Sunday, September 15, 2013
10 No Nonsense Guidelines for Dating and Relationships
1. People don't owe you anything. Seriously, they don't. They don't owe you dinner. They don't owe you sex. They don't even owe you respect.
2. Stop believing that instant chemistry equals love and ever lasting romance. It's a bloody story. Fairy tale. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, that oh my god feeling you have with someone on a first date will lead to a few weeks or months of hot romping in bed, followed by misery, slow fade, or fast disappearance.
3. Stop believing you're so special that everyone should worship your every word, and cater to your every need. Even if you only think this 20% of the time, get to work so that 20% moves towards zero.
4. No one is always right. Learn to admit you're wrong sometimes. Or that you don't know.
5. Someone who listens well, and is measured in their criticism, is a hell of a lot sexier than the charismatic know it all over the long haul.
6. If you find yourself placing all or most of the blame for your dating and relationship struggles on others, wake the hell up! Because it's YOU that is the common denominator! Go. Get a mirror and stare into it until you can't see yourself anymore. And then repeat until humble, or until you blackout. Whichever comes first. Please, whatever you do, don't drink and stare.
7. With that said, it's also true that many of the problems you are facing in dating or in your relationship are partly collective in nature. People are fond of biological differences arguments these days, but social conditioning, gender stereotypes, the straightjacket of patriarchal norms (which brings misery regardless of your gender), economic conditions, and so many other things play a role in our struggles. We can take responsibility for our actions and reactions, but it's not all about "you" or "I" or even "the other person" in the end.
8. Humor. You have some? Let it lose. You don't have any? Find some. Borrow some. Buy some. The one area where the exchange economy might be necessary. Cause if there's one thing lacking in the modern dating world, it's humor. I'll take a funny single person over a dour, hyper serious coupled person any day. I bet you would too, even if you're one of the hyper serious folks I'm talking about here.
9. Gratitude. The single most important ingredient commonly missing from modern dating and modern relationships. When was the last time you were grateful simply to spend a few hours with someone on a date? Not out of desperation, but because they showed up, and listened to your silly stories, and shared a few of theirs. Seriously, our lives are fleeting, and it's way to easy to loose most of it to selfishness, expectations, and other such nonsense.
10. Life is short. Slow down. Enjoy what you have. Don't get too caught up in what may or may not happen in the future, and let the past teach you, not control you.