.... and learning a little along the way myself!
This is something I never really thought we would be doing at the same time, or I mean I never thought I would be divorced and dating. And while my daughter is still a bit young (13), she is starting to have "boyfriends".... with this and my dating, I am trying to teach her. I also find that I am learning with her and from her. My boys, especially the oldest one, are also a big help. To see things through his eyes.... well, it is a fun and interesting learning experience!
So some of the things I want her to know are:
1. Do not settle for someone that doesn't make you happy, that doesn't respect you and that just is very thoughtless. Do not waste time being unhappy. In that same line of thinking, do not be disrespectful and do not be thoughtless. Make this person happy and you will reap the benefits.
2. Pick your battles. Not everything has to be a fight. Decide what things are important to you and only fight those things. It makes you both a lot happier.
3. Understand the difference between busy and busy. If he does not make time to see you and only contacts you when it is very convenient for him, then he probably isn't into you. But, if he truly is busy, chances are he is going to make time for you when he isn't and he will be excited to see you each time!
4. Observe how he is with other people; most especially with seniors citizens, children and animals. If he is respectful, thoughtful and in general nice to them, he probably will be to you as well. Plus it shows he has good character. (or at least I think so!)
5. Respect guy time. It is important for him to spend time away from you and especially good if you show you trust him and respect him while he does whatever guys do. But also make sure you do stuff yourself. Have a hobby or a good friend or some interest that you can do. Being a couple and being together is great, but having some space can make you appreciate your time together too.
6. Let him be a guy. What ever that means for him, be it silly jokes, goofy behavior, watching Sci-Fi, football every Sunday and Monday. It doesn't matter. Understand this is who he is. Don't try to change him. Don't let him change you either. The point of a relationship is to be yourself and this person should bring out the best in you, not the worst.
7. Communicate your feelings to him. Do not drop hints and do not expect that he can read your mind. He may sometimes get lucky and do what you were wanting but it isn't mind reading. Accept it.
8. Do not play games and do not stay with someone that does.
9. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
10. And lastly, decide what things are important to you, such as, good conversation, a good sense of humor or whatever it is. Find someone that has these things. The bottom line is not to settle. There are too many people out there.
I am sure there are more lessons and more things but for me, right now, these are the most important. I want her to know that she does not have to live unhappy, that she can find someone to fit her standards.
These are good lessons for everyone.... I just hope that I can keep her from making some of the same mistakes I did in the past and while I know she will get hurt, I hope this will minimize that a bit.