I’ve been reflecting on my marriage a lot lately – I think its probably because the hubby and I are approaching our 6th wedding anniversary. Its crazy, our wedding feels like it was both yesterday and a lifetime ago. One thing is for sure though – I love him more today than the day that I married him!
I’m not sure I ever thought I would meet someone like him – the guy who opens doors for you and asks you out on dates for Saturday night the Monday before, who cooks and cleans and is amazing with children – especially his own because he is an out of this world father!
I don’t think I ever thought those types of men actually existed. Probably because I dated my fair share of lame ducks in my single lifetime – enough to make me lower my expectations by a lot!!
Looking back, I realize I made some key decisions early on that not only helped me find a great guy, but also make him my forever.
I’m not saying these are the only reasons I landed myself an MRS degree to a fantastic man, but I don’t think any of it is bad advice for any single ladies out there.
1. If you keep going back to the same type of man, you’re not a victim of bad relationships, you’re a volunteer for them.
I mean, it makes sense right?
You make a mistake once and it becomes a lesson. Make the same mistake twice and now it becomes a choice.
If you constantly fall for the same type of man over and over, ones that treat you poorly and less than you deserve, you are choosing to be treated that way.
Know you are worth more, demand to be treated well, realize that you are a catch and don’t settle for anything less than being someone’s entire world.
Believe it and others will too. Once I finally decided enough was enough and that I’d never date another Tom, Dick or Harry that acted like I was replaceable a strange thing happened – I realize it was better to be alone and single, than lonely and in a relationship, I developed a self worth and confidence I never knew I had and a whole new world of possibilities opened up for me.
2. Have deal-breakers and deal-makers
By the time I met my husband I knew exactly what I wasn’t looking for in a significant other and I had a list of deal breakers to prove it – those things that you WILL NOT tolerate in a relationship.
I’m not talking about criteria like height and hair color. If you are getting that specific in your search results you are going to have a heckofa time finding someone, but that’s just my opinion.
I’m talking about the big stuff: if he treats his mother poorly, if he doesn’t have a job and isn’t actively looking for one, if there are anger issues or a reputation of being unfaithful. Those big things that you can’t and wont deal with.
For me, it was harder to narrow down the qualities I had to have in a partner: respectful, hard-working, family oriented, loyal, etc. I only focused on a handful of them because, just like with deal breakers, when you start getting super specific you filter out everyone in the process. I carried those top qualities with me in the back of my mind, I prayed about the man I would find that possessed them, I put it all out into the universe – and it came back to me.
3. Don’t send your representative, be yourself
Once I actually met my husband, and he asked me out, the real fun began. I say that because the first few dates (with anyone) always sort of feel like an awkward interview process – that whole ‘getting to know you’ stage.
Its easy for people to want to put their best foot forward, present themselves in a positive light, show a certain side of themselves…but not all of themselves. I get it, I really do, because I’ve done it. The thing is, in doing so you are really just sending a representative of yourself on the date instead of the real you. Then by the fourth or fifth date, when you start to let your guard down, you just have to get to know each other (for reals this time) all over again.
With my husband, I laid it all out on the table from the get go. I was completely myself and it was terrifying to be that vulnerable with someone new – but my logic was, why waist anymore of my time? Let him decide if he likes the real me from the start. If he does, great! If he doesn’t, I’ll cut my losses and move on.
It was obviously a good strategy.
What’s your best dating advice? I’ve been out of the game for a while (and intend on staying that way) but I’d love to hear it.