How to write your own dating rules

By

How to write your own dating rules

When I first started dating, I had no idea there were any rules to follow. The only guidance I received was from my dysfunctional heart. I learned from my mom to “be nice” and from my father “obey and don’t talk back.” Of course, after years in the singles circuit these wonderful words of wisdom did more damage in my love life than good. I was a doormat to womanizers and left heartbroken too many times to count. Like me in my single days, many of my clients struggle with the right code of conduct to follow to be effective in dating.

After following from my parents teaching that didn’t seem to work, I started listening to my girlfriends who told me about the book, “The Rules”. Honestly, I don’t know which was worse. My friends told me to be a bitch because guys like bitches. OK, well I am not a bitch so anytime I tried to put on a scowl my efforts seemed fake, almost desperate. Guys were definitely running away from the psycho girl who got mad at everything and demanded too much in the first few weeks of dating. Nothing was working and I felt that maybe there was just something wrong with me.

After throwing out others rules, I decided to make my own. Instead of trying to act in a way to please a man and manipulate him to love me, I refocused my efforts on me. I found a way to build my confidence and made my own dating commandments. The commandments weren’t what I expected of the man as much as what I expected of myself. I set forth what was natural for me and what I needed to feel good in a relationship. Then, the right type of guys would come to fill my opening for the position of love of my life instead of me being a chameleon to win them over.

When you have your own rules set up before you start dating, you won’t be forced to make them up as you go or, worse, decide that someone’s behavior is acceptable because he is really cute. Being sure of how you should handle yourself prevents you from getting a consensus from the girls. You won’t need to pour your concerns over wine and late nights on the phone as to what you should do when he doesn’t call or cancels at the last minute. No one knows what you need in a relationship more than you.

The exercise of writing your own rules not only simplifies the dating process for you and alleviates those confusing times when the guy acts out of line, but having standards in place also increases your confidence. If you have to teach a man to treat you nice by manipulative behavior and dating tricks, you give away your power and allow him to be the prize to be won. Why would you want that jerk anyway? Worse, you have to keep up your act and tricks throughout the entire relationship. Being confident in who you are and what you deserve makes you more attractive and you can be the decider and experience love that lasts.

After you design your rules, find a way to build your confidence so that you can be sure that you stick to them. You can start by having the rules apply outside of dating to all areas of your life. How are you treated by your boss, co-workers, clients, friends and family members? Knowing that you deserve love and respect is the first step. As you stand your ground in other areas, it will become natural for you to date with power. You can’t demand respect until you believe that you deserve it.

Keep reading...

More Juicy Content From YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Debi Berndt

Author

Debi Berndt is the co-founder of CreativeLove.com, a personal development system for singles to stop fixing themselves and finally find true love. She works with her partner, Dr. Robert Maldonado (Psychologist). Their system was developed based on Carl Jung's work and influenced by Eastern Philosophy.  Debi is also the author of the bestselling book, LET LOVE IN. Get your free lecture and meditation - Why you are single and how to find love without fixing yourself here.

Location: Santa Monica, CA
Credentials: CHT
Other Articles/News by Debi Berndt:

Afraid You'll Never Find Love? Get Over It

By

Do you feel that no matter what you do, nothing seems to work out for you in your love life? The years are passing and you fear that you will be spending the rest of your life alone. Sometimes the fear is so great that you break down and get triggered after a bad date or someone you liked fell away. Your fearful ego is driving your efforts and, instead of ... Read more

Always Getting Rejected? 3 Ways To Love Yourself Anyway

By

You hear people tell you, "you have to love yourself first," before someone will love you. This common self-help quote didn't help me much. I tried to love myself. I took confidence workshops and I said my affirmations, but when someone I liked stopped calling, my positive thoughts turned into self-hate again. I thought, "What is wrong with ... Read more

Pop Your Comfort Bubble & Open Up To Love

By

Are you afraid of being alone and single? Do you wonder if the search for true love will ever be over? Do you obsess over the idea, "what if I never meet anyone?" Most singles say being alone scares them and they fear never meeting that special person. The unconscious mind, however, is always moving you away from what you fear and trying to keep you ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB