Impromptu photoshoot at the Ikea in Dallas. You can't take me anywhere. This is why I can't have nice things.
I am the worst when it comes to guys. I'm not talking about bad luck with them or horrible at being around them, but more so changing myself to fit a 'type', having unrealistic expectations from day one, rushing things, and putting too much effort into things that will inevitably go nowhere. I've put together a 'rulebook' for myself that I am passing on to all of you. Let me be clear, this isn't necessarily relationship advice. This is me writing about what I’ve learned about my own tendencies and about guys in my short 23 years on this Earth. This is me giving guidance from my own experiences. This is me writing about where I’ve gone wrong in the past, and preaching about things you probably shouldn’t follow in my footsteps in doing.
Rule #1: No social media stalking
I unfortunately do this ALL the time. I’ve watched one too many episodes of Catfish and upon matching with someone on a dating app, I can instantly find them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. My thought process is that I’m trying to find more pictures of them to see if whatever is to come will be ‘worth it’. Real talk, I have even looked for videos before. Lol @ myself. In reality, this has been so toxic and obsessive. I have promised myself that i'm done with this. I recently deleted the Facebook app off of my phone, and it has been the greatest experience. A social media detox is so good for the soul. Just because Hinge gives you their last name when you match, does not mean you need to see pictures from their Summer vacation or if he has abs or not. Pre-conceived notions are a date killer. I've ruined (and cancelled) dates because I went in with expectations and higher standards than there needed to be.
Rule #2: No expectations
I like to date, and I love to love. I don’t want something casual, don’t want to date around, don’t want to have a fling. If I’m talking to you, it’s under the impression that some kind of relationship will form from it. This kills me, because I get my hopes up and fall for people fast. I’ve lately tried to go into things with just the fact that I can have a new experience or learn something new, and just meet new people. It’s much less lonelier when you look at the bright side, instead of already forming an end goal! Let things come together on their own and run their course. Not every person you match with will end up being anything special to you, and that’s okay! That’s the fun of it! You might (strong might) not find your future husband on Tinder, and that’s so okay. You live and you learn. Try to just have fun. Cheap coffee and interesting conversation is good for the soul.
Rule #3: Keep an open mind
Go for someone you normally wouldn’t. I’m not saying if you absolutely can't stand smokers or drinkers, to date one. Or if you’re not attracted to someone to force chemistry that isn’t there. All I’m saying is to push aside your hang-ups. Does he have to be 6 feet tall? Does he have to have a beard? Does he have to drive a nice car, work in finance, and already have his life together? I don’t have my life together. Why should I expect anyone else to? You’re allowed to be superficial in the fact that you have to at least be attracted to the guy, but that’s not all there should be. Opposites do attract, anyways. Looks are easy to come by and eventually fade, personalities aren't and typically don't. I'd rather fall in love with someone who can make me laugh even when I'm angry and who can keep me hanging on to their every word. Find someone who you have a mental connection with. It is so much more worth it. Give him a chance.
Rule #4: Don’t be a people pleaser
You don’t like everyone, so why should everyone like you? Story time! One of my latest dates was a train-wreck. Okay, I’m exaggerating. A little. Or not. I was so awkward. I had just done yoga so I was feeling really tired and zen (cliche I know), I really didn’t want to drive all the way downtown and I hadn’t been digging the casual vibes with this guy. I got there, we greeted each other, ordered coffee and found a table. Our small talk started out so strong! We were getting along and making each other laugh. But then, my contacts started drying out since they had been in for 15 hours already. Yikes. I hate eye contact with dates already. I double hate eye contact when my contacts dry out, because then I end up blinking a lot thinking that that will somehow help. I kept blinking and looking out the window and around the coffee shop as to not make eye contact with him. I probably looked like I was on drugs because I was fidgeting so much and was relaxed and ‘zen’ from yoga that evening. He kept asking me if I was okay and I was so embarrassed. Worst date of my life. I mean, it wasn’t entirely all bad though, he did end up giving me some good life advice. He actually gave me my newest mantra: “I don’t like everyone, so why should everyone like me?” Don’t spend all your time on this planet obsessing over doing and saying the ‘right’ things, things you think other people care about. I’m way over caring what other people think about me. Don’t like me? Get in line! Be selfish. Take care of you first. You shouldn’t have to change for people to like you. You shouldn’t have to change for your significant other, or for anyone. (Don’t get carried away though. Obviously I mean if you love something that they hate, don’t change that, or don’t change yourself to be more of a guy’s ‘type’. Compromise in a relationship is different and you definitely should do that!) I'm talking about people who will manipulate you into becoming their idea of a picture perfect significant other.
