Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dating: My Way

I've been getting quite a few emails requesting dating advice. While I am no pro at this, I have learned some pretty priceless lessons along the way. The best DATING ADVICE I can give to anyone, anywhere (never married, divorced, young or old) is to follow these 4 simple rules:

(if you missed yesterday's post about the most horrific date I've ever been on, you might want to read it here as most of these dating tips evolved from that one specific night :)

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RULE NUMBER 1-  You are in control. You say what, when and where.

I have been on more first dates where I was feeling really nervous and/or uncomfortable! Whether the guy wanted to take me on a long car ride up the mountain, or even to a restaurant a few cities away, in the back of my mind I was always a little concerned for my safety. Always. Once I learned that I didn't have to do anything I wasn't comfortable with, my dates were much more enjoyable!

For example: I had 'mountain guy' who after dinner wanted to take me to the top of a peak and pop popcorn over a fire... just us. This was a first and blind date, mind you, and while I give him an A for effort for cuteness, this did NOT sound like something fun to do with a stranger.  After reluctantly agreeing on the phone that I'd pack some hiking clothes, my stomach turned sour and I was dreading the date. An hour or so later though, I gathered up the courage to call him back to tell him that I'd prefer staying somewhere closer to home. He was perfectly fine with the idea and we had a nice time.

I also had 'biker dude' who wanted me to drive up into the canyon on his motorcycle, my legs wrapped around him and NO helmet. This was a first and blind date, as well. When he mentioned his plan over the phone, I didn't even consider it. I told him maybe another time and that I'd prefer to meet him across the street in a public place. He then asked if we bag the motorbike ride, that I reserve 4 hours of the night to spend with him instead. I didn't want to spend 4 hours with him and so, I told him I only had enough time for dinner since my son was with a sitter. He was highly disappointed and there was no question about it! But I had to do what felt best for me.

I could list all the creepy dates I've been on and WHY I feel that Rule #1 is so important; but I'd rather post examples of how I've changed some dates to better accommodate my 'comfortable factor' as a woman in the dating world. Once I got the COURAGE to call the shots, it was then that I enjoyed going out and actually dating- anxiety free.

RULE NUMBER 2- Meet him somewhere in public. Do NOT let him pick you up at your house.

I know it sounds like something my overly-cautious Grammie would say... but seriously... MEET your date somewhere for your first or second or even third date. And I don't care if your friend thinks he's nice or if your mom's neighbor across the street thinks he is absolutely adorable. The truth is, YOU don't know him nor do you know what his intentions are. While there are some really GREAT guys out there, there are also LOTS of creepy ones! So, unless you know this person on a very personal level already, pick a place to meet in public!

This will also allow you to bail early if you're not really feeling it. You can be kind and courteous, of course, but if you're ready to go home after dinner, you can. You don't have to abide by his terms- which goes back to Rule #1.

RULE NUMBER 3- Don't divulge your entire life history.

I'm totally guilty of this and yeah, it was usually on the FIRST date!

It was almost robotic in a way. I'd order my food, the menu would be taken from my hands, and then I'd say "So.... yeah... I'm divorced... my husband cheated on me... oh you know, porn, lies, infidelity!"  Pretty soon there would be silence and I'd realize that I just told a perfect stranger EVERYTHING that had ever happened in my life/marriage... and we hadn't even gotten our drinks yet!

This is no bueno people! Don't vomit your life history on the first date (or second or third). Of course you can elude to why you're divorced by saying something like "yes, I am divorced... unfortunately infidelity was involved.... but I'm getting better everyday! Let's not talk about that right now though... tell me more about you!" Or something along those lines. But save the gory details of your SPLIT (or recent breakup) until you think you really like the guy and  it becomes important to share some specifics.

In the mean time, no one wants to hear all the drama- especially on a first date!

It's also important to leave a little intrigue about yourself, anyway ;) If you like them, keep them wanting more of you... don't lay it all out there day 1.

RULE NUMBER 4- Ask him questions that are of IMPORTANCE to you.

Okay, so this might seem like it's contradicting to the last rule, but I'm a firm believer in this!

Pornography and masturbation addictions were key contributors to the dissolution of my marriage. Because of this, the P and M words were/are (except I'm in a relationship now) brought up very quickly on my behalf. Not on every date, mind you, but the guys who I was somewhat interested in got the question on the first or second date.

"So.... WHEN was the last time you looked at porn?" and "Do you have any addictions?"

Usually I'd get an honest answer out them.... if they weren't choking on their pizza, that is :) I'd then take whatever answer I got out of them to my shrink and we'd assess if he was a worthy contender for another date... LOL!

If something is important to you (ie addictions, the desire to have a family someday, religion, whatever), don't hesitate to ask him! Uncomfortable as those questions may be, you might as well get them out of the way, instead of prolonging the inevitable!

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So there you have it- dating my way!

I honestly think if I had known these rules and executed them from day one, I would have saved myself from so many lousy, nerve-wracking, awkward dates!

***LADIES: Anything else you would add to this list? I know I left out the relax, have fun, be confident sort of tips, but I think those are pretty no-brainer. I'm thinking more on the 'protect yourself and be safe' sort of lines. DUDES: What do you think of my list? Too harsh or do you agree?






12 comments:

  1. As a guy I completely agree with your list. When I take a woman out on a first date, I always take her somewhere public (restaurant, ice skating, local park). It makes her more at ease and it's just the respectful thing to do.

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  2. Great list! I can add something, however it's not something that can apply to everyone - I live in a small town (8,000 or so) and my brother is a cop. He's an excellent resource if I ever need one. :)

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    1. This would be a HUGE comfort to me... Lucky girl ;)

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  3. OH man. I was so dumb when I was in college. I can think of one date in particular where I met a guy on the phone (wrong number and we ended up chatting--it's embarrassing to even admit that I went out with a "wrong number"). And to make it even worse, I let him come pick me up! I didn't know this guy. No one I knew knew this guy. In fact, I don't even think any of my roommates even saw him when he came to pick me up. HOW ARE WE THIS DUMB?? This is a very good list, especially for people who have been out of the dating world for a while and need a little reminder.

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    1. This is AWESOME Mac... LOL. Love it! A wrong number date?????? I'd be so afraid it was a serial killer or something! ha! Thanks for making me laugh!

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  4. My brain can't even go here! Dating someone again??? it seems soooo foreign.

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    1. And it will feel foreign until you get out of this limbo phase you're in! Because for all you know, you may stay married and fight this out... I so do NOT envy where you are right now... it is TOUGH! Don't think ahead too far... your mind will EXPLODE from all the conflicting feelings. Just take it one day at a time and things will slowly start to feel more normal, whichever direction you go.

      Sending you hugs!

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  5. Just found your blog and pretty much read your life story. You are amazing Jacy! You are one strong lady! You go girl!
    I am your newest follower, can't wait to read more!
    -Bridgette

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    1. Hi Bridgette! WELCOME! I am so glad you found yourself here.

      Thank you so very much for your kind, kind words. They mean so much! I hope to get to know you better and I'm sooooo happy you plan to stick around ;)

      Chime in whenever! You are so beautiful, btw!

      Jacy

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  6. This is great and very empowering. Unfortunately, I have been a very people pleaser in the past and did many things because I wanted to make others happy. I mean, I know that can be good...but as long as I am not going against "RULE NUMBER 1", right?

    Thanks for your strength. YOU are such a beautiful person!!

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