Dating got you down? Your approach may need a makeover.
Too often, I see women devastated by their dating experiences. Despite their best efforts, men never treat them the way they deserve to be treated.
Their lack of success in dating has very little to do with the men they date. Rather, it has to do with how my friends approach dating. They become too emotionally entrenched in the experience too quickly and fail to see how they create problematic dating dynamics.
You see, I used to make these same mistakes until I recognized my part in the process and began dating and eventually married a man who treats me the way I deserve to be treated.
I've come up with the following rules that every woman looking for love should follow:
1. Get off the pity train.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Let go of the self-defeating thoughts holding you back. How fun is it to hang out with someone who only puts themselves down? Think about how people are drawn to someone with confidence. A person with confidence seems to love life. They don't complain about themselves. It is a much more pleasant experience! If you don't feel confident, fake it until you do. You will probably see a difference in how people interact with you.
2. Never cry about a boy.
I mean it. Never cry about a boy — they aren't worth it. Sure, there are some jerks out there. Don't give them your power by allowing yourself to feel bad. I believe that we train people how to treat us. If you can work on your assertiveness and confidence, you will find a relationship with someone who respects you. Until then, it will just be the same guy with a different name.
3. Keep an air of mystery.
This is a big one. We all have baggage. Over the course of a relationship, your significant other will learn more about you. Until that point, don't over share. This especially applies to telling a man how you feel about him. If you have been dating for two weeks and think he might be the one, for the love, don't tell him. Although, if after two weeks you do start fantasizing about marriage and children, we need to talk.
Slow yourself down and find a distraction. There is no way you know enough about him that quickly to make a lifelong commitment. If that is where your mind is, you are missing some key data.
4. Only put in a 30 percent effort.
This sounds harsh, but it is true. The feminists are going to hate me on this one, but I think "I am woman, hear me roar" has done us a disservice in the dating department. Think about it in mathematical terms, if you put in 100 percent effort, how much is left for him to give?
Honestly, when it comes to dating, less is more. The less effort you put in, the more he has to come forward. This becomes diagnostic of how invested he is in you. If he doesn't come forward, run, do not walk. If he is putting so little effort into your dating relationship, what will happen once he gets comfortable?
5. Make him come to you.
This is especially true for the first few dates. If you go to his house on the first date instead of him coming to pick you up, I have two words for you: booty call. If he isn't willing to invest the energy to at least come pick you up and have something planned for the evening, just say no. If he asks you to come to him and has no game plan, he is just looking to hook up.
A man who genuinely wants to spend time getting to know you will put in the effort. If you are struggling with this concept, go back to Rule #4.
6. Never see him with less than a seven days' notice.
OK, this doesn't have to be hard and fast, but the point is that you should not accept a date on Wednesday or Thursday for that weekend. You are a busy woman. He needs to plan ahead if he wants your time. Men are by the thrill of the chase. A woman who has nothing going on and is always at their beck and call is not desirable for a relationship. She is desirable for hooking up.
So, let me ask you, do you want to be an afterthought or do you want to be respected?
7. Never call him unless returning a call.
Don't be clingy. I can't emphasize this enough. Men will easily get turned off by a woman who calls or texts too much. It is overwhelming and can end a relationship before it starts. Again, like in Rule #6, you are a busy woman. You have so many people and activities competing for your time and attention. You don't have time to call him.
Let him call you at least for the first couple of months. Again, this becomes diagnostic of how much energy he wants to invest. After your relationship is more established, call him but still limit how much you do call. He is not a girlfriend with whom you should spend hours on the phone. If he has hours to spend on the phone, he can use the effort to see you.
8. Never return a call or text immediately.
Remember, you are busy, busy, busy. Don't sit by the phone waiting for a call or text. If this is anxiety provoking, find some other way to spend your time. You can bet he isn't sitting by the phone waiting for you to call. Meanwhile, your life is passing you by. Get out there and live it.
9. Do not get physical.
Hopefully, by this point, this goes without saying. For the first couple of months, you should limit your physical intimacy. Remember, men like a challenge. This, however, is not to say that they like a tease.
Don't expect, like one unfortunate woman I know, a man to be OK with sleeping over in your bed without having sex. This kind of mind game is disrespectful on your part. You cannot expect anyone to be OK with you sending mixed messages.
If he is pushing for more intimacy, let him know that you don't feel comfortable with that until you know each other better. You need to respect your body too much not to.
10. Let go of the outcome.
This is no indication of your worth as a person. So many women are devastated when a first date does not become a relationship. They think it is because they are not pretty enough, smart enough, successful enough or fun enough. They don't even stop to consider whether or not they even like the guy.
Date like a man. Show up, have fun and if it works out, great. If not, on to the next one.
Will following these rules help you get married or find a long-term relationship? Maybe, maybe not. But by following these guidelines, you will quickly be able to weed out people who are not worth your time and energy.
It may seem like adhering to these rules would be "playing games". It isn't a game. It's about showing someone you are worthy of their respect.
The bottom line is that if you don't respect yourself, no one else will either. Just like interviewing for a job, you need to make sure the man is someone you want, not just concern yourself with whether or not he wants you.
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