Seeing as I just turned 37 this month, I realized that there’s a whole lot of things I’d love to tell the 21 year old version of myself before I ventured into the the grown up world of love. Turns out that 21 year old Julie thought she knew love things…. yeah, she knew NOTHING. It’s all about that hindsight, right?
So let’s reflect on some of these love lessons I’ve learned through my years. Because life is all about lessons, right? Damnit, where was Future Julie when I needed her.
- Trust your gut. This has been a repeated lesson that is a fail proof. My gut led to me find bankrobbers, cheaters, and has also helped us confirm time and time again that YOUR gut feeling was right about something being off about the person you met online. We’re finding *lots* of catfish.
- People can be great on paper. The bank robber said he wanted no drama. The cheater wondered why he was having such a hard time finding someone. The scientist omitted still living at home with his soon to be ex-wife and child. Remember that online dating is putting across the best version of yourself – whether you’re lying, omitting, or not owning up to who you really are, there’s no one there to police any of us on these profiles. Well.. until now at least…
- Watch the red flag. I went on a date that was seriously great and at one point we hit a tough discussion point. Our views were way off on a particular subject and my spidey senses went off just that we’d probably always clash here. I ignored it on the first date and let’s just say… it never got better. It’s okay to scram at the first sight.
- Your friends are more important than your new love interest. Your friends will be there to hear about the next one, the one after that, and then one after that. Cherish them and thank them for listening to you and supporting you through your love life and sometimes terrible decisions.
- Stop looking at your phone in places where you’re surrounded by other people. I’ve met cool men in lunch lines, UberPools, meetups, etc. Smile and say hi to a stranger. It’s not only about online dating.
- Even the best of us can get duped. I’ve had men ghost, love bomb, lie, cheat, and be total assholes. No one is immune.
- It’s not you, it’s them. Picture them as little helpless bunnies when people break your heart a little and behave terribly. They haven’t evolved to know any better and it’s not someone you want in your life. Thank the universe for getting them out of your way.
- No but really… it’s not you, it’s them. Nothing they do is a reflection of what you could’ve done better or what you did wrong. It’s about them and what’s going on in their world. I can promise you this.
- Leave the narcissists alone in their own world. They have nothing to offer you, trust me. That’s a whole separate world of hurt that can be avoided.
- Never chase a person to love you. That’s gross and you deserve a unicorn.
- Try your hardest to abide by the “Fuck Yes Theory“. Why would you ever choose to be with someone who is not excited to be with you? Exactly.
- Don’t judge a book/face by it’s cover. I’ve met amazing men in real life I most likely would’ve swiped left on had I seen them on a dating app. Everyone’s special in their own way, look for the magic.
- Be upfront about your deal breakers. I don’t want children and by putting that in the forefront of my profiles, it helps to filter out the men who are looking for a family. Don’t bend on your deal breakers.
- Don’t think someone will change their deal breakers. I was with one guy I really liked for a month or so before he started to put the breaks on things and when I asked why, he said it was because he wanted children. When I said “Why did you connect with me then?” “Well, I thought you were really pretty and maybe you might be open to the idea of children some day.” So that was a complete waste of time.
- Think about marriage really, really carefully before you head down the alter. I was three weeks away from my wedding in 2010 when I called my Maid of Honor and said “I’m not sure I should…”. Refer back to #1. Trust your gut. You’re supposed to spend forever with another human. Make sure it’s really *your* human.
- Don’t drag something on just because you’re afraid of hurting someones feelings. You’re just prolonging it anyway… and that makes you kind of a jerk. We’re adults now.
- Communication is key. Your partner can’t read your mind just like you can’t read theirs. TALK TO EACH OTHER. Teamwork makes the dream work 😉
- Don’t ghost. (Definition: The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.) It’s without a doubt, the worst thing you can do to someone. And you’ll know what it feels like when it happens to you. Be a real human.
- BE A REAL HUMAN. Remember those days when we lived by a code of ethics and treated each other as we wanted to be treated? Let’s continue that, please.
- Get your heart broken. You’ll remember why you showed up to do this in the first place. And then go get it broken all over again by another human in a world of 7 Billion humans. Repeat that cycle till your heart lands in the hands where it won’t break.
Mark Manson ends it with this: “And this is the ultimate dating advice lesson — man, woman, gay, straight, trans, furry, whatever — the only real dating advice is self improvement. Everything else is a distraction, a futile battle in the grey area, a prolonged ego trip. Because, yes, with the right tools and performance, you may be able to con somebody into sleeping with you, dating you, even marrying you. But you will have won the battle by sacrificing the war, the war of long-term happiness.”
I think the common theme of this whole thing is to stay true to yourself, be nice to other people, and trust your gut. And if you need someone to double check your gut feeling? I have a team of real humans who are here for you. Just fill out the form and we’ll have your back in less than 24 hours.
Be good to each other.