From weird dates to those dreaded almost relationships, there have been a lot of times when I’ve asked myself why I’m in the situation that I’m in. Once I figured out that the guys I was picking were pretty toxic, I realized these 11 important things:
1. I CAN’T BE THE ONLY ONE KEEPING A RELATIONSHIP ALIVE.
If I like a guy, I have no problem texting him first, asking him out, or even letting him know that I want to keep seeing him. Sometimes, that means that I’m the only one making an effort and the guy never reciprocates. I’ve learned that if a relationship is going to work, I have to take a step back so the other person can play their own part. If they don’t, then I need to move on.
2. SOME PEOPLE JUST DON’T GET ME.
Whether it’s because I’m ambitious, enjoy my career, or have a tendency to ramble about the things I love, like health and pop culture, there are some things about me that some guys aren’t into. That means I have to walk away when I can tell that the guy doesn’t truly get me and might not even like me.
3. I KNOW WHEN I’M UNHAPPY.
If I have a sinking feeling that the guy that I’m seeing isn’t the right one for me, I have to learn to trust that gut instinct. I can always tell when I’m unhappy because I’m distracted AF and everything feels strange. Why should I keep lying to myself just to keep a guy in my life?
4. I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO OVERTHINK EVERYTHING.
When I’m thinking too much about a dating situation, I’ve figured out that means that this is the wrong fit for me. The right guy is not going to make me worry 24/7 or wonder what he’s thinking or feeling. It’s going to be obvious.
5. THE FIRST DATE REALLY IS MAKE OR BREAK.
These days, I’ve been going on more dates with the same person instead of that awful hope/disappointment first date cycle. That’s awesome if I actually like the guy. If I’m not sure about him after the first time that we grab a drink, I’ve realized that I have to forget about a second date. Sure, there’s a certain amount of awkwardness and people get nervous, but it’s not that hard to be yourself. If a guy can’t show me his real self, then I don’t need to see him again.
6. TEXTING IS ACTUALLY IMPORTANT.
On the one hand, sitting by the phone and waiting for a guy is text is the lamest thing ever. On the other hand, if someone can’t message me back within a reasonable time frame, he’s probably not interested in me. And if I never hear from him, whether to make plans or just chat, that’s telling me something too.
7. THINGS WILL ALWAYS GET WORSE, NOT BETTER.
This is totally a life lesson that doesn’t only apply to dating. If a situation is really bad, there are two choices: stick around and wait for it to get worse or leave and feel better. Instead of continuing to date a toxic guy, I have to make a change and leave at the first sign of trouble.
8. THE BEGINNING TELLS THE STORY OF THE END.
If a first date is horrible, then everything else is going to be horrible, too. I’m done with thinking that if I just get to know a guy better, he’s going to be more excited about dating me or he will seem more interesting. Things should honestly feel fun and comfortable from the very start.
9. IT’S POSSIBLE TO HAVE WINE-COLORED GLASSES ON.
Meeting for drinks is a pretty good way to get to know someone. I have to tell myself that even if I’m enjoying the conversation and the company, that doesn’t mean this guy is a good one. He might be putting on a persona or telling me what he thinks I want to hear. I’m much more cautious now.
10. THERE’S NO RUSH.
I know that realistically, I have no clue when I’m going to meet the right guy. It could be on my next date. It could be in a month. It could be an entire year from now. Instead of feeling pressured to have a successful love life right now, I’m going to keep the faith and tell myself that there’s no rush. It will happen when it happens. And that’s totally fine.
11. I WILL GET ANOTHER CHANCE AT LOVE.
It’s super tempting for me to go on a third or fourth date with someone when I’m unsure about them. I wonder if this is my only shot at love (or at even liking someone) and figure I might as well keep seeing them. From now on, I’m no longer going to think that way. I’m going to believe that, yes, I’m absolutely going to get another chance at love. I just know I’m going to be so much better off.