I have several friends, male and female, who come to me for dating advice on a regular basis. What makes me some sort of expert? Nothing really. I'm no Patti Stanger from Matchmaker Millionaire. I'm certainly no Yenta (sadly I'm a Gentile) though I think being a nagging Jewish mother would be awesome! I have lived through several years-long "successful" relationships (in the sense that both myself and my partners were happy and in love for years even though things didn't last) and in my periods of male-drought I've been on TONS of dates. Currently, I'm dating a worthy guy with our future fate at status "unknown" but with some promise. So I guess I have something to say. And so does anyone who has been out there really.
When it comes down to it - I believe- take ANY and ALL the advice you can get. Try everything. Consider anything. Find out what you are comfortable with and what works for you. And sometimes take a risk and do what's uncomfortable too. Hey, if it ain't working, it ain't working! - time to change your tactics...
This brings us to my most recent dating advice bestowed on a singleton about to go on a first date with a girl, whom he'd met briefly but didn't know much about. This was our discourse:
The Dater: she may hate my guts when I speak
Me: Just try to be friendly, optimistic, talkative, even overly so. - Sometimes I think that you don't like me or are mad or not having a good time but really you're just calm/relaxed/easy going/aloofish. That's just your way.
The Dater: yes, I hope she doesn't think that
Me: You want her to feel warmed/welcomed like you are having a good time
The Dater: I want her to like me!!
Me: hahahha. Well -- then be LIKEABLE
The Dater: that's the hard bit
Me: Okay so I want you to pretend every second of this date EVEN IF YOU FIND out SHE'S NOT AS good looking as you remember or not nice or not cool or not fun or different than you thought I want you to use this date as PRACTICE -- practicing being THERE, being PRESENT, being NICE to another person. Your goal is to give HER the best DATE EXPERIENCE possible. Forget about yourself, your wants, your needs, your satisfaction -no matter what. Treat her the way you would treat THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE. But of course as if this is the first date with the love of your life. Be polite, chivalrous, enthusiastic. Smile, ask questions, etc. I think that you need to think of this as being a great date FOR YOUR DATE and the likeability part will come. Its not about you, its about her. Period. Just go out, meet a new person, and treat them great and you'll be fine.
Such, was my advice...
Unfortunately, as it turned out, the date did not go well. My dating friend described it as a "nightmare." But I do not think that all was not lost from this encounter. Because he was likely a better version of himself? Perhaps he improved himself as a dating prospect? Or maybe because he at least has the piece of mind that he did everything he could to make things go well on his end. After all, at the end of the day, what else can you do? And how bad can you feel?
Things in my relationship have been bumpy. Perhaps it is the three month bumps. Perhaps we are not a good fit. I don't know. Somehow though, I have a sense of calm about things despite the difficulties. Which as you know - is not my specialty. I am not calm. Instead, I am the storm to most calms. But lately - I am relaxed and self-assured in the role that I've been playing. Frankly, I am kicking ass as a girlfriend -- to put it plainly. Seriously. I am patient, I am kind, I am thoughtful. I am understanding and forgiving and giving. I meet his friends and wow his boss. I'm flexible on scheduling and activities. I care about him. Deeply. I try to make him happy. I try to be fun and positive and supportive. I don't act jealous (Even though I'm terribly jealous). I respect him, trust him and admire him. And I am the least selfish person I have ever been. Mostly, this transformation is from intentionally pushing myself every day to be the best version of myself because he deserves it. And because it feels good to be the best me I've ever been. So at the end of the day - if he doesn't know how great I am - or doesn't think I'm the woman of his dreams - there is nothing else that I can do. Ultimately however, giving love has been even greater than receiving love. I have made it about him, not me. Which may be the truest definition of love. Which is not to say...I'm not wanting and hoping to receive in return.
What are your thoughts dear readers? Good advice? Bad advice? Make it about them first? Or should it start with you?