Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Dating:
This particular blog is stemming from my recent re-entry into the dating world, and it is truly more of a public service announcement than a blog. Because….wow…there has GOT to be a manual out there somewhere of dating do’s and don’ts, but if there is…my first date hasn’t read it. So below I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of things that you should not try, and should not tolerate. Finding Mr. (or Ms.!) Right presents its own difficulties without the below mentioned ridiculousness! O_o
1) Please, oh please, DON’T talk about your ex. It cannot be said enough. I repeat, it cannot be said enough. I realize there is going to be the “So you’re divorced?” or the “I’m back on the market” comments that will come up, but this is not an opportunity to spill the entire saga of your relationship’s demise. Just answer the question, and move on. Trust me – if there are additional dates, there will be plenty of times for details.
2) DO make him buy. If the guy is too cheap to pay for your dinner, odds are he’ll fall short in some of the other “Gentleman” categories. You’re worth it, so demand it. And before we have the “I am just trying to make it easier/I want him to see I’m agreeable” conversation, hear me out. YOU need to value YOU before you can expect HIM to value YOU. And you are valuable. It is acceptable to let him pay. So get off the women’s lib wagon and let him pony up. Period.
3) DON’T try to be his “ideal girl”. First of all, you don’t know who that is. And secondly, you should be YOU. Because let’s be honest, isn’t that who he’s going to end up with??? Be yourself because if you don’t like you enough to show yourself off to this guy, what do you think he’ll think of you?
4) Sex is NOT necessary. Hear me out – I’m not saying NEVER. But I am saying that it isn’t “first date required”. Now we all have those friends who met, went home together, and 12 years later have 4 kids and a house and a mini-van. They are the exception, not the rule. You most likely will be the rule.
5) DO realize that faith is a factor. And by “faith” I mean your spiritual preferences/beliefs vs. his. I’m not saying that a Catholic and a Baptist can’t find a way to live in harmony, but I am saying that it would be very difficult to date someone who didn’t believe in Jesus if you are a devout Christian. It may seem like something that you can overlook for a time, but eventually the issue will arise – perhaps not until it’s time to have your baby christened – but the issue will eventually come up. And unless you are willing to convert to the other person’s beliefs or they to yours, this may be a deal breaker before you ever get started.
6) DON’T try to imagine yourself married to this person. Seriously. Eat your salad. Eat your entrée. Watch the movie. Share popcorn. Take a walk. Talk. But don’t sit there the whole time and plan your life together. Trust me – HE isn’t doing that. And if he knew you were, he would run. Don’t be that girl. Get through a couple of dates before you start a wedding board on Pinterest.
7) DO realize that this date may be just another frog. If it were as easy as meeting the Prince on the first date, there wouldn’t be dating sites or matchmakers or friends who try to set you up with their other single friends. It isn’t easy. In fact, I’m learning that in some ways (several!!), it sucks. And sometimes the best part about a dinner and a movie date is that he won’t be able to keep talking during the movie. It doesn’t mean that he/she isn’t nice, but just that they aren’t right for you. Thank them for a nice evening, go home, pour a glass of wine, and be glad that you now have another story to regale your married friends with. They love hearing of the horrors of your sad dating life.
8) DO be honest with yourself about what you are REALLY looking for. There have to be things that you want. There have to be things you don’t. You aren’t back on the market only looking for a mammal – you have things you are looking for. Stick to them. If this date doesn’t fit that bill, don’t give up. Maybe the next one will. Or maybe the next one will be worse and you’ll vow to never leave your car without your mace again. Either way, it is vital that you know what you want IN a man and FROM a man.
9) DO leave your phone out of it. By this I mean DON’T text, DON’T facebook, DON’T accept calls (unless it’s an emergency). Your date didn’t ask you out to watch the top of your head while you’re being swallowed up in a group text. Get out of the Social Bermuda Triangle and actually talk to the person you’re with. No withdrawal symptoms will happen if you don’t touch that phone for an hour. I promise.
10) DON’T settle! Better is out there. If he lives with his mama, if he is sleeping on his friend’s couch, if he calls you from the unemployment line, if he doesn’t have all his teeth, if he has 3+ kids with 3+ women…..these are all pretty good ways to detect that it won’t go well for you. Walk away while it’s easy to do…And when I say “walk”, I actually mean RUN like zombies are chasing you. This dude is NOT going to be the one you have been waiting for!