I get asked frequently if I subscribe to or prescribe traditional dating “rules” – you know things like wait x number of days to call a guy back, don’t sleep with a man before x number of dates, never be the first to say “I love you,” and so on and so on. Well the simple answer is no. Living a life, a love one, or otherwise by a code of hard and fast rules doesn’t allow for flexibility of circumstance.
Many rules need to be used as a learner’s guide and then modified based on your personal belief system and what directly works for you as a result of having tested them out. Each of us is a living laboratory and, with constant experimentation and analysis, we can learn what formulas, so to speak, provide us with our desired results. So don’t be afraid to tweak, tweak, tweak away in your personal lab.
That said, on my own journey and along the journey of my clients and readers, I’ve learned some rules that never seem to fail anyone. Here are 11 of them:
1. Invest in yourself. Confidence is key to attract great love into your life and confidence is acquired through loving who you are. The more you invest in becoming a beautiful person on the inside and the outside, the more confident you will become. Further, you will have more to offer to a relationship and will be less likely to settle, as you will be fully aware of and committed to your worth.
2. Always play yourself. If you follow the rule to invest in yourself, you will not need to transform into another persona. By playing the role of you all of the time, you will never wonder if you had done this or not done that, what might have happened. You will also not second guess if a man likes you for the person you really are, or the person you have presented. Trust me, you is an academy award winning role, every time.
3. Stay present. To keep your sanity and dating future intact, live in the moment you. Remind yourself that real feelings take time to develop and relationships need room to blossom for maximum growth potential. Think of early dating as get-to-know-him time; not the time to quickly determine if Mr. First Date could be your future groom.
4. Trust your instincts. Living life can put you in all sorts of wonderful situations, but it can also present you with some questionable ones too. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Don’t force yourself to learn lessons that don’t need to be learned – trust in your all powerful gut.
5. Open your mind. Expand beyond your limited horizons of dating knowledge and limitations. Think beyond archetypes; don’t be quick to judge and date outside of your comfort zone. Think beyond bars, parties and online as the only options to fall in like. Use your peripheral vision to meet men; there is no wrong place to Mr. Right. Think beyond timelines. Abolish the premise that you must be married by 30 or have to date someone for two years before getting engaged; think in experience lines instead.
6. Be open for business. From having an approachable attitude and demeanor to dressing for dating success (i.e. never stepping foot out of the house in a housecoat and curlers), allow yourself to say “yes” to the possibility of love at all times. Be prepared attitudinally, emotionally and physically to take and give applications anytime, anywhere.
7. Leave your house. No one ever found their gold medal love by staying cooped up in their apartment reading UsWeekly and eating Chinese takeout 7 days a week. Get out there and connect with the vibrant world. Give to it and watch what you will receive in return… lots of luscious like and love opportunities.
8. Spend time in your treehouse. No matter how much fun you are having dating or how in love you are, you need time to yourself. You need time to reflect, to recharge, to reconnect with yourself. And if you are in a relationship, your man needs the same. Honor your individuality by gifting yourself this regularly.
9. Take the high road. Dating offers a myriad of options and choices where we can take the high road or the low road. For example, what happens when a boyfriend breaks your heart by doing something seemingly unforgivable, is it ok to play the revenge card? Sure it might be momentarily satisfying, but in the end, you’ll feel worse for sinking to his level. By taking the high road, you’ll be proud of the woman in the mirror that you rise and shine to every day.
10. Grow from your experiences. Every adventure in dating is a moment to learn from — both the obvious blessed ones and the absurd ones — if you press the pause button and give yourself the chance to do so. If not, your time and energy put in has been wasted, as opposed to being used for positive uplift.
11. Wear color. Despite our natural inclination to go for that LBD or other black ensemble, men are more attracted to color. Opt for jewel tones which look great on every skin tone, make your eyes pop and send a message that you are fun and confident, plus they set you apart from the sea of women donning boring black.
12. Believe in love. No matter how many unfavorable experiences you have, don’t lose faith in the beauty of love. Stay immersed in landscapes, people and emotions all wrapped up in a bow of love, and soak up their gorgeous goodness. Remember, those who believe in love are instantly more lovable.
Don’t these sound like rules that are easier, happier and more worthwhile to live and love by? What rules, traditional or otherwise have worked for you?
Featured image via Unplash