(image from Huffington Post UK: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/831990/images/o-DATING-AFTER-DIVORCE-facebook.jpg)
So it’s been percolating in my head for a long time now. And today I read yet another lament by a woman who appears to be 15 but is probably in her thirties, and honestly, I just can’t take it anymore. So here’s some straight talk, from me to people who just REALLY need some help with dating. And trust me sister (and brother), If I’M stepping in to help…you need it!
- No one owes you anything. You may be nice. You may be smart. You may have character and hold doors open for old ladies or cook brownies for charity. You may know how to treat a man/lady. But no one owes you a date. Tall women don’t owe you a chance if you’re short. Fit men don’t owe you a chance if you’re “curvy.” No one needs to be “thankful that a catch like you is interested.” It is no one else’s responsibility to get to know you and give you the benefit of the doubt. Them not being interested does not make them defective or shallow or dumb or any other negative adjective.
- There is no such thing as “ghosting” unless you are in a defined relationship. Not calling or texting you after 3 dates means…they aren’t interested and aren’t calling or texting anymore. Three dates are not a relationship. “We seemed to connect” is not a relationship. In the olden days before the internet, if someone did not call you anymore, you wondered, then got mad, then got hurt, then got over it. No one tracked a person down and demanded closure. Because we were not insane. The end. He/she went on 4 nice dates with you, you made out, and now they haven’t called/answered your 10 texts for a week? THAT is your answer. That’s life. Eat some Ben & Jerry’s and shake it off.
- Social media is not real life. A like on Facebook means…. wait for it…” I like that post/picture.” It does NOT mean “I am in love with you,” “I want to get back together,” or “I am cheating on you with the girl/guy in the photo.” And if you’ve had 5 dates and they haven’t changed their relationship status yet? So what. It’s a website where people document their meals and bathroom habits. Get some perspective.
- Speaking of real life, most people have one. They also tend to have jobs, school, families, friends, and chores. So if you text them at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and it takes them 2 hours to text back, it is because they are AT WORK, and their jobs do not include being at your beck and call. Back in prehistoric times, a boyfriend might call 3 times a week, less if it was long distance. None of us died.
- There are no such things as mixed signals. Someone who is interested is clearly interested. Smiling at you last week during class is not a signal. Laughing at the joke you told yesterday is not a signal. Sitting next to you when the group went for coffee is not a signal. ALL of the aforementioned happening consistently MIGHT be a signal. You won’t know until you suck it up and ask the person out – with your VOICE. For a specific date and time. Hint: “wanna hang out sometime” is not a specific date and time. And if she says yes and then after one date doesn’t reciprocate, she didn’t lead you on. She spent some time with you and decided you weren’t compatible. End of story.
- Assume people mean what they say unless you know for a fact it is not the case. “He said he wasn’t looking for a relationship, but he still talks to me after class. What is he thinking?” No one knows. Take him at his word and stop trying to mind read.
- People change their minds and hearts. You dated for 6 months, and then they just broke up. It hurts. It’s painful, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to you. It happens. All the time. You don’t get to negotiate with them, and their reasons don’t have to make sense to you. Don’t be a stalker, and don’t assignate them. Just because someone breaks up with you does not mean they have a personality disorder. It also doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Sometimes things don’t work out.
- And speaking of personality disorders, unless you have a degree and are THEIR psychologist, stop with the armchair diagnosis. Enough said.
- We live in the society we live in. For whatever reason, women are most often the pursued, and men are most often the pursuers. There are exceptions, but those exceptions are not the norm. Whining about it is like whining that the grass is green. Work within reality and stop complaining. No one wants to date a complainer. On a related note, if you tend to hate all men/women, please don’t date one.
- Unless you are 15, the person you date has probably dated someone else before you. Maybe several. Maybe many. You don’t get to whine about what happened before you even met them. Either deal with it with maturity or acceptance, or set them free. However, if you want a virgin who is pure as the driven snow…you better be one yourself. Or you’re a hypocrite.
- If you break up and get back together 6 months later, the date he/she had during your breakup is not cheating. Period. If you can’t handle it, don’t ask, or don’t get back together.
- A relationship is not math. If you plan to go into it armed with a calculator and a scoreboard, don’t expect to have much success. Guess what, in a real relationship, you might give more sometimes. They might give more sometimes. If you have to balance the scales at all times, then stick to equations and/or video games. And speaking of video games, they do not sell dating “cheats” at Gamestop. There is no formula that will guarantee he/she will be interested. Stop trying to discover one and take the risk like the rest of us.
- If your taking all the risk and reaping no reward, unless you are hitting on clones, the common denominator is you. Instead of blaming an entire gender, improve yourself. And be honest.
- Speaking of honesty, it is important. If you are a size 16, and you take all your selfies from above to hide it, then don’t be surprised when your date is unpleasantly surprised. The problem isn’t his shallowness; it’s your deception. If in doubt, refer to tip #1. No one is required to date you. If you want a stereotypical 9 and you are a stereotypical 4, adjust your expectations or improve yourself. BTW, I hate the whole number thing, but it gets the point across.
- Not all women like bad boys. Not all men love bitches. When you find yourself uttering those phrases, just know it is a jaded copout and refer to #13
So that’s it. Those are my tips. Take them or leave them, or complain about me to you DM. I’ll be fine.