We all have the one friend or family member that always feels the need to give you “nuggets” of advice.
Because I am the only grandchild of appropriate marriage and child bearing age who isn’t in a relationship I seem to be the target of the hail storm of wisdom in my family. And they’re not the only ones. I’ve had more than a few friends try to share their relationship “knowledge" with me too. While I appreciate it all, and I take each and every grain with gratitude, I’ve also learned when to discern wisdom from pure nonsense. So behold, the five worst dating tips I’ve ever received:
Sex isn’t that big of a deal, always give him the “cookie”.
I’ll say this much about myself and the hardships I’ve had to endure dating over the past few years -Sex changes everything! I don’t know which hood rat spread the lie that sex isn’t a big deal but let me tell you it is. You can be friends with a guy and have a great friendship and one romp in the sheets can ruin everything. Someone is bound to catch feelings and more likely than not, it’s us ladies. In my wilder past I was a little bit more than promiscuous but after a while I realized I was always emptier than when I arrived. Yes it’s important to have an intimate relationship with the person you’re dating but intimacy does not have to equal sex. If the person I’m dating can’t come over and simply lay down with me, I have the good sense to recognize it’s not me they want but the conquest they’re after, and once that’s achieved there’s nothing else. Sex is an act, intimacy is a connection.
Don’t be needy, always be independent.
This will be the death of me. I’m so I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T half the time I don’t realize that I’m pushing people away. Now I’m not just talking about having my own place (update on that later!), or having my own car or a job or paying my bills, I’m talking about emotional independence too. I’ve been asked out on several dates where I have pulled out my credit card when the bill came expecting to pay my half because I didn’t want whoever I was on that date with to think they could buy me with a 10 piece of Buffalo Wild Wing Extra Hot.
No you will not!
It wasn’t until one of my close guy friends took me out and actually yelled at me for having that mentality. He firmly explained to me that actions like that push men away, especially in the beginning. Men may not admit it but they need to be needed just as much as women do. If you take the opportunity away from a man who values you to be needed you’re devaluing him as a man and as a partner. Being raised in a single parent home with a mother whom I never saw take handouts or sympathy from anyone, let alone a man, is probably why I’ve held on to my “I don’t need no man to take care of me” attitude, but the truth is, I do need a man to take care of me. I’ve learned through watching my mom and stepdad and other successful couples whom I admire, that a man who loves you will recognize your needs but will never call you “needy” for them. Be needy sometimes, your man needs it.
- Listen to your heart, it’s always right.
Abso-blanking-lutley not! Do you know how many times my heart has got me into a situation that my brain had already told me to steer clear of? I traveled over six hours on multiple occasions to see the same emotionally draining man I’d been dating on and off because “my heart told me to” only to end up heartbroken again. Never-not-ever again. You may love someone, but honey if your heart tells you to ride or die for him but your brain is telling you otherwise, take a moment and reevaluate. That’s not say don’t ever listen to your heart because amazing things can come from it, that is to say be cautious. We’re not Disney princesses; prince charming doesn’t ride in on a white hours at the end of this movie. Use your heart to guide you but use your brain and the good sense you were born with to do the rest. Love is blind; I prefer to not be Ray Charles
Don’t waste your time.
Follow me on this one. I know no one likes wasting their time but have you ever considered just what dating really is? It’s a waste of time and whether you like it or not to know what you want you’re going to have to waste a little bit of it. You’re not always going to get lucky and meet the love of your life before you hit puberty. You’re not always going to get along with everyone and know exactly what you want by the time you’re 20.
I had to waste a lot of my time dating some men to know what I really value now. Had you asked me when I was 16 what I wanted in a husband I probably would have ignorantly said “a nice car, a nice job and cute eyes”. I literally cringe at my naivety. But if you ask me now what I value most in a man it’s compassion, loyalty and family. But I wouldn’t have known that’s what I wanted unless I wasted my time with boys who had nice cars and nice jobs and cute eyes. So I’ve decided to waste a little bit of time. I’ve gone out with men I would never have gone out with and found that it was some of the most fun I’d had in a long time. It may have never worked out but sometimes wasted time turns out to actually be time well spent.
Always fight to keep your relationship
This is a touchy subject. I am an extremely loyal woman. Once you have me, you have me. If something is wrong I want to know and I want to fix it, even if I wasn’t the one who broke it. I’ve been in a number of situations where I’ve been cheated on and I blamed myself but instead of pulling myself together and realizing it wasn’t me I stuck around trying to Olivia Pope the damage. My desire to fix the situation sometimes just made it worse.
I understand sometimes there are circumstances surrounding a relationship that make it hard to walk away but I’ve learned in any situation you have to put yourself first. If fighting for your relationship is what is best then by all means do it. But if fighting is draining your spirit or turning you into someone or something you’re not, you need to walk away. I stayed in a relationship with a man who was so emotionally abusive I swore every issue we ever had was because of me. It wasn’t until I stopped fighting, stepped back and realized I had fought all I could that I could be happy without him. Sometimes the battle isn’t yours to fight and white flags need to be drawn. Learn the difference between fighting for your relationship and fighting against yourself.