Who actually pinches themselves? It’s a saying we hear all the time. (Read in an old granny voice) “I just couldn’t believe it, I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming.” Nobody does that. Well if you win the mega-millions you might. Hell, if I won 1000 bucks I might. But no one really pinches themselves cause they actually believe they could be dreaming until you are that lucky girl. The one who spent years in singledom. The one who had dates end with a pint of ice cream and a bottle of Whiskey weekly. The one who’d been told, “It’s not you it’s me.”, “We just don’t click.”, “You seem nice but…” The one whose boyfriend dumps her in a taxi cab and then has break-up sex where he actually cums in her face. If you are that girl now I’m here to tell you DON’T GIVE UP HOPE. Cause one day you will be me, pinching yourself every morning when you wake up next to the kind of guy who’s got eyes like Ryan Gosling, the ambition of Richard Branson, the manners of English Royalty, and who loves you as much as you do him without any of the selfishness attached to those rocky relationships.
There is a CATCH here. While you don’t have to follow any rules when it comes to love it is helpful to be wise to the habits you’ve formed that may be preventing you from obtaining the love you deserve. Think of them as tips learned from being a real life Carrie Bradshaw both in the fast-paced world of NYC and the vapid world of the Hollywood scene.
Basically the CATCH is you have to use common sense and not be stupid.
Sounds so easy but we all know it’s so fucking hard. I was the guiltiest of them all for a time. When our emotions get wrapped up in loneliness, anxiety, and fear we find that the same standards we’d use in interviewing for a job or even forming lifelong friendships go out the door when we date. But why should we abandon this kind of common sense? Shouldn’t your love life be as important as your career? And don’t you want your partner to be your best friend?
Successful, smart, beautiful women all over the world find themselves single and becoming more and more disheartened by the little and big heartbreaks we encounter time and time again. I’m no love guru or life coach and I’m certainly no fucking therapist. I’m just a girl who fell back down into the trenches time and time again only to climb out, examine my life and realize, IT’S NOT HIM, IT’S ME! I’m the problem. I’m a smart girl and yet I was acting pretty fucking stupid.
I made a few adjustments and wouldn’t you know it with-in a year I said so long to the endless war I fought with myself while looking for love. And the answers weren’t found in a self-help book or on a blog it was found by being honest with myself and adjusting the way I lived my life and how I looked at the quest to find love. So without further ado here is the wisdom I wish to impart to you.
1- MAKE LOVE A PRIORITY ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO YOURSELF
Is love a priority? If not than don’t bother to continue reading this. If you can be happy being single the more power to you. And in the meantime every single girl should be just that, happy, you get all the fun with out all the baggage! BUT if you want to find love then make love a priority and most importantly with yourself. Stop self sabotaging. Do you get upset after dates where the guy treats you like crap? Hell yes. So stop going out on dates with guys who make you feel like less than you deserve simply because he’s cute or plays a guitar or drives a Bentley. Easier said then done you say? Then look at your lifestyle. Is your social calendar filled with more days spent being hungover then it is out in nature or in the gym or spending time with your family? If so then you’re likely putting yourself into positions that are not conducive to finding the “right” kind of man nor are you doing any good for your general well-being or health. I’m not saying to trade in all your nights out for yoga retreats. I’m saying try swamping a wine tasting night with spin class or a boozy brunch for a hike. Ask yourself do you want your love story to start by barely remembering him taking you home or do you want to remember your first date while on a picnic? For you it could be the opposite. Do you spend friday nights in the office or put spending time with your sisters kids over enjoying your life? If so get out there. Life is about balance the closer you are to finding it the happier you will be no matter what your current relationship status is.
For me it meant keeping the panties on amongst other things. Yup I went celibate for almost a year and then waited till at least five very substantial dates till I took them off. There is no magic number or steadfast rule here. But you’re likely to come out unscathed if you keep your dignity intact. Be 100% sure that the guy you’re dating has nothing but respect for you and then when he takes your panties off you know its worth it. And most likely you don’t gain respect in just one night or even two.
