Don’t kill the messenger!
According to the census bureau, 53% of all singles over 18 in the United States are women. For every 100 single women there are 88 single men! Now, I’m not saying that everyone needs to hurry and shack up or that you must hook up in order to be complete, I’m just saying that if you are a single women and feel that the pickin’s are slim…you’re right! When I first got divorced and decided to date, I turned to some of my single girlfriends to seek their advice on how to date as a 30-something adult. Now, bear in mind that I have very witty, socially sophisticated, intelligent friends but the advice I was hearing shocked me! It wasn’t much different from the rules/tips shared by my BFF’s back in High School! Really, is this how we date as adults? Women with careers, children, and independent lives really do this stuff? No, way! I thanked my gal pals graciously for the advice and sought out into the dating world fully prepared to charter my own course and prepared to establish a new set grown up rules! I wanted to date as an adult, not as a naïve, insecure High School kid. Below is my compilation of wisdom and rules (more guidelines than actual rules) that will hopefully craft a more pleasurable and less stressful dating experience!
Date for Fun and Adventure, Not to meet a Husband
Go out, to go out! Meet people, have new experiences, enjoy the moment for the sake of the moment, not because you want a husband. Just as women don’t want to be looked as a sex object or a lay for the evening, men deserve the same respect and to be thought of as a friend or lover, not husband potential. Take it easy and date by date rather than planning your seating chart.
Stop wearing Victoria Secret or Bath and Body perfume/body splash
This was the shit when we were in high school and maybe even college but at some point in our twenties smelling like a giant candied apple or a bouquet of vanilla beans stopped being “cute” and became a fragrant assault. It’s time to try some grown-up perfume.
The 1 Call Rule….trust me he got the message!
I never understood the angle that women are coming from on this. I’ve seen perfectly sane women completely drop their basket with this one. A woman will call, he doesn’t answer, so she leaves a message. 3 hours, 2 days, 1 week goes by with no reply. This is the part where fissures in her common sense begin to appear and she begins to manufacture all the reasons why he has yet to call back. The most common reason is that somehow he never got the message you left on his cell voicemail. Although in some very rare instances…this may be true but highly unlikely. So let’s say a week goes by and you don’t hear from him, I recommend sending very brief and very casual text message or e-mail saying hello and leave it at that. If the dude still doesn’t contact you, move on. In fact erase his number to help you avoid the urge of contacting him again. Because I guarantee if you do it’ll be in a drunken moment of weakness and not a pretty thing at all.
Don’t get upset when he goes out with his friends (even if some of them are women)
Women have come a long way, baby! We go out with who we want, when we want and men who take issue with this are looked at as possessive or insecure, and rightfully so. In response to this new found independence and control over their own lives, women attempt to control his life. Personally, I never understood that. A man keeping a piece of himself and staying in touch with his friends is just as important as a woman keeping in touch with her friends. There is nothing in the dating or relationship rule book that says you both must do everything together. In fact if you do, that is called co-dependence. My advice would be to celebrate when he goes out with his friends; it shows he is healthy and stable. There is also nothing in the dating/relationship rule book that says you need to stay home when he goes out (unless you want to).
Dress to Impress
Guys are not stupid. They know we have the “I’m going to have sex” underwear and the sure fire little black dress. Guys also know we have the granny panties and the sweats that even we don’t dare to wear in public. Everyone knows that it is impossible to maintain the early dating look forever and that we start dressing and looking a little more real as a relationship progresses. So, why bust out the holey panties and stained sweatshirt when you’re still in the early stages? Believe me, all he’ll wonder is if it goes down from here… what the hell am I in for?
Stop yourself from speaking negatively about his kids, parents, friends, or anybody close to him. Even if he starts it…let the dude vent and say all he needs to in order to get crap off his chest, but do not in any way think that this is an open forum for you to talk shit too. If you are new on the scene and already have serious issues with the people close to him, this may be a red flag. Remember this: Girlfriends come and go but children, parents; even ex’s (if children are involved) will be there forever. So either suck it up or realize that you’re in over your head and run for higher ground.
Keep Your Priorities: Don’t lose yourself
If you go out with the girls every other Friday after work, workout at least 3 days a week, or enjoy volunteering once a month; do NOT stop! Don’t stop doing the things you enjoy or that you have prioritized in your life. Keep the things that are currently important to you a high priority even when (especially when) all you want to do is spend time with him. This will keep you, you, which is what he likes in the first place. This will also help you maintain from the beginning your independence and individual identity, which most likely are things that you like about yourself.
Avoid False Advertising! Be honest.
If dieting and working out is important to you for maintaining a healthy lifestyle or healthy weight, great! But if extreme dieting or workout routines are done as part of your “Plan to Land a Man” then is that being honest? Is it a short term plan to achieve a long term goal? Other examples of false advertising that I have seen include:
- Loving sports: football, baseball, basketball, golfing, etc.
- Activities: hiking, camping, running, fishing, martial arts, concerts, gambling, etc.
- Interests: horror movies, different foods, car restoration, gaming, etc.
It’s great to try new things and participate in the beginning for the experiences, to see if you might like it, but don’t pretend to actively enjoy an activity or interest if it truly isn’t your thing. Don’t lie to impress or “land a man”. Lying can lead you to a serious relationship malfunction later.
When dating look at the man as a man, not as the father of your future children! (There are sperm banks if a baby is your number one concern)
Avoid information overload! Keep non-essential information under wraps. Be somewhat of a mystery.
Don’t volunteer detailed information on ex-boyfriends or previous experiences. If he asks, answer, but wait for his lead on this one!
Don’t date someone who is currently involved with someone else (Helllooo! Once a cheater, always a cheater)