I get emails from time to time, a lot more lately, asking my advice on relationships and dating. Wow. Who would have thought that I would be giving such advice? I am no expert and I don't claim to be.
**** NOTE: This advice can go for men or women but I am writing it as if I am talking to women about men.****
And I have given out a lot of advice (only when asked for it) but not many people seem to have taken it. They ask me because what they have been doing isn't working and then ask me, and then don't take my advice.... and so the relationship doesn't seem to work. Not saying it would have worked but ya know, your way isn't working.
Seems weird to ask a Single/Divorced mom about relationships too, doesn't it? I didn't date much before getting married. Enough but just a lot of casual sex.... Yeah I admit it. Then I was married for nearly 13 yrs and I really didn't date a whole lot after. I mean I meet Goofball (yeah he needs a new name) pretty soon after we filed for divorce. I did date though.
I guess what I know about my style of dating was I was doing it for fun and to have a grown up and a male to talk to. I went out with goals and an idea of what/who I wanted. I also really understood myself, though that does change over time, I am still finding pieces here and there of myself. I knew what I would put up with and what I just wouldn't. I wasn't going to settle.
Top on my list was respect. If you do not respect me, then see ya. I am not sure I can explain what respect is like for me, but I think it is little things like not asking me to change who I am to be who you think I should be.... Okay maybe that is a big thing. But, oh, oh what about opening doors for me. It doesn't have to be all the time, sometimes I get to the door first or am in a better position to open it, no bigs, but most of the time.... Awesome. Not walking in front of me like you "own" me. Again sometimes it will happen that I will just be behind but ya know, there is a difference.
Then there is affection, like hand holding, touching, little kisses. Even just telling me I am beautiful or sexy. Awesome. Yes words can be considered affection too.
And for activities and beliefs, well those don't have to jive completely but I want someone that likes music, likes kids and animals, that can be happy sitting around playing video games as he is going for a walk or to the zoo or to play tennis or bowling.
Really that is about it. Respect though is a big one.
So when I was ready to date I decided to do online dating. I do just about everything online as it is so it made sense to me. I also made up my mind not to get frustrated by it. If I found someone, cool and if I didn't, cool. Nothing serious either, I wasn't looking for a husband.
Then as I started to email with people, I wasn't pushy and if they stopped talking to me, well fine. I wasn't going to chase someone.
But I will admit here that when I started emailing Goofball, there was a time when I didn't hear from him for about 24 hours and given the days (or the week) before, he had emailed me much more regularly. So I did end up sending him something that said, "What would you do if you were emailing with someone and they suddenly stopped?" I think there was more but I really can't remember that was the jest of it though. I know that sounds like a hypocrite but I honestly wanted a guy to answer me that question. If he wasn't into me, fine, just answer that question. Do I move on and just assume he found someone else? Was he the person that just got in a massive wreck on the interstate? I just don't know. I just had gotten the impression that this guy was the right one to ask that question too. He wrote back and the rest was history.
I also fully believe in the "He is just not that into you" theory of thinking. Don't chase a "dead" relationship. If he isn't writing you back, calling and making time for you, and only seems to come around for sex, he isn't into you. Move on! There is someone out there who will be into you! You rock. You shouldn't settle (Okay serious not talking to anyone specific).
Be yourself but don't be pushy. Do not email him 50x a day when he doesn't reply. This is being pushy.
Again, I will admit that I sometimes would email Goofball a few times in a row (still do). But I really tried to control myself and not be that girl. I have really tried hard to be the laid back, cool chic that I know I am but sometimes in a relationship I can go ape-crazy and be all needy. I have admitted to him when I have a weak moment or need some reassurance. It seems to work out because I just have my moment and he gives me what I am looking for, I move on. All happy.
I could go on and on but I will just say this one last thing. Do not ask other people to change for you. If he likes to watch football on Monday night, then just say, "Cool. I'll see you on Tuesday." Or whatever. This is who he was before you and do not expect him to change. NOW, if he likes to watch Monday night football and he wants to include you or misses it for you from time to time. Awesome but do not expect this to be the norm or that he is changing for you. He is adjusting to the relationship, he wants to spend some time with you and show you a different side of himself. It is an enjoy the moment type of situation. So enjoy it!
Have high standards but low or no expectations.
Enjoy the moments.
And bottom line love yourself and understand who you are.