Last week in answering Miss Christine, I listed “New Rules for Dating” and the reasons why. I also promised to finish the list so here is the reprint of last week’s list and a few more to boot. Of course the list can always grow, be tweaked and even refined – and the only way to do that is to put it into real-world practice.
- 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, you 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.
And to complete the list, here are this week’s new rules:
- Actions: It takes more than just positive thinking or positive believing to accomplish change. When out in 100 degree weather you can “believe “you are refreshingly chilled-maybe even downright icy but the reality is the thermometer will still read 100 degrees and unless you are Mr. Lizard, you will be uncomfortably hot. It takes action to make change. Which leads directly (as it should) to…
- Quantum Physics: Believe it: this modern neuroscience can actually help – maybe even make or break – our attitudes about dating. Cognitive therapies actually use quantum physics to help kids with learning issues, help stroke victims to regain lost functions, retrain folks having issues with memory loss, even improving OCD behaviors (Google it!). The treatment has validity because we know the brain can be retrained to literally think along new lines. It may take some time but putting that concept into practice means you can teach an old dog new tricks. Even one that’s been using the same old dating excuses for years or someone that is just starting to get into bad dating habits. Use the quantum power of your mind to have an open, happy attitude to dating by thinking new thoughts repeatedly and taking new actions.
- Work: Accept that dating as well as marriage, being single, widowed and divorced involves a lot of work. There is always something we didn’t expect or didn’t even know existed as we cruise through life. With acceptance comes the mature outlook that we shouldn’t expect guarantee’s in life, handouts, or anything that we don’t in some way earn. Dating is no exception to the rule. Does that take out the fun? Not really, it helps make it more fun because rule number 10 takes you right back to rule number 1 and the answer lies there.
Darling Boys and Girls, Even the simple act of eating a perfectly ripe apple isn’t as simple as we would like to believe, it just feels as if it is. While enjoying the sweet and crisp flesh of an apple -reflect on all that had to happen before you could sink your teeth into that little orb – and know that successful dating is no different. Life has so many silent as well as in-your-face challenges it is always in one’s best interest to – like all things in nature – continually move in a forward direction. Knowing you are growing from whatever may be, you can then meet each challenge with an open, positive and grateful “nice to meet you” attitude.
Have a naughty day!