Rule #5: Bumble won’t work any better the fourth time you re-download it
I have had Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and Coffee Meets Bagel all on my phone, all at the same time. I have deleted and re-downloaded Tinder twice. I have deleted and re-downloaded Bumble four times. I have gone through my fair shares of the ‘I feel lonely, I need a guy’ phase, and the ‘I feel empowered and need no one’ phase. What I do know, is that none of the apps have worked any better after re-downloading them. This is a hard pill for me to swallow, because I live in Cypress and it’s a suburban town. I doubt I will meet my prince charming at Target or the local coffee shop on a whim. But that’s okay! I am 23 and I have so much time to figure myself out and the rest of my life out. If you’re debating downloading an app again out of pure loneliness, don’t do it! I got on a dating app a week after a major breakup just to make myself feel better about what else was ‘out there’, and the fallout that followed in the next few weeks was tremendous. Finding a new guy so soon is dangerous. My new fling became a proxy. All of my love and multitude of feelings from my ex transferred over to him. When it went downhill, I felt even lonelier, almost like double the loss. I should’ve given myself more time to heal. The lonely feeling will eventually pass, speaking from experience. I will personally give you my number and you can text me instead to occupy your thumbs and we will get through it together. Dating apps can be really great, if you’re in the right head space. If you’ve tried this route and nothing is resulting from it, try a new approach! Do you first, and everything will eventually fall into place. My best friend has told me that she thinks once I finally figure myself out and am completely happy with who I am, that the real right person will come along, and I agree. Everything happens in due time, my friends. Rome wasn't built in a day.
Rule #6: You deserve more than you think you do
You know that popular line in The Perks of Being a Wallflower? "We accept the love we think we deserve." I read that on Twitter the other day, and it really resonated with me. I'm talking to you, girl who thinks a guy bailing on her three weekends in a row is okay. I'm talking to you, girl who is dealing with the guy whose main form of communication with her is Snapchat. And I'm talking to you, girl who is hung up on a guy who just told her he wasn't ready to be in a relationship yet, even though he messaged you first two months ago. (Okay real talk, I'm also talking to myself too.) You might think, 'this is okay because we're both in bad places right now anyways' or 'this is okay because i'm just casually dating and having fun'. News flash: this is not okay. (Unless you seriously are just casually dating.) You deserve so much more than a cute Snapchat every other day. You deserve so much more than a guy who says he has feelings for you but just doesn't want any commitment right now. It's holding you back. I know it, because I've been there. I've dealt with some guys who think all of the above is perfectly fine. It held me back. I put so much energy into the decided 'flirty friendship' with this one guy who I actually really liked, that it made me second guess going on dates with and putting energy into other ones who were actually interested in pursuing me. Don't take yourself for granted. You deserve so much more. I promise you. No matter what ugly secrets your past has, you can't let them define you and hijack your happiness. I hope you choose to walk away from excuses and empty promises and lack of effort. I hope you choose yourself over him.
Well, I hope this 'guy-de' helps you! The rules have definitely helped boost my happiness in the dating world. Just a reminder that no guy is worth losing yourself over. No guy is worth losing your sanity, or self-worth, over. Don't fight for a guy who wouldn't fight for you. You are beautiful, you are loved, and you are going to be okay. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are worth so much more than some cute Snapchats, I don't care how cute you think he is. You are worth so much more than being held back by a cute boy.