All The Good Men Are Taken...and other lame excuses
Rules of engagement: for love
The military or police might have their own set of ROE or Rules of Engagement when it comes to hazardous situations, but what many of us don't realize is, love itself is a battlefield. Funny of me to quote a Pat Benatar song, but she has it right. If you don't have a plan for success or an inkling of an idea on how to find a good man, read on. I am not a love guru or a relative of Cupid's, but I have my own personal experiences and enough stories from friends to fill up an entire department store. Or maybe it's just being a twenty eight year old woman who has lived her life and found a good guy and I am just in the mood for sharing today. Who knows? All I know is, there are enough movies out there about finding Mr. Right, or trying to find Mr. Right and failing badly and then you walk out of the cinema feeling utterly upset at the other gender for no apparent reason (other than the chick flick you just watched) which then gives you just cause to sneer at your significant other and maybe squeeze his hand a lot harder than you intended. Or better yet, you are out with girlfriends and the bitching of men ensues. Just another Saturday night.
What is it about this silly thing called love? We all want it, can't live without it, but it drives us freaking crazy. Some people will try anything to have it, others do everything in their power to avoid it. The one thing we cannot deny is, we all want some kind of love in the end. Which brings me to the fun stuff: dating! I remember in my younger days of womanhood, when dating was fun; you would have your typical dinner and a movie set-up, the nice fellow would drive or walk you home and maybe try to steal a little kiss. I'm not a prude, it's a kiss on the lips not the cheek or hand; this is the twenty first century, people. That said, the truth about dating is that it can go very well or very wrong. I am not going to talk about what to do on a date or blah blah blah, this is not what this hub is about. I want to touch on something a lot of us tend to forget when we meet new people: being our true self. I should categorize this hub under General instead of Relationships, because I find this act of not being one's true self to be the case not just in romantic relationships but in platonic ones as well.
This has been an ongoing experiment of mine: meet someone new, male or female, and watch how they react to meeting someone they don't know. As you shake their hand or wave (some people don't shake hands anymore, I just don't get why they're so uncomfortable with it, but that's another topic for another time) and introduce yourself, in that instant you can read their body language and gather enough information about them to get a feel of what they're thinking about you. It's always a little awkward meeting someone brand new, but it shouldn't be overwhelming. Understandably, with the stresses of today, what with everything that is going on in the world, most people are not in the best mood for making friends or accepting someone outside of their circle...but life is about learning and trying new things right? And we're back to dating...
The "Perfect" man...?
I've rambled on about being one's true self and all that, but I want to reach out to my girls who are still looking for their perfect man. Ladies, can I tell you a secret? There is no perfect man. No sugarcoating it, no beating around the bush. That's just a fact ladies. That's what you want, right? No games, no fronts, just the simple truth. If you're a woman reading this and you're scoffing and about to close this page because this silly ass chick thinks there's no such thing as a perfect man, please, indulge me. Give me ten more minutes of your time to share some important things with you.
Rule #1: Be reasonable. If you're thinking, "I'm all that" and "I've got so much to offer" or "I know what I bring to the table because I'm the S**T" and you expect nothing less than a young, good-looking, rich guy who doesn't chew with his mouth open, bite his nails or forget to cap the toothpaste...then you've got another thing coming. I know you're probably a strong, ambitious go-getter, but girl, that doesn't mean you have to have ridiculously high standards. I won't tell you to lower your standards, but I would ask you to revise them. Look at your bucket list for men. Does it say:
- must make a hundred grand a year or more
- must own a really fancy car
- must have luxurious hair and to-die-for eyes (enter particular color here)
- must be at least 5' 10"
- must be a doctor
- must work out at least six times a week
- must get a spray tan every three to four days
- must dress well; no sneakers or "carpenter's jeans"
- must not make funny noises when he eats
Sound ridiculous yet? You may think I am making this stuff up but I have met people in real life who have a list such as this one. It's okay to aim high but seriously? This is insanity. Interesting fact: Only 1% of Americans are millionaires. Something to think about for the women who want an extra deep pocket...
Rule #2: Try to be open-minded. So you've revised your bucket list. What now? Well, this is where the fun begins: go on a date and be open-minded! Now that you're not worrying about how much the guy makes or fussing about what silly quirks he might have, you can actually enjoy yourself on a date. You might even find the guy interesting. You will surprise yourself, really. And to think all it took was a simple change of attitude. Once you've mastered this art of open-mindedness (and it's an art, believe me!) you will unlock a variety of personas, including the ability to: find beauty in the simplest of things, laugh at yourself (which men love!) and maybe even ditch bad habits and pick up good ones (like, for example, stopping yourself from thinking that every guy is bad just because your ex treated you like a doormat). The possibilities are endless, if you train yourself to be open to anything new.
Rule #3: Be your authentic self. Back to basics. I talked about this at the beginning of this hub and here we are again. I cannot stress how important this rule is. I really believe that if more people were just their good ol' natural selves, this world would be a better place. Sounds idealistic but think about it. Everyone's putting up a front, everyone is trying to be something they're not, everyone's not being real. Why? Why do we have this pathological need to be something other than ourselves? Are we not good enough? And yes, I understand there are gray areas to everything, like preparing for a job interview, but when it comes to something as personal as dating...what's wrong with being the real you? I guess I am just one of those people who believes that there are more good people than bad people on this earth. Taking that into account, my deduction is that since a good chunk of society is made up of good people, what's wrong with being your true self? How bad can your real self be? I'm not talking about physical stuff like wearing makeup or dressing nice; those are the things that make dating fun. I am talking about inner beauty. Which we all possess. If you haven't tried it yet, you really need to give it a go. What have you got to lose? It's just another date, right? Go get glammed up; makeup and hair and your little black dress, but the moment you see your date and welcome them with a smile and a hug, close the door to the "prepped" you and open the door to the real you. You will be astounded by what you find. You went out Friday night, the date went well and this guy seemed to be smiling a lot more than your other dates. You get the, "How you doin?" text on Saturday or Sunday and by Tuesday or Wednesday, you're patting yourself on the back because you got the call and you're shopping for a new outfit for your date on the weekend!
Love can happen for anyone, if you're willing to work for it.