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Early last winter I made a big decision. A courageous one. A scary one. A necessary one.
I determined to write the ending to a chapter of my life, the beginning of the end, spil it were. I wished to begin the next (possibly painful) escapade ter the little journey of my life I like to call “my current reality.”
Spil much spil I didn’t want to go there again (or, let’s be fair, to don something other than yoga pants), it wasgoed time.
Having spent a good year getting reacquainted with myself and my charming set of idiosyncrasies, I recognized the occasion calling for mij to zekering avoiding masculine attention and to begin practising the kunst of social bullshitting again.
Yep. That’s right. It wasgoed time to begin dating.
Oh boy. Bring on the awkwardness.
Dating ter your 30s is hard. I have created a life so total of joy and friends and work and kids and individual fulfillment that finding time for the media fellow wasgoed uh, well, not so reasonable–thus the ensuing “search” for Joe Squared commenced.
Did I master the kunst of courtship? Um, no. I did, however, learn a lotsbestemming about myself and my priorities, about the dating process, about other people and that I have an entire toilet total of clothes but nothing to wear. Serious problems, you know?
Te any case, I collected some (good?) advice and stories, and te honor of my sisters and brothers fighting the good fight, here are my notes from the trenches. Read cautiously. Project wisely. Share strategically. Laugh generously.
The CTFD (Quiet the F*** Down) Guide to Dating.
1. Own your own shit
You are who you are and that’s the end of the story sister. If you feel compelled to present yourself spil something other than who you truly are, to have interests that you don’t truly have, to know things you don’t truly know then you are te trouble, my dear. That facade will only hold up for so long. Be willing to grow and learn and attempt fresh things—but label them clearly spil such. Don’t be a poser. Know what kleuter of eggs you like.
Two. Don’t be such a schouwspel queen
Gravely. Chill. Out. Don’t take anything personally, nothing others do is because of you. Slow your roll, dial it back about 1,000 notches and zekering reading into every teeny lil’ little everything. Just spil you react to things based on what’s going on te your life and ter your head, so do other people. It’s actually not all about you. Shit. Little “good news, bad news” delivery here. Yikes.
Trio. Don’t make assumptions
Very first impressions are significant, whether they are supuesto or ter person. However, misrepresentations toebijten, and often, especially via electronic communication. Sadly, there is no sarcasm font, and emoticons will only get you so far ter nonverbal response. Additionally, credentials are just paper—a job, a degree, or a “pedigree,” so to speak, is only one puny part of a person, it is not who they are. A degree does not equate intelligence, strafgevangenis does the lack of one indicate the opposite. Gather some facts before drawing conclusions. However…
Four. Be skeptical, but learn to listen (to your gut)
Unless you: a) have endless time on your mitts, b) like spending it running te circuitous mobility, or, more likely, c) love learning lessons the hard way, listen to your intuition. Indeed. If something tells you it’s not right, it’s most likely not. Know the difference inbetween simply being uneasy because you are getting out of your convenience zone and what is legitimately no bueno para ti. Don’t spend your time attempting to make something work that you know isn’t going to, things that are meant to be aren’t usually that complicated (well, unless you make them that way, ter which case, please re-read #Two).
Five. Always do (be) your best.
This shouldn’t be difficult, it should be effortless to be the best version of yourself around people with whom you spend time. If it’s not, then it’s time to stir on to something better. Relationships are about bringing out the best ter each other, not the worst, and not the person someone else wants you to be. Just you, the best you, whoever that is today.
6. Look where you’re going
Leave your past te the past. Gravely. There is a time and place for viewing the skeletons ter your toilet and unpacking your baggage. Very first, 2nd, even third dates are not it. Your past has shaped who you are, it has shifted your paradigm and your perspective, but it is neither your present strafgevangenis your future. Zekering inviting the Ghost of Christmas Past to dinner with you, nobody likes a third wheel.
7. Be quiet already and zekering oversharing
Ask don’t tell, listen more than you talk, and zekering sharing your entire life story ter the very first hour. Ditto with explaining yourself—knock it off. People earn the privilege of hearing your private information and story by earning your trust, save it for the right people. Be authentic, modest and genuine. Your deeds speak louder than your words, and uh, your selfies. Photo overshares to fresh acquaintances, by the way, come off spil a marketing ploy. Translation: you’re attempting too hard and it’s not hot. Like, not at all.
8. Trust the universe
Everything wij do prepares us for something else, for better and for worse. A bad date helps us to love a good one, a good relationship gets us ready for a excellent one, a painful or arduous practice tests our composure, plasticity and resilience. Be grateful for the opportunities provided, ter whatever form they come. That being said, be ready to see them, stay open and choose your concessions cautiously. There is a difference inbetween a compromise and lodging, a big one. If it comes let it come, if it stays let it stay, if it goes, well, let it go.
9. Don’t go pursuing waterfalls
The right person will come at the right time and for the right reasons. Being overly responsive or attentive is a bad project, the idea of “the chase” isn’t meant to be you cyberstalking and checking ter every hour. Zekering. Now. No. Just no. This means that if your messaging pattern goes from phone sucking up to you staring at it, nonstop, checking to make sure it’s working, you are pretty much done there, sweetheart. If he responds intermittently to you, then yeah, you’re not the only damsel ter his voeling list. Let that one go. Taken from the throats of our wise elders, “Don’t make someone a priority who treats you like an option.”
Ten. Project your escape route cautiously
Gravely. I have “rescued” a friend from a bad date, recently, and while wearing my “Spiritual Gangster” waterreservoir top. It wasgoed half awesome, half hilarious. I personally have zero problem calling it when I see it (politely of course), but it’s taken mij some solid practice to learn the kunst of the graceful uitgang. Some things to reminisce: 1) take a cab if you can, use a rail sharing app if you truly want to do it right, so you can “call” them slyly from under the table and then all of a sudden “voila!” it’s time to go, no awkward waiting around, Two) meet for coffee or a drink, not dinner, and Trio) don’t stand someone up, that’s just bad form (and bad karma). Be fair with what’s going on. Don’t be an arse but keep it efectivo (translation, do not have a friend call you with a fake emergency. I promise you that is not going to end well).