Happy Valentines Day!
Oh the quest to find love.. In my experience, dating has been difficult and I’m still waiting to meet someone I really vibe with. But I’ve learned alot of lessons during my single season. Here are the top 10:
- Fall in love with yourself first
I fell in love with myself in college. I didn’t have emotional ties to any guy, so I felt free to do whatever my heart wanted – study abroad, travel the world, dive into my career. And in the process I learned so much about myself and fell in love with the woman in the mirror.
Get to know yourself. Understand and appreciate the good, bad and awkward habits and quirks that only you possess. In loving yourself, you’ll be equipped to let a man love you when the time is right.
- Understand the levels and meanings
The “where are we” conservation is so awkward, but so necessary. You have to know where you stand with someone, because that will help you manage your expectations (more in lesson #9).
- Talking to: Unfortunately this is so common in our generation. Texting someone and occasionally talking to them on the phone. But that’s it. You’re literally just talking to someone. For me, this doesn’t work because when I’m “talking to” someone, I’m just filling boredom but there are tons of things to do. I wouldn’t call it a waste of time because there are a lot of lessons I’ve learned through guys that I was talking to, but it wasn’t the most productive use of time.
- Friends with Benefits (FWB): Your title may be just friends, but you occasionally indulge in “relationship” type activities, most commonly sex. This works for some people who aren’t interested in a relationship, but I don’t recommend getting caught here. If you’re giving him special pieces of yourself, he has nothing to work for.
- Dating: Getting to know each other by actually going on dates. If a guy isn’t trying to see you outside of his bedroom, then you’re just a FWB. When dating, expect that the guy is still seeing multiple people, as you are free to do as well.
- Courting: Purposeful dating. The two of you are looking to get married, so you’re taking the appropriate steps to get to know each other without physical intimacy.
- Exclusive: To be exclusive, there must have been a conversation that you will be “boyfriend – girlfriend” or you’re married. If not, your relationship falls into one of the other categories.
- Be yourself and don’t force it
This goes without saying, but don’t change who you are to appease someone else. If he doesn’t like you for you, forget him because someone else will. That’s forcing something that isn’t meant to be. And if communication is one-sided and you’re the only one putting in effort, that’s another reason to leave it alone. A guy that’s interested will show that he is.
- Don’t give too much of yourself too soon
This has been my biggest problem with dating. It’s a struggle to meet someone that I vibe with – so when I do, I’m all in… ready to share life stories lol. Being open and honest is important, but take your time in getting to know someone. There is no rush to dating, so allow a man to peel back the layers instead of diving in head first every time.
- Let a man lead
There is a reason why men where created before women. They are supposed to lead us, and provide for us. I love when women feels empowered to be independent, but let a man step up to the plate and pursue you.
- Every man you meet does not have the potential to be your husband
Such a tough pill for me to swallow, because God keeps reminding me of this. At 23, I’m praying for a respectable, Christian man that will court me in pursuit of marriage. Although I’m tired of dating randoms, I’ve learned that those guys were put in place to show me how to love a man and myself. If you’re a wife-to-be like me, I encourage you to appreciate the lessons that each man has taught you, as it will help you be the woman that your husband wants and needs.
- Anything worth having is going to take time
And maybe a few tears too. But that’s ok. Even though I’m still single, I know that all of these heartbreaks and let downs will be worth it when I finally fall in love.
- Manage your expectations
This goes back to knowing where you stand with someone. If there hasn’t been a conversation about the two of you being exclusive, don’t expect to be treated like you are. In the dating game, there is always a possibility that there are other women in his life so check your expectations.
- Don’t make another man mend a heart that he didn’t break
It’s not fair to make someone else clean up the damage that your ex caused. Leave that baggage at the door! Bringing that into a new beginning will break your trust in someone who is deserving of your time.
- Enjoy your single season
Marriage and kids will come eventually when the time is right. Take advantage of where you are at this very moment. Get to know people. Take a risk on love. Even if it ends in heartbreak, those lessons will stay with you until you meet a man that’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more. Be patient and trust the process.
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, I hope you’re spending this Valentine’s Day with people who love you to the moon and back! What are some dating lessons that you’ve learned? Share in the comments below.