I have had a few people tell me that they have been inspired by my big break up last year and have since dumped their mates in search of the dating bliss I have found. This is honestly one of the most horrifying things I have ever heard. While I am flattered (and somewhat mystified) that ya’ll think I took that well (repeat: mystified), I would like to caution that if you are going to utilize the rules laid out in A Dating Survival Guide (Remember that post? The one where I blatantly said I was NOT a relationship expert???) you really do need to follow them. And these new ones. ‘Cause some of you are doing it wrong. And it kills me.
1: You are only desperate when you have to pee.
Some of you are treating finding a mate like finding a public restroom. There really is no fire, there is no need to rush. So you have some free time on your hands? Fantastic, do some sit ups so the next time you are single and in a bikini you will feel confident. You have a party to go to and need your “Plus One”? Girlfriends sometimes make better dates to those shindigs anyway, who better to tell you to touch up your lip gloss and play wingman? Breathe… Take it easy… Maybe you are ready but the person you are destined to be with is sorting their shit out before you can be together… The stars will, eventually, align.
2: Broaden your field of vision.
When I was single, I was B.U.S.Y. When I wasn’t working, I was getting the heck out of town. There are so many interesting people in the world, go find a way to meet them! Be flexible in who you are willing to be attracted to. If your criteria leave you with only John Stamos, well, sadly you will be more frustrated with the dating scene than necessary. Give on the little things, stand firm only on three things MAX that are deal breakers for you. The world is a wealth of education, learn from everyone that passes through your days.
3: You aren’t going to marry everyone.
Why are we so afraid of short-term dating? I met and dated two men this year that were really, really nice dudes. In all honesty, they will make a couple of gals really happy in the future. That girl was not me and there was nothing at all wrong with that. When I started this dating mission I swore I wouldn’t stick with anyone that didn’t make me doafreakingjig happy. Not every day, not on any superficial level, but deep, deep in my bones happy. And while these gentlemen were fantastic, they simply were not for me so I set them free. Don’t cling to mediocre out of fear that there is nothing behind Door 3. Don’t stay, don’t invest, don’t cry over people who aren’t worth it. Be free and set them free as well. The Earth will keep on spinning!
4: No. Sex.
I know you think you are some liberated woman of 2013. You are, in fact, an independent, vote casting, car maintenance getting, politically sound, tax paying, hard-working, bill paying, gender equal, right? Wrong. While the virginity ship may have sailed so long ago it possibly went back to England with the Mayflower, there is still a certain dignity and power you keep when you aren’t passing petals of your flower out to everyone that buys you a latte. Go out, go on dates, be merry, but keep your damn pants on. I challenge you to date without sex. Those rose-colored glasses you are wearing are someone else’s prescription and they are making your vision blurry. So stop it. A man worthy of your tender loving will put the effort, energy, and love into being worth being your boyfriend, not your side kick. Refer to rule #1, you are not desperate.
5: When you meet Him…
This is the most important part. This is crucial. While dating is fun, and having options is great, when you meet the good guy it is time to shut the rest of it down. I met KD completely by chance. I was active on a (horrible) dating site, I had met a Hollywood producer and had a date with him the following week, and was weaning away from a “nice enough” guy I had been seeing. My social calendar had a waiting list! KD was different. He was so great, he immediately showed how much he was willing to invest in a serious relationship with me. The rest of it had to go, and go fast. It took less than 72 hours to do the necessary heart breaking, unsubscribe from my dating account, and proceed to relationship bliss. When you meet That Guy, don’t play games. Don’t keep one in the wing just in case things go wonky. Invest in him what you would like invested in you. And don’t be afraid. This is the sweet stuff:)