Well today is derby day. The Kentucky Derby, that is. But this post really has nothing to do with horse racing. I have no idea where I was going with that.
What this post really marks is a year since I first re-entered the dating scene. It’s something I haven’t really talked about on the blog. Mostly for privacy reasons. I don’t mind talking about myself. I value transparency and vulnerability. But I’m not all about divulging the ins and outs of a relationship on the internet. Maybe one day I’ll find a way to do it gracefully, but it’s not a risk I’ve been willing to take.
I’ve gone on a few dates over the course of the year. Some have gone well. Others have been train wrecks. But they are what they are. Today I want to share with you what I’ve learned.
- Men’s face wash is cheaper and superior women’s face wash. It’s true. I was strongly urged to try a particular kind of face wash and I did. I’m still using it. It’s miraculous.
- A man who respects you will not call you at 2:00 am to scream at you. He might say he loves you, but a man with love in his heart will value your sleep. And your ability to be productive at work. He also won’t scream at you. Ever. Let alone at 2:00 in the morning.
- Constant communication is not optimal. You might think that talking constantly is a sign of compatibility and soulmate status, but it’s not. It’s exhausting. It takes away from your ability to engage with other people in your life. It causes you to loose focus at work. It fosters anxiety when communication is lacking. It’s really a recipe for disaster. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking and texting. But there is a gentle balance in any relationship. The right guy will value your time, enjoy talking to you, and give you space to fulfill the other roles in your life.
- Nobody’s baggage is any better or worse than yours. Baggage is baggage. And by this point in life, we all have it. The not-so-pretty stuff we think makes us damaged goods. A man who uses your baggage against you is not worth your time or energy. You are beautiful. You have value. You are worthy. Your past has made you who you are. The right man will see the beauty that arose from the ashes. And that will be all that matters.
- Flowers can be used as a threat. I’ve heard of flowers being used as an apology. Or as a gift on a stressful day. Or for a special occasion. But never as a threat. I told 2 different people that I didn’t think it was going to work out dating-wise. Both of them said something along the lines of, “Seriously? I had just ordered you flowers. Don’t you see how foolish you are?” As if it would spontaneously change my mind. I know it was probably to make me feel bad and convince me of their devotion. But it felt like they were using flowers as a weapon in their crusade for my heart. Not attractive. And never once did I receive flowers for any of the “normal” reasons.
- Trust your gut. And your parents. They’re usually right.
Well there you have it. Lessons learned from the life of a 29 year-old. It turns out we’re all learning. All the time. And sometimes the lessons are hard. Dating is just as messy as it was in high school. If not messier. We have a lot more to loose, after all.
We have a habit of running around, looking for someone to love. And that’s the common thread that I’ve found this year. People love for the sake of loving. They’re obsessed with the IDEA of me…not with the actual me. At first it’s flattering. We all want to be loved. But the motivation behind the love? That’s what’s really important.
Relationships are better when found, not hunted. They show up unexpectedly. Right under your nose. And you never know when it will happen. So you’d better make sure you’re not wasting your time with the wrong person…or you might just miss it.