2- STOP DATING YOUR TYPE, IN FACT THROW TYPE OUT THE WINDOW
The truth is if your type was good for you then you wouldn’t be single. It’s like that Einstein quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” So if you only go for guys with beards try a bald one. If artists are your thing go for the banker. If you only like French guys meet a nice Southern Boy! Will you only date guys who’ve never been divorce? If so you’re missing out on some of the best catches (as long as they’re not bitter and have done their homework ie therapy). Bottom line is to be open to love in all shapes, sizes and forms. The one thing I’ve learned is that we often seek what we think we want and ignore what we need, especially emotionally. The truth is and say it with me, A Good Man is Every Girls Type!
This lesson also applies not just who we chose to date but HOW we chose to date as well. Stop dating only guys you meet at bars, or start. But leave no stone unturned and don’t view any one way as better than another. Online dating has led to some of the most loving and healthy relationships I know. Be honest, ask friends for set-ups or at least let them know you’re looking. Go take golf lessons. Treat dating as an adventure not a chore and you’re likely to attract someone who’s fun and fills their own life with excitement. At the same time don’t let it rule your life. Make yourself a priority and dating just another way in which you are enriching your life with new experiences.
3- ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS OF YOURSELF AND OF HIM
I was dating this guy not long ago who everyone said was really great, and at first he seemed it, funny, sweet and good-looking. Then we had this weird interaction while I was putting face make-up on him for a Halloween party. He got really defensive over nothing at all and it seemed to point to all signs of insecurity. When relaying the experience to my friends they told me to just wait it out, that I was being picky and that it’s not that big of a deal. The truth is dating a guy who’s style of dress you don’t really like or who occasionally plays video games is no big deal. Dating a guy who’s reactions leave you with a pit in the stomach after only a few dates, that is a deal breaker. It’s about asking yourself what can I LIVE WITH? For me I can live with out a guy who fits my cowboy image but I can’t live with an insecurity issue. Everyone is going to have their flaws and not every guy is going to have a six-pack or speak five languages. But the one that is right for you is going to make you feel safe no matter what. And if he doesn’t then don’t be stupid and dump his ass now!
And be honest with yourself about what you really need. Do you actually need a guy who is super romantic to make you feel like he loves you? Are you OK with being with a guy who works all the time but when you’re together he’s there 100%. These are the important questions to ask yourself and they are just as important as the ones you should ask him.
I urge any woman who is seriously considering starting a family or NOT to find out by date three if he wants kids himself. It DOES NOT have to be a serious conversation about the two of you having kids in fact it most definitely should not be, but if you are not on the same page as something as important as this from the get go than it’s a no go! The same goes for religion or political views ect. Don’t tip toe around the big questions cause you don’t want to scare him off. If it’s important to you it should be important to him.
4- COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY
It blows my mind how little I communicated or how improperly I did in past relationships. Only now that I’m in a relationship where we talk everything out do I see how important it is to know how to communicate with each other. Would you follow-up a job interview with a text? Would you tell your best friend in an email about the most amazing day of your life? Hopefully you answer no. You must effectively use communication especially in this day and age where texting is used in lieu of getting to know some one face to face. You most likely don’t have any friendships that started with a bunch of texts.
So ladies do yourself a favor and put down the damn fucking phone. You want to a build a relationship that uses all five of your senses, maybe even your sixth, but you CAN ONLY DO THIS IN PERSON. This does not mean I’m ruling out long distance relationships but if you are building up a relationship based on texts/ emails/ phone calls you are probably building up an image of this person or even of what you have that is false. A phone call is better if your schedule is busy but nothing beats being face to face. You want to use emails to set up times and places, fine. You want to tell him you had a nice night with a text, great. But leave it at that until you are sure that what you have is a relationship with an actual person and not with your phone. AND FOR GOD SAKES STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. I make it a rule not to be Facebook friends with guys I date. These are two-dimensional facets of real living breathing humans and you’re going to read into every post about his political views or pictures of him at a bachelor party or stalk to see what his exes look like and this list goes on. Get to know him from him and not from a profile. And believe me this one is hard, really hard, but it works.
