Continued… My Dating Rules

Did you think about what your rules for dating were? Here is a long-winded list to work your way through. Go ahead and judge mine, as I too, know they aren’t perfect.

1-      Dating the bad girl is always fun, often because you viewed them as untouchable and now you’ve got an ego boost. Now by always fun I mean it adds some entertaining stories to the night at the local pub, just don’t make this the norm. What is it about this characteristic that we are all drawn towards? Much of this just shows in classic fashion that quite often dating is just a game. In my heart of hearts I know I won’t end up with this type of person, so maybe it’s just for a story or they caught my attention. Even as I write this I immediately think of the people who I’ve known in this category and I’m sure you’re doing the same. The best part about dating the bad girl is the fact that not only are you breaking the rule about dating this type of person, but you’re likely breaking a dozen other rules too. Sadly, that’s actually the best part too. All of us grin a little bit when the girl we’re with turns a couple heads, because we know no matter what happens that night they are touching our wrist in conversation, touching our leg under the table, kissing us on the cheek, and leaving the bar with us that night. Now do we seriously want the reason that the heads are turning to be because her skirt is too short, shirt is too low, and the makeup took the better part of a baseball game to put on? The one thing you will always think about is whether or not they are the one to sit at the Thanksgiving table with you and your family. Keep in mind, though a bad decision can make an entertaining story you’ll tell a couple times; good decisions make better stories that you’ll tell for years to come.

2-      I’m a no first date on Friday person. First dates are great for getting to know the person a little, just enough really to set up the second date. No work on Saturday morning allows for these dates to drag on into the early morning, often leading to too many drinks or some failed decisions. Stick with Thursday instead, knowing you have to work on Friday. I like to keep the first couple of dates to getting to know the person, and not what size bed she has.

3-      This has become comical to me, but don’t date people you meet on the softball field.  This seems like a rule easier to break than you’d think. If you run back through all the girls you’ve dated you probably won’t think softball chick, so seeing as how you’re still single when one comes along that catches your eye it’s easy to assume the reason you are still single is that you need to break a rule. This rule just so happens to be an easy one to get caught up in, I mean all guys think a girl in short shorts is cute. Though, I will always believe in the “rule of 3’s” I have already watched three strikes go by. We all love girls that like sports right?  Wrong! We like girls that will let us watch a mid-season game against rivals and won’t get mad when we get tickets to a game, which might even make us have to cancel preexisting dinner plans. Want to know what’s annoying? Dating someone who’s more of one of the guys than you are. When she drinks you under the table and curses like the sailor from the local harbor please think about how she compares to your last girlfriend, and then your buddy who played first base. It’s a great example of meeting people of the opposite sex and understanding they can just be friends. Keep in mind when the conversations turn into one you’d have in the locker room, involving the terms cheating and mistress you really might want to avoid second base.

4-      This is likely one of the most debated rules in history, but I more often than not avoid kissing on the first date if I’m really interested in the person. It’s always good to leave something desired on the second date that doesn’t result in you waking up next to the person. All situations are different for how we got to the relationship we’re in, and maybe we actually kissed them before the first date, but there is always something to be said for things moving at a often slower pace.

5-      To follow along with the last suggested rule it is sometimes very difficult to keep your phone in your pocket after a night at the bar, but will save you some bad feelings the following morning.  After a couple drinks and a break in nonstop conversation with your friends the idea of sending a text message to a former fling is pretty easy to do.  Keep your phone in your pocket.  Life is full of snapshots.  Like any picture, it’s just a memory that you aren’t supposed to be able to jump back into with a quick message.  So avoid the urge to pull your phone out and allow yourself back into this picture.  That former friend with benefits is always a likely candidate of this message and you are already pretty confident that they will be sitting next to you in a matter of minutes if you just hit “send”.  Here is your headache because you have ended this once already, do you really want to have to do it again?  Now maybe just not calling is fine, but if you’ve done that once before you probably burned your bridge and that seat will remain empty next to you.  I’ll continue to leave that seat empty next to me, and hope that next time I pull out my phone I delete the message before sending it.  A quick fix has no positive outcome a week in the future.

