Jake DiMare explains how dating is (or should be) all about honesty and respect.
What I would tell my younger self about dating, given the chance:
Jake, Jake, Jake…Where should I begin? First of all, relax. You are an okay guy and, believe it or not, some women are attracted to you. You are smart enough, funny enough and handsome enough. Stop being so scared and try being honest with women.
You know those women you keep ending up in relationships with after they give it up? You know the ones I am talking about. It doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t need to trade the hollow, empty promise of a long term relationship with women to manipulate them into giving it up. I’m serious. Cut that out…lying is not ‘good’.
Try to understand, love isn’t something you feel after sex. Love is something you do. It’s something you give to someone else who is worthy of such high affection. Romance should be a manifestation of love, not a mechanism to get in some girl’s pants.
We are 36 years old now and we’re getting married this year so I’m not going to talk a lot about dating for the express purpose of getting laid. You know we’ve done our fair share. Again, all I will say on the topic is be honest and treat women with more respect. There is nothing wrong with being single and chasing tail, so long as you can follow the aforementioned rules.
Instead, I’m going to share what I have learned about the other kind of dating. The kind you do while in search of a real companion because that’s where we are in life now. As far as I am concerned the search for a healthy, loving relationship with a person you want to spend a lifetime with is more interesting anyways. It’s a hell of a lot more challenging.
Like dating to get laid, dating to find the love of your life also requires honesty and respect. However, it starts with caring for yourself with these principles. The first step to building a healthy long term relationship is to know who you are and what you want. I know you don’t have any of that figured out yet so I am going to help you figure it out. Go get a notebook and settle down. This is might take a while.
This purpose of this exercise is to get honest with yourself about what you want. For once in your life, think about who you really want to be with up front, instead of thinking about how to get away from the one you ended up with. You are worthy.
Write a few paragraphs defining the ideal relationship. Don’t leave anything out. What are the characteristics of your true companion? Someone who challenges you to be the very best version of yourself? Is she ambitious or lazy? Is she honest? Does she want a career or does she want a family? Is she religious? Does she want children? Leave no stone unturned and remember it doesn’t matter what you right down as long as it is an honest reflection of what you want.
The last piece of the puzzle is simple but contrary to your instincts: Stop with the ‘casting couch’ approach. You’re not going to be available for the right girl to come into your life if you are in a perpetual state of trying girls on for size with sex first and conversation later.
Instead, start taking things slow. Get to know women one step at a time. There’s no set number of dates or anything here…Just try and get to know a women before you jump in the sack with her. You know what you want now and taking a more measured approach will allow you to weed out the ones who are completely wrong for you before feelings get involved.
Oh yeah, there’s one more important thing about being ‘honest with yourself’ to consider. I’m not going to bore you with the truth that you are not going to change someone else with love. I know you are not ready to believe me yet. Instead, the question you should ask yourself is this: Why would you want to be in a relationship with someone you need to change in the first place?
photo: lel4nd / flickr