeran at. And that woman is going to make you see why it never worked with that one girl you did everything for, that one girl you had who left you, and that other girl who was your best friend that didn’t want to ruin the friendship by dating. Don’t even worry about finishing or winning or whatever it is guys go on about… just focus on you, bettering you, and making yourself the best man you can be for this mystical coffee shop girl you’ll possibly eventually meet.
3. Don’t be hypocritical about appearances. I absolutely have to include this one. I’ve heard it too many times, and I’m not necessarily ashamed to admit I used to feel this way: ”I’m ugly but I’m a really smart and nice guy. Pretty girls don’t like me. Why can’t I date a pretty girl?” And my up-to-date response to that is it’s because you’re not good looking, duh. Just kidding. Seriously though, this is terribly backwards. You don’t think you’re a good looking person, but you only want to date good looking girls? If you want to only date pretty girls, and you’re aware of your flaws when it comes to your appearance, I’d say you need to reassess what you value in a possible partner. Would you date a girl you deem less attractive? Hmmm. If you honestly believe that true beauty lies within, then accept the fact that it also isn’t a one way street. And get your head out of your butt.
4. She isn’t perfect. And neither are you. (Or rather, she won’t be perfect, and you still aren’t, in case you’re single, which, by the way, isn’t a bad thing.) If you think you’re flawless, you can eat that idea, digest it, defecate that, then eat it again. Don’t be surprised when you wake up next to her and she has morning breath. Guess what? Yours probably smells worse. This is when what most call the “honeymoon phase” ends, because you become more aware of the other’s flaws. She’s obsessed with a genre of music you can’t stand. She doesn’t shave her armpits. She is really naggy and complains about how messy you are. Maybe the biggest risk in dating is allowing someone to see the worst parts of you and they still say, “Oh, how lovely,” and choose to accept you for all you are. I suppose I’m just giving you a warning about something you’re probably already well aware of. Regardless, far too many of us are surprised or caught off guard when the imperfections start rolling out. A person is a combination of both their pluses and minuses. That’s what makes that said person beautiful, exquisite, and so intricate.
5. And to close, some dating destination tips. Don’t ask her to pick the restaurant. The feelings derived from this peculiar situation is equivalent to trying to watch a YouTube video on dial-up. I’d suggest either eating something prior to seeing her, so it’s not an issue, or planning ahead and not spontaneously deciding to go eat food. Seriously. This problem has ruined relationships. Take her to see a movie she wants to see. Okay, so the chances that you’ll find a girl that enjoys a good thriller or action movie are slim. That’s not a sexist thing. If you’re a girl and if you’ll sit through Black Hawk Down and the Manchurian Candidate, more power to ya (and where have you been all my life?). There is nothing wrong with a guy enjoying a good chick flick. The Fault in our Stars was good. I even read the book, which was better. Even if you hate that nonsense, it’ll prove to her you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone to make her happy or to make her more comfortable. And hey, maybe that would convince her to see the new Star Wars movie when it comes out at the end of this year.
1. You don’t need a boyfriend, girlfriend, or anyone to make you happy. Like my co-author expressed above, you don’t need a partner to make you happy, and he’s absolutely right. If you think you need someone else to make you happy, then you aren’t ready for anything remotely serious. One of the hardest pills to swallow is that you need to love yourself before you love anyone else. This statement gets many eye rolls, but it’s something I’ve found to be true. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, and if you can’t appreciate who you are, then what makes you think anyone else is going to do that for you? The problem is, when you rely on a significant other, or anyone else, to make you happy, you’re stuck with a huge question mark about who you are over your head. The source of your happiness is gone, so you’re left confused, sad, and unfulfilled. Who wants to feel like that? Not me. Be your own hero.
2. If you’re not having fun while dating, something isn’t being done right. My whole policy on dating is this: if you’re not having fun going on dates or seeing someone, then something isn’t being done right. Dating is meant to be fun.Whether you’re trying to audition potential life partners or you’re going on dates to figure out what you like or what’s out there, if you’re not having fun or enjoying yourself, there’s got to be something else going on. Figure out what you want, or reevaluate some of your dating choices. I have no shame in admitting that I was not having a good time dating at one point. It took some serious self-evaluation to figure out why, but it was definitely time well-spent.
3. It’s okay to be selfish. Don’t stop reading, hear me out. This is the most important piece of advice I give anyone when they’re out there, trying to figure out what they want in any aspect of their life. It’s okay to be selfish when you’re looking for what you want. How else are you going to find what you want if you’re not thinking about it? Relationships are work, and there’s mutual respect and some sacrifice that needs to be done. But, before you can give something you’re all, you need to know what it is you want in return, and you have to think about it. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself if this is going to make you happy. That’s the whole point of finding someone, you need to be able to make each other happy, but you need to know what makes you happy first.
4. Falling Off the Face of the Planet Syndrome needs to be stopped. I have countless friends, both men and women, that fall off the face of the planet for months after they decide to exclusively date someone. Even worse, there are some that get into relationships and cut everyone off. The only thing they do is hang out with their significant other. Yes, I get there’s a honeymoon stage. No, I’m not saying I haven’t been guilty of this, too. It needs to stop, though. We’re your friends, we get it. You’re happy, and we’re happy that you’ve found someone that makes you this happy. Yet, when we don’t hear from you for weeks, or you bail on long term plans, it’s taking friendship and throwing it down the drain. You’re disrespecting the relationships you’ve had for one relationship with someone you’ve just included in your life. Don’t commit what Carrie Bradshaw called the “cardinal sin,” forsaking your girlfriends for your new boyfriend. Then, if a break up ensues, who are you going to have to lean on? The friends you bailed on, or haven’t texted for weeks? Many of them might not be that forgiving. From what I’ve learned, relationships are all about having a balance. Each person in the relationship needs their own life, with their own interests, friends, and so on. Then, you see how well you can create a life together, while still maintaining a sense of self. Remember, when (or if) that person bails, you’re going to need other things to fall back on, you know, like your own life?
5. This is your equal, not your Sugar Daddy or Mommy. Relationships are about balance. No one should have to pay for everything the entire time, or take the other person out constantly. I know that the old-fashioned rule is that the man should pay for everything, but it’s 2014, and those times are over. That mentality was built during at time where women didn’t work, or make much money on their own, where men were trumping top paying positions. There’s a new age of women working, and are inching closer (not fast or close enough yet, in my opinion), to making just as much, and in some cases, more than men. Just try and have mutual respect for each other, and not max out each other’s credit cards in the name of love. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend a bit on your honey, but don’t abuse it.