Hi Miss Kitty,
First let me start by saying I enjoy your wisdom and thank you for all your good advice. I am beautiful successful woman, 32 years old, and find myself mending the broken pieces of my heart. Recently, I ended a relationship with a man, and this was very difficult. I loved, or still do love him. He and I had a very special connection, but in contrast, he did not value me in the way that I wanted to be valued. I am not here to male bash him, even though it is well deserved. My point in writing to you is because I feel broken hearted and discouraged about getting back in the dating scene. It appears from my view that there are so many mind games and rules of the do’s and don’ts of dating. Even the guy with the wallet issue!
The honesty of my heart is to share my life with a man and have a family. In the beginning of the relationship, everyone puts on their best behavior and agrees with all the same values. We have fun, we date, we laugh, and we do it all. But then inevitable, all those shared values were just talk. So it feels like a game.
All I am saying is, I am frustrated and hurt that some men will say anything to a woman without weighing the weight of their words. I am broken-hearted over another failed attempt and find it difficult on how to keep moving. What would you do if you had to start over?
Dear Miss Christine,
If nothing else, dating holds the record for the ridiculous amount of contradictions that appear to fall under its fickle mantle. Is there any other pursuit which seems to involve such a twisting web of constant confusion? It’s no wonder our hearts get broken, our spirit becomes disenchanted and we all but swear it off – until the next time.
Sanity and success require that the dating process be understood for what it really is – and the sooner one realizes dating has merit for its own sake the better. The process of dating must be enjoyed as much as the eventual goal – a happy relationship – in order for the goal to be obtained. Hard to comprehend and maybe even harder to accept, let alone practice in the land of the jaded and the home of the battered ego. However, it can be done and it starts by throwing out everything you think you know about dating.
Yes, put down the big kid glass of Kool-Aid and open your mind to embrace a new set of dating “rules”. These “MK Rules” will allow you to have pleasure and peace and actually enjoy the dating process while minimizing the risk factor. Why? When you’re aware of them, and date by them, you’ll certainly have a better chance of finding a great relationship than the government does of ever balancing the budget or having a President worthy of the title.
- Expectations. Don’t have any. Good manners are the only thing you need on a first date. Expectations along with the tales of your last relationship do not. Regardless of the texts, emails, long phone calls etc…no one knows anyone at this point and any conjecture is only going to lead to disappointment which can get in the way of something constructive happening. This leads us to the next rule…
- Lighten up. The purpose of a date is to START to get to know someone. It is not to ask about tax returns, brokerage statements, and psychiatric evaluations or get a complete sex history. It is to BEGIN to see if there COULD be something more. Not more as in picking out wedding colors or envisioning a hot, tawdry night but more as in learning a bit – and I mean a bit – more about each other. This takes us nicely to…
- Slow down. There is no such thing as real love at first sight. Sorry to ruin a thousand movie plots, but love (the real deal) takes time, commitment and life tests to be genuine. If you are having delicious feelings, enjoy them by all means, but keep them to yourself and perhaps even consider not acting on them. I’m not advocating becoming the human glacier but there is nothing wrong with holding back and letting things percolate for awhile. Let things go where they will without controlling the eventual outcome and allow your wise and non-hormonally challenged mind to merge with desire and desire to mature into something better or safer. There is no finish line or award for best date ever and dating doesn’t have an Olympic sprint category.
- Look for signs. Not signs as in you both can’t live a day without Trident tropical fruit gum and therefore are a perfect match and should meet the parents this very week, but signs that indicate something might need some fact-finding before throwing your precious heart out on the table. For example – she talks a blue streak about the latest Chanel collections = Fashion is obviously something meaningful to her and there are several other implications that need further study. For example – he can’t stop talking about his ex in either a derogatory or complimentary way = his ex is a third wheel in his life. In the most obvious sense of the word: PEOPLE DO NOT CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE! If you have a serious issue with someone ever spending $2500 on a purse or being in love/hate with an ex, do not think that this moment is anything less than a hot pink flag to either move on or get some facts but keep your heart out of it for the time being.
- Moving on. This means that when a date or a short term relationship is not working out, it isn’t the end of anything except the date or the relationship! It is only a reflection that this wasn’t the one for you. Nothing more needs to be read into it or suffered over. If you learn from it so much the better, but that doesn’t mean becoming fearful of what’s up next. On the contrary you are now even wiser and clearer about what you do need. Try on some thicker skin and let rejection of any sort help make you stronger, better, smarter.
- Needs. It is always helpful be it looking for a job, a pet or a date to know what you want. However, (and this is a huge caveat) there is something to be said for being open to possibilities. Open-mindedness allows life to bring to you something wonderful which could have been shut out due to the preconceived ideas or hurts from another time. Example: Someone believes that LDR (long distance relationships) never work. They often work out – not always of course – but it isn’t always the distance that is the issue; therefore widening to include zip codes outside of 93105 just might be the ticket.
- Projection. There is a rule of life that you get what you project. Like it or not if a women wears a sexy outfit she gets sexy comments. Burn your bra Ms. S but it is true and there is no reason to get your knickers in a twist. No different than a guy being verbally abusive to a waiter…If the shoe fits it will be worn.
Darling Miss C, Boys and Girls, there are another few rules to go over next week, but in the meantime understand the takeaway of this week’s points: It is your choice as to whether you treat dating and relationships as random trial-by-fire experiences where you’re at the mercy of the other person and fate – or whether to use your gift of dating as a self-illuminating learning experience to make yourself a better person. Based on the number of people who truly make the trial-by-fire choice, is it any surprise – really – that so many are fraught with difficulties, disappointments and disillusionment?
Think on that for the coming week; and Miss Christine, congratulations for having the necessary courage to let someone go (especially because it hurt) because he did not value you and be thankful you recognized that when you did. That tells me you are way ahead of the game and to value the self means you will never settle (#8) and that we will save for next week.
Have a naughty day!