Dating…it can be one of the most challenging and most rewarding experiences of a person’s life. It can also be terrible if you don’t have some guidelines that you’re following. Now, as you might know, I don’t believe in following “rules” because the rules are different for each person. What works for you might not work for your best friend so this is a highly individual process, just as unique as you. I do, however, advocate for personally constructed guidelines that you establish that will be your personal map to dating. In that spirit, I’m going to throw out some Dating Guidelines, according to The Gambler.
1. Know when to hold ’em–There is a time to lay all your cards on the table. The first date is not that time. I went on a date with a guy once…he was gorgeous. I met him in Starbucks, he asked for my number and we went on a date a few nights later. The date was perfect; rooftop restaurant in Denver, 4th of July so we could see fireworks all over the city. It was a lovely time until he started future talking like crazy…like he was thinking he was in love with me after 2 hours. I mean, I’m pretty awesome (haha) but that was too much, too fast. Don’t be that guy (or gal).
2. Know when to fold ’em: You fold a losing hand in poker. You ought to do the same with dating but far too many people KNOW they are not going to end up with the person they are dating long-term and yet they keep dating them. I take issue with that for two reasons-the first is that when you’re investing time and energy in a relationship that won’t go anywhere, you’re not creating space in your life for the one you want. Nature abhors a vacuum so if you want a real relationship, make the space for it. The second reason is because it’s selfish. You’re taking someone along for a joyride, allowing them to invest their time, money, energy and emotion on you because they think there’s hope & you know there’s not. That’s just not cool.
2. Know when to walk away: If you decide you don’t want to pursue a relationship with someone, just say that. There’s no need for it to be dramatic, tearful and totally cut off. I’ve dated guys I was friends with before we dated and with whom I remained friends with after we stopped dating. If you handle things gracefully and with class, you can walk away without leaving either party with scars. (there’s an exception to this guideline which I will cover in a later post).
3. Know when to run: There are times when it’s best to RUN like the wind away from a dating partner…like when they are abusive, alcoholic, drug abusing, violent, cruel, liars, cheaters…You get the picture. In those instances, it’s not about being classy and graceful, it’s about being safe (although you can do all three). When the red flags start flying, DO NOT IGNORE THEM. Listen to your gut and get the hell out of dodge.