6-      Take one step forward and then two steps backwards.  It’s an easy way to play hard to get to keep things exciting.  If you want to know they like you and not just the attention take a couple days of not contacting them to wait for their outreach.  If you don’t get it and still want to find out, find a random reason to drop them a message but without any indication of making plans.  Good luck pulling this off if you really like someone.  This can substitute for the waiting three days to call someone.  Do not mistake this for playing a game, it’s a test of your self control to help make sure you aren’t coming on too strong and inadvertently pushing them away. A solid relationship is based on both people wanting to give time for the other person. No guy or girl should be reaching out to their love interest 100% of the time.

7-       Avoid saying “I’ll call you” if you really don’t plan to.  If you do say it, call either way.  This is a simple one to abide by.  After a date or a meeting, say what you’re honestly thinking, “I’ll be in touch”, “It was nice meeting you”, “That was fun”.  You can say any of these and not tie yourself to saying you want to go out again.  Remember you want to leave a positive lasting impression with anyone you’re with or might see again, so don’t be the guy that says “I’ll call you” with no intention of actually doing so.

8-      Proceed with caution when pursuing a friend, or friend of a friend. I used to think this would be the rule that I never broke. We all consider our mate, or want to believe our mate will be one of our best friends. Like all friendships those develop over time, being friends with someone doesn’t need to be the justification for becoming something more. Just because you enjoy watching a football game with a girl, or have always enjoyed grabbing drinks with her, doesn’t mean you’ve met “the one”. Remember all of those things you’ve said in the past, possibly about a future that you two could have “if only things were different”, anything can come back and haunt you. Some things have to be different if you have this rule and decide to break it, as you already have a developed relationship and the other person may know a great deal about you. Keep the bullshit to yourself because you will be called out on it. Also make sure you can keep things to yourself, because anything you say or any frustration you show is going to show when your friends are around. Any relationship needs to have moments that are left between two people, so make sure you keep those. Remember to be open and honest. Keep some conversations between you and your other friends while making sure you also have some that are just between you and your significant other. When dating or pursuing friends you are going to have a much larger fan club and expectations are going to be high for a successful relationship to come out of it. Though the rewards are high in these situations, the downside could be just as bad. As I’ve learned giving these things time is mandatory or the flame will burnout early.

9-      I’ve always had a “Rule of 3” when it comes to making a solid determination on someone or something. Now the truth is when it comes to girls I normally had a rule of 2, as in even if the first date didn’t make me jump I’d wait until the second date before deciding if I would ask them out again. I always remind myself that the first real date with someone can always be a little awkward. You are now alone with someone and both have agreed you’re out because there is some attraction, so don’t put too much pressure on that moment. You also can’t get too excited if that first date goes well, I’m sorry but it’s true. If you just met the person and you leave that night thinking you had a wonderful date all that means is that you were able to keep a couple conversations going for however long it takes a date to last. The second date is always a better indicator. If the first date ended on a high note, you’ll have higher than reasonable expectations on the second. However, on the flip-side if the date left you with more questions you’re going to have a slightly lower thought of the second date. The one thing to remember is to not lead the person on when doing this. Be honest and don’t go overboard telling them how great they are. Manage your flirting, and in the end if you just aren’t interested don’t prolong things. There is a good chance they aren’t feeling the spark either.

We will all continue to create rules and break them just as often. Some rules are challenges and when we keep them we really do become stronger people and will help in the long run.  However others should be broken when it feels right. Don’t close the door on an opportunity to meet someone no matter what your previous experiences have been. If you don’t take a risk you might actually pass up an opportunity that is meant to occur. There are universal rules or rather things to consider, and finding a subtle way of being noticed is a good one to start with.

Rules Are Meant to be Broken! So, Why do we Create Them?