I recently asked friends of mine who were very happily married for a years what the secret was for them, their answer, “TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING.” I remember a friend telling me she thought maybe I shouldn’t tell my current boyfriend how I had been single for six years cause it would make me look bad. Nope wrong move. My boyfriend loves me for me and those six years of my life were important to shaping who I am today. I’m not saying you should use the first date to talk about your abortion or how you slept with a married man or tell him that you own a collection of dildos but when we share our flaws we make the kind of human connection that is honest and lasting. Like Marilyn Monroe once said , “If you can’t take me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” The more you talk about what bothers you, what you expect from each other, what you want for your future the more you can determine if there is a chance for this to go anywhere and most importantly flesh out areas that could be points of contention later on. In studies scientists found that couples who began relationships with frequent conflicts were in exactly the same place 20 years later IF they stayed together. I know a few couples who seem to fight like cats and dogs, if that works for them fine, but I prefer the kind of relationship where we work thru arguments before they turn into fights. I like knowing that even if we don’t agree we can talk it thru in a way that makes both of us feel better, just like you would with your best friend.
Effective communication also means that from time to time you step back and evaluate where you two are or how you feel. Have you found you just keep saying yes to dates because he’s there? If so be a kind person and tell him (not in a text) that it isn’t working out for you and wish him luck. Or are you falling in love with him? If it’s been only a few weeks it’s probably a bit of lust and you should continue seeing how things go, but after a few months and you KNOW you are in love with him don’t listen to what they say, saying I love you first is never a bad thing even if you end up with a broken heart. It means your heart is open and working and that’s all that matters.
5- PRACTICE BEING GRATEFUL AND FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
It’s so simple and yet we often do the opposite. When my online date showed up to be nothing that I expected or my crush decided it wasn’t working, if I walked away finding the positive things about him, I felt a lot better about myself and my prospects for finding love. This is especially important in those early dates. We too often have that voice in our heads saying shit like, “He chews weird” or “I don’t like those pointy shoes” or “He has bad taste in music.” If you’re listening to that voice your likely to miss the big clues, like him showing you pictures of his niece or telling you how he cares about himself because he’s training for a marathon ect. It’s these clues that will tell us if he’s the kind of guy who can give us what we need, but if it’s drown out by that voice in our head we will only be able to see if he COULD be the guy we want. And us lucky girls know that the guy you want and the guy you need are often two different people. Eventually the guy you need is the one who will turn into the guy you can’t live with out.
At least once a day I let it be known to the universe that I’m so grateful to have such a wonderful man in my life. This seems to reward me with being able to continue on this beautiful journey with him. But before this I let the universe know I wanted love in my life. Whether you find a kind of Feng-Shui that works for you or change your passwords to LetLoveIn or write in the sands of Zanzibar that you want to find true love this year, making the shift of opening yourself up with intention can do wonders for you even if it doesn’t show results immediately. So next time you want to vent about the asshole you just dated try and focus on something that day that went your way, like a job promotion or a wink from the cute guy at Starbucks.
One last thing— In my opinion there is such thing as dating karma. If you keep using that guy friend who you know really likes you for free dinners and sex then don’t be disappointed when you yourself end up getting used over and over. Contribute to a better dating pool don’t contaminate it.
So those are my hard earned words of wisdom for you after years of doing all the above and then some over and over again till it was break my habits or remain heart broken. I hope this Valentines day you will consider ditching the burn you ex’s boxers for a free drink party and do something that fulfills you and opens your mind & heart. Be the kind of person you want to fall in love with and once you fall in love with yourself over and over again you will find that it’s easier for someone else to.
At least it worked for me.