I have a different philosophy when it comes to dating and relationships. I’m not looking for “the one” because I believe there is value and lessons to be learned from each relationship in whatever capacity for however long it lasts. Admittedly, this line of thinking does get me into trouble at times. I tend to be a very passionate person, I don’t hold back as society typically expects of us. I share my feelings when I feel them, I don’t wait for the “right” time. This is something we’re taught never to do, because we believe we give up our power when we’re honest about our feelings, but what if there is power in honesty? What if there is a power in being completely authentic no matter how messy?
The right man will recognize and validate your feelings, no matter the circumstances. He will see you, not what you’re going through. He will value your emotions and your perspective. If he doesn’t, move on. Maybe you’re not ready or maybe he isn’t, but if he cannot value you now, when things are fresh and exciting, when you’re the most attractive to him, he will never value you.
It’s with this in mind that I share the realness of dating I’ve learned over the past year, from a women’s perspective in an age of dating when things are vague, confusing and more often than not, lies. Lies to each other and lies to ourselves.
So, let’s get real about the commandments of dating as a single women in this day and age.
1.) Don’t take it to heart:
Men say lots of things, the motives vary. Sometimes, they mean what they say in the moment and tomorrow their emotional state completely changes. Sometimes, they just want to get you into bed. The point is, it ain’t real until it’s real. Don’t take pillow talk too seriously.
2.) Online Dating = Boredom:
So, you’re talking to this guy you vibe really well with online. Things are progressing and suddenly, poof, they ghost out on you. Don’t take it personally. Most men are just passing the time on these dating apps. Don’t get me wrong, there are exceptions to the rule, but they are few and far between.
3.) You’re Crazy, But For Good Reason:
Dating is an emotional roller coaster and men don’t make it any easier by sending mixed messages and giving false impressions. Trust your intuition. You may be made to feel like your feelings are not valid or that you’re reading into things, but ultimately, if something feels off, it probably is.
4.) Hearing Is Not Listening:
People will tell you who they are if you listen. The problem is, we tend to hear them and not listen. They tell us how they’ve treated and interacted with other women in the past, we shouldn’t expect to be different. We tell ourselves that WE are special and WE will be different, but the truth is, he is telling you what to expect. Believe him.
5.) Ghosting = Emotional Immaturity
No one likes an open ended ending. We want answers. We want to know where things went wrong and how we can do them differently. We blame ourselves for others not having the emotional maturity to simply state the facts. A txt will do fine, but if a guy completely disappears on you, write him off. It’s not about you. If a man cannot have the emotional maturity to end things like an adult, that’s on him. Equally important, if you do not have the emotional maturity to end things (even if it was only one date) you may have some soul searching to do. I don’t care what is socially acceptable these days, this is just plane common curtesy.
6.) Accept When It’s Over
Often times, we have an amazing connection with someone and we want so badly to believe that this means something. It does to a certain extent, it’s an opportunity for growth. However, if he’s not chasing you, if there is zero effort being put forth, it’s over, move on. Don’t dwell on what you could have done different or how to make him want you. You’re worth more than that, cut your losses, learn your lessons and get the hell out. Nothing is worse than when we put ourselves through emotional turmoil over someone who is already detached.
7) Great First Dates Mean Nothing:
You went out, you had an amazing time, you think this is going to be great. Then you never hear from him again or he skirts making new plans, let it go. I’m sure you both had an amazing time, but either he isn’t that interested or he is too busy playing the field to make you a priority. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Cut him loose.
8.) Sex Is Negotiable Emotionally:
Ok, we all know that (many) women become more emotional when sex is involved. So, we take on the responsibility of whitholding sex until we feel like there is a legitamate connection. Frankly, that is a crappy obligation to have, but it does protect our emotional state within the realtionship. I don’t totally disagree with this. However, I will say that I’ve also known many happy couples who had sex on the first date. I think it’s important for women to embrace their sexuality and have sex when they feel they want to. Not according to some timeline that society says we have to adhere to. However, be prepared to deal with the outcomes if you’re sleeping with someone who doesn’t value you beyond sex. We cannot expect for men to treat us differently simply because we entered into this physical realm, men have all kinds of views on sex. If it’s important to you, have the discussion beforehand. Know what you’re getting in bed with, literally. Keep in mind how he has treated sex in the past. Does he have a lot of “sex buddies” or women he’s still trying to sleep with beyond you? Just be prepared to potentially be added to this list. You are special, so act like it. Do what you want and own it.
9.) Excuses Be Gone:
He’s too busy for a date. You don’t hear from him for days. Your interactions are lacking true connection. He only sees you for sex. Red flags ladies. Bottom line, if he values you, he will make time. He will be interested in seeing you, talking to you regularly, getting to know you. If you only hear from him when he wants something (sex, a date, bored conversation) he is not chasing you.
If he’s not chasing you, you better run.
10.) Know Thyself:
To be honest, I struggle with this. Each relationship or date is another chance to get to know ourselves a little better, but the trick is to notice how you’re reacting to situations emotionally. You have to ask yourself where it’s coming from. Is it intuition? Is it past trauma you haven’t dealt with? Everyone brings their own shit to the table, know your shit, deal with it and make sure he has too. Otherwise, you’ll just continue the cycle.
It’s not all fire and brimstone out there girls, there are plenty of amazing men, but we have to get real about things. We have to take back control and see things how they really are. If a man isn’t showing you that he recognizes your value or if you feel yourself compromising yourself, you’ve learned all you need to learn from this person. Take those lessons and hit the road. There a million men in this world, find one who treats you the way you deserve to be treated. Don’t settle for games. There are lessons to be learned in every date, boyfriend and even marriage. The key is to recognize when you’ve learned all you need, takes notes, grow and then seek out your next lesson. It’s a beautiful process, which is only helping us to know ourselves better, if we let it.