musings on dating

Waiting to date until you're in your early twenties can be both good and bad. For myself, the experience in the world of dating in my early twenties was a huge learning curve as it came with more negatives than positives. 

I felt naive in an uncomfortable and extremely vulnerable way. Guys who knew I was new to the dating scene flocked to me because of how clueless I was to the ways of men.

I entered the dating world with optimism only to learn that the world I had envisioned (thanks to Disney and the Hallmark channel) didn't exist. I was fresh prey - a virgin. And as I continued dating I became less and less open about that because I felt like my virginity was a highly sought after prize to be claimed and not respected.

Thus, after years of putting up with hot and cold behavior, being overly optimistic and open, and giving more chances than I ought, I decided to outline some rules for myself that also serve as a checklist for the guys I choose to date.

1 - The word NO means no, and needs to be respected.
2 - I will not be pressured into anything. I will not allow myself to be forced to do anything I am not comfortable with.
3 - My space and person is a privilege, not a right. I owe them nothing.
4 - No last minute dates. My time is valuable, and dates need to be planned in advance. I'm worth the effort!
5 - I will not "couch date." I will not be the one driving 100% of the time to see them.
6 - Let him lead. Make him pursue you. Let his actions speak volumes.
7 - Don't fall in love with a man who uses words and not intentional actions to "woo" you.
8 - Don't play games.
9 - If you're confused about his intentions, leave. It's not worth the stress.

Now, hear me out - dating isn't a terrible experience for everyone. There are good guys out there. However, in order to find the good guy I've learned that it's okay to hold out and stay single.

Learning to be alone brings about an amazing perspective on dating: "Alone, I am whole. I don't need a man to complete me. I want a man to compliment me." I also learned that it's okay to be picky and have high standards and boundaries and be refuse to compromise your morals and values. Stick to them. 

You might not be as popular with the guys for sticking to your guns, but in the end, the slow one wins the race. Your heart will be glad you chose to love yourself first.


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