Tuesday, September 20, 2011

35 Things I have Learned

Inspired by this post, here are 35 things I have learned (or think I have learned) about dating and relationships, one for each year I have been alive (in no particular order).

1. Wanting to always be right is a lousy strategy in dating and in life in general.

2. Fear is behind so many of the mistakes we make.

3. Things are often unclear at the end of a first date, even if both people like each other.

4. Anyone who expects you to be a mind reader much of the time is probably not the best choice of romantic partners.

5. Talking a lot about former relationships on a first date is rarely a good sign.

6. Assumptions are a royal path to hell.

7. Just because a relationship ends doesn't mean it was a "failure."

8. Pay close attention

9. Delay final judgments

10. Just because you get along well doesn't mean you're a great match.

11. Just because you have a lot in common doesn't mean you're a great match.

12. Be willing to break your own rules.

13. A little kindness goes a long way.

14. Whenever you start making negative generalizations about the entire group of folks in your dating pool, it's time to take a step back and maybe a break.

15. Too much optimism is foolish; not enough optimism is also foolish.

16. Way too many of us are unrealistic about love and romance, and then wonder why we're so despondent about it all.

17. Being single is absolutely fine.

18. You often attract what you are, in some way, doing in your own life.

19. There is no magic formula. For any of it.

20. It's best to maintain silence on Facebook and other social media about current dating experiences, positive or negative.

21. It's best to also maintain the same silence about specific problems occurring in a long term relationship. Save that kind of stuff for face to face conversations with friends and family.

22. Arguments often start over the stupidest things.

23. Whatever stupid thing you're arguing about is almost always not the real issue.

24. Having sex with someone always changes things, even if those changes are for the better.

25. Most of us aren't good at rejecting others.

26. Avoiding conflict almost always leads to more conflict.

27. Don't deliberately try to change your partner.

28. Don't date people who treat you like a rehab project.

29. Learning how to be honest about what you are feeling and experiencing without leaping to judgment of the other is perhaps the most important relationship skill to develop.

30. If pop culture is the biggest influence on how you view and approach relationships, you're in major, major trouble.

31. Being passive and expecting someone to just appear in your life and do all the work to get a relationship going is a really stupid approach to dating.

32. Adults need to remember that we aren't in high school anymore. Some of us haven't been there for a hell of a long time, but somehow continue to act like they never left.

33. Replace "high school" with "college" in number 32.

34. Let go of your definitions of love and learn to actually do it, with the actual person you are with.

35. Whatever you do, stop taking yourself so seriously.


  1. I wonder even how much more powerful this list would be if the words we, you, us etc are replaced with I?

    Nothing like an I statement to focus the mind I reckon.



  2. A good point. "I" statements definitely can help to bring things inward.

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