Tonight I watched Friends with Benefits with a friend–but not that kind of a friend. And it inspired me to read the next chapter in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Finding Mr. Right. Chapter 2 is learning more about yourself, which includes reflecting upon your past relationships and dating habits, and how those inform your current approach to dating. It reminds us that life isn’t perfect and neither are we, and therefore, we shouldn’t expect dating to be perfect either. And if you have a preconceived notion of what Mr. Perfect is–chances are, it isn’t realistic. So let’s dive in, shall we?The first section describes a number of scenarios that have probably affected your dating in a negative away. And they were quite possibly brought on by none other than yourself. Here are a select few:
- You’ve refused to go out with a guy because he didn’t fit your perfect picture of Mr. Right
- You’ve dropped someone over some insignificant slight.
- You’d prefer to stay with (or continue your pursuit of) Mr. Wrong instead of continuing your quest to find Mr. Right.
One of the tips presented in this section was “he’s a keeper if he knows when to stop joking.” I can speak from personal experience in this area that it’s very important that he’s tuned into your feelings and sensitivities. There is such a thing as crossing the line just to poke a little fun or have some laughs at another’s expense.
The Seven Deadly Sins of Dating
- PRIDE – It goeth before the guy: don’t automatically assume that you’re too good for him. Look, listen and ask questions. Take the time to truly get to know someone. I’ll admit that I’ve done this before. I’ve probably prevented myself from having some great friends and perhaps even a great relationship.
- SLOTH – Ignorance is not bliss: get out and meet people; don’t just expect him (or her) to come to you. Take initiative and choose your attitude.
- WRATH – Let go of the angry young girl: move on from past relationships–it’s only going to hold you back.
- ENVY – Serene, not pea green: the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I have to say that I firmly believe that this is the approach that many of the men in Spokane have taken. They don’t want to fully commit, as it makes it easier for them to back out (or fade away) when something better comes along. I’ve been that “back-burner” boy before and I don’t like it. And I can smell it a mile away because after a while, no matter how low the heat is, it ends up getting burned.
- LUST – Sex siren or one-night stand: see yourself and your body as something priceless and of value. You deserve respect. Don’t give in to the heat of the moment, which is so easy to do. We’ve all been there. And for those of you who are shaking your heads no, you’re either lying, can’t remember or are a freak of nature to not have experienced this.
- GLUTTONY – Give a little, get a lot: appreciate what you have and don’t expect people to jump through hoops. This doesn’t mean that you can’t play hard to get. But don’t be unreasonable. You gotta put forth effort to receive something in return. I’ve often felt like I was the one putting forth all the effort. So much so, that the next time a dating opportunity comes up, I expect this person to make up for the other’s shortcomings. It’s not realistic.
- GREED – Love him, not his bank account: there’s ultimately more to someone then their riches and toys. I can’t say that I’ve ever felt like I’ve been in this position. However, I honestly do feel that I’ve been on the other side and was taken advantage of. In fact, I actually had an ex tell me that he used me. That’s a horrible feeling to have, no matter whether you can appreciate his honesty or not. He wasn’t honest to our relationship and to us.
Dating’s Seven Virtues
These are some great little tips to keep in mind when you’re dating:
- Make prudent choices: judge by actions.
- You deserve respect: no need to explain.
- Don’t jump into bed: this can be a tough one in a society that has loosened it’s expectations on intimacy between two people. Not that I am a prude. I’d be lying if I was even trying to persuade you to believe so. But it’s important to keep in mind that emotional intimacy is a precursor to sexual intimacy. In other words, you’ll enjoy each other more fully if you have a bond between you first.
- Have the courage of your convictions: if something doesn’t feel right, then don’t push it. Trust your gut.
- Have faith in your choice: ask yourself if he makes you happy when he’s around and if you feel good about yourself.
- Hope means happiness: don’t come into it negative. It won’t get you anywhere.
- Charity begins with you: don’t go out with someone because you’d feel guilty if you didn’t. I have a belief that we have an innate sense of attraction to people. That there is some spark that ignites when we see someone of interest, it’s just recognizing that it may not always be the fireworks we see in the movies.
There was a line from tonight’s movie that resonates with me: It’s not the person that you want to spend Friday night with that you’re searching for. It’s the person who you want to spend all day Saturday with. It makes me think of this past weekend, when I went to a friend’s work BBQ as her +1 and she joined me to see my parents perform in a band later that evening. Or the friend who accompanied me to the Spokane Civic Theatre’s production of Buddy and then later served as my personal fashionista and dinner date. Both of those experiences were time well spent, enjoyable and made me happy. They were sustained moments of happiness. I know that those experiences are what I want.