We all know rules are meant to be broken, and in this case, it’s no different. No matter who you are, past experiences or the desire to avoid future ones, have set the framework for our rules of engagement. Girls to avoid, or rather ones you go after; how often you’ll contact someone; or the period of time that must pass until certain things happen are all common things we’ve created rules for. Now that you have these rules, be prepared to break them one by one. Just remember why the rule was created, as some of them are only going to cause you a little heartache or just a headache the next day.

The real question that has to be asked is why do we create rules? Go ahead and think back to the first rule you ever created or the first one you were told, then subsequently became your own. Now, how long did it take you to either break that rule or how much consideration was there given when you broke it? New rules are always the easiest to go first; especially if it’s after a night with the inappropriate amount of drinks. Unfortunately, something as fun as going out with friends can allow for our self-created rules to fall one after another. Don’t start your argument now that your rules are only broken because of your friends though. If you’re starting to consider that argument, then you really do have larger problems. The least of which might be the admission that you are the weakest of all your confidants.

Most of mine have been broken at some point or another, and really just exist as guidance. I’ve created rules that I’ve then broken multiple times and each time I put it back on my list of notable rules to follow; just waiting for the moment when it’s broken all over again.

Much of casual dating can be tied to an idea that it’s a game for a period of time. Most of us assume that in the future we are going to find the one person, marry them, and have children.  What we do in the meantime it’s practice; preparation for when the moment finally comes.  However, we’re not there yet. If you think you are then throw this out right away, before unwarranted crazy thoughts come into your head and a desire to play a game that you’ve retired from. You’ll hear, or rather read my words several times, and I genuinely mean this, when you retire you’re the lucky one. Casual dating can be helpful to getting to that point, but it’s not forever or for everyone. When we make those assumptions about our future, how many people do you actually think have desires about being a single fifty year old who just continues to date different people one after another or for that matter all at once?

Think about what some of your rules are or the ones you’ve broken. As comical as some of them are I’ll share some stories with my rules with my next post.

The 2 “C’s”: 4 Situations to Help Gain the Confidence and Comfort in Yourself

I’ve always thought that if you achieve confidence you’ll be comfortable and if you’re comfortable you’ll be confident. You need the 2 “c’s” and you’ll be off to a good start.

The first “C” is confidence. In all aspects of our life if we aren’t confident in our abilities then we will rarely succeed. If you’re confident it will show in every aspect of your presentation, if it’s walking into a bar or a one-on-one conversation your in the situation will be worn on your sleeve. The second “C” is comfort. Comfort means being comfortable in your own skin. We all do small modifications but don’t turn yourself into someone you aren’t, just to get a glimpse of something new. Buy and wear clothes that you can see yourself in and that you can be comfortable in. Just because something looks nice on someone else doesn’t mean it’s going to flatter you. When you’ve laced up your favorite shoes and stepped out the door, you’ve taken the initial steps toward being confident with the night.

We’ve all had that time when we’re sitting in a bar people watching. It seems that we always come across the one guy who normally gets the comment from your friends as being a “douche bag”. Think about this guy and what are the basic details about him? He’s talking to girls, he looks confident, and even if you don’t like what he’s wearing he appears to be filled with comfort in his current situation. Even a guy that we’d never want to be around is something we could learn a little something from. Especially when his situation is exactly what we’re striving to achieve.

I should be clear, don’t be the jerk. Don’t go grease up your hair, wear a white button up shirt without anything underneath, and a pair of shoes with more of a point than normal stilettos. Remember just because it’s working for him doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. His cockiness is what is getting him ahead, as it’s showing how confident he is.  People are attracted to him because of his comfort in his own skin. He’s probably been turned down more than you could imagine when going up to girls, however he’s learned from past mistakes and continues to leave his head up when he goes out. Don’t feel the urge to be this person, it’s probably not you.

Remember these two things, now don’t get ahead of yourself and become “that guy”. I say “that guy” as the guy who is thinking “man I look good tonight” and is going to just find a girl to take home.  There is a good chance this guy is looking around for the easiest girl to approach, not for any form of practice but rather because he knows he won’t be rejected and after looking at her and her movements he believes he has the upper hand. He’s not looking for a chase but rather the easy confidence builder. Gain confidence first through yourself and then you’ll easily be able to gain it through time by the people you’re around. Just make sure you’re the guy who girls want to hang out with and talk about how “outgoing” you are, which will be a direct compliment to your confidence.

You’ve spent time considering how to make observations in an area and already have some thoughts on the kind of place and night you’re going to have. When you enter the situation make sure you’re ready. Let’s get situational with this thought:

1-      I feel comfortable in a pink, purple, yellow or other bright colored shirt; so I’m going to wear it. More power to you if you can own a nice pink shirt, no matter what the thought was years ago pink is not just a female color. If you’re comfortable it’s great, and if you’re confident when wearing it then even better. Are you going to be prepared for comments that don’t back my support for it? There are certain questions that you’ll need to answer or just have comebacks for. When you get asked the question does your shirt match your panties, what is your response? When the first time someone asked me if my pink shirt matched my panties I just looked back and smile, and said “they do, I still owe your mother a thank you for getting them for me”. Chances are you’ll hear a couple “Ohhhh” from your friends and it will likely end in a laugh. Make sure you know the blood alcohol content of the other person.  Own the comment they gave you. If they are just trying to make themselves look good and think they need to put you down to achieve it just turn around the comment into your favor or make it seem like you own the joke. Does your shirt match your panties? Sure, why not; make a comment back about how they feel. Make sure people are laughing with you and not at you, unless that’s your intent. Be cautious that you aren’t being too harsh to the person who made the initial jab.

2-      You’re sitting in a restaurant with another person and the waiter/waitress comes up to you welcoming you to the restaurant; don’t bury your head in your menu greet them back. Remember a great showing of comfort is acting like everyone is your friend, so ask them how they are doing as well. You want good service, be the table that they want to continue to hit when they are walking by. Feel free to joke around with them and if they want to join in keep it going. Other tables will notice and envy the comfort and quick wit you’re showing to someone you’ve likely never met. Keep everything new because before you know it you may have your guest also looking for her time to shine, as she’ll begin making comments of her own. This is a great way to make friends with your server, keep the person you’re with impressed at your outgoing personality, and the other people who are sitting around you envious of the attention you’re receiving.

3-      Talk to people because you care, not because you’re networking. You can be a good networker, and have 5 good lines for getting your card in the other person’s hand.  However with that you might only be one of 10 cards they acquire that night. First off make sure you’re also getting a card or stress that they email you and you’ll get back to them. After that make sure you reach out to them. Keep in mind we all learn from other people, so appreciate that there is a good chance that through an easy conversation you’re going to hear something that will help you down the road.  Go into every conversation thinking about how you might be able to help the person you’re speaking with. You’re selling the person on talking to you further, just like if you’re meeting a girl, now make it professional. Someone who can approach a group of people they don’t know looks impressive to anyone.

4-      Now think about the last situation and consider that party you’re going to and you only know one person in attendance. Here is your opportunity to make several new friends. At the end of the night don’t you want to be the person that the host is saying they are glad they invited, or better yet thanking your friend for bringing you?  When you enter the party, get big eyes because the opportunities are likely everywhere. There are going to be others in your same vote, be the leader not the follower.

It’s OK!

Since your 13th birthday the same holds true, it’s OK to talk to strangers. This means, it’s OK to recommend a great book that you couldn’t put down; it’s OK to offer half of your table at a happy hour to a group of strangers; it’s even OK to say what a beautiful day it is while walking out of church…or a bar.

Why do so many of us make it so difficult to talk to the opposite? Hopefully over the next several days, weeks, months, or even side conversations I can help eliminate this question for you. There will never be a “why does this have to be so hard”, instead it will be second nature. If you see someone you’ll go say hi to them.

What’s the worst that could happen? They aren’t interested, and you won’t go on wasting your time wondering if they are.