Do you remember that viral graduation speech given by a student to his class where he gave the best advice he’s ever learned in just a few simple steps?
It played everywhere and it was even turned into a song. Many versions were born from it.
But ultimately the idea was that it was just some good, simple advice: reminders about living according to the things that are important to us, as we often forget what they really are along the way.
So when it comes to dating in the new year, I’ve thought of how many of us will be embarking on this new journey of love, dating and relationships and all the joy, heartbreak, frustration and just “meh…” that comes in between.
I’m proud to say I’ve graduated from MANY of these painful cycles. But I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… at the end of the day, I still think of myself as a student first, a teacher second. And really, it’s more fun being a student, if for nothing else than the crazy drama and the volatile 90210 moments that abound!
Before digging in, I think it’s fair to say we’re all graduates.
We’ve all graduated from a tough economic year in our lives. We’ve all graduated from a life filled with heartbreak and disappointment, inspiration and indomitable faith, working harder than ever, only to find that success is still not enough. And of course, we’ve all graduated from having it all and losing it all – and now, here we stand, with another year behind us.
Another year wiser, another year of experiences and perspectives, ready to face the new, the unknown. The New Year.
So I want to take this moment to share a few of my own words of wisdom as we kick off the new year and pause to reflect on what we hope to gain from what’s to come.
This is where you’re supposed to imagine some graduation music, playing triumphantly in the background…. (and here’s a link to help with that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HDM3eYp4KQ )
STEP 1: Just like a new year’s resolution puts you in a reflective mood, always take time to know who you’re dating.
When you don’t get to know him – or he doesn’t have the privilege of getting to know you – then you leave behind a golden opportunity to find the love of your life or better still, to learn a new lesson about yourself…because very often, we learn the most about ourselves thru others. And if you don’t know yourself then chances are, he doesn’t either.
But hey, at least you’ll have found a good friend… maybe?
STEP 2: Try to charm the poor bloke, at least a little bit?
Too many women (AHEM… city girls…) are so used to being hit on and getting wined and dined while the investment banker of the month is blabbing on about how awesome he is because of this deal and that – but wait a tick.
There’s a girl on the other side of this table that’s just as awesome as he is, inside and out. Unfortunately, in this crazy dating world she’s forgotten how to talk about herself beyond the superficial “I went to the gym, I got some coffee, and I hate Lady Gaga right now.”
It means opening your mouth more, and making it talk about the many things you have going in your life and the conversationally elusive WHY it’s important to you.
Pretty soon, he’ll shut up. And if he doesn’t like it, find the guy right behind him that does want to know more about you… and he’ll be taken in by you before he even notices your spectacular C-cups.
No, it’s not love, but it’s a START.
STEP 3: Take it one day at a time.
If it’s going to happen, he’ll make it happen. If it’s not going to happen, he’ll do nothing about it. If you’re having fun, keep going. And if you’re not having fun, try laughing at him a little.
You’re only as limited as your imagination…especially if you’re imagining junk punching him. But you probably want that part to stay in your head so another girl has a chance to laugh at him and maybe someday, to laugh with him.
STEP 4: There are the assholes and then there are the nice guys.
If that’s all you date, you’re insecure. Yea, they are too, but real human beings have strengths and weaknesses and normal people that are really honest with themselves will recognize it’s healthy in other people too. And most importantly, it’s desirable.
Because if you can’t be real at times… if you can’t drop the need to seem perfect around him, or he’s a meathead jock right out of the Jersey Shore who sees your tears as a sign of weakness, or he’s so nice that you’re afraid to laugh when he farts loudly, then don’t just walk away… run!
And start back at Step 1.
STEP 5: You know it’s coming (that’s what she said)… but, love yourself.
Love yourself enough to keep dating new people, even though you told yourself on the last date that it’s all a waste of time. Love yourself enough to stop dating if you feel like you’re breaking his heart only because your heart was broken before.
And love yourself enough that you can actually believe it when he says that your eyes sparkle bright, like two Pikachus battling it out with a mighty Volt Tackle. (Oh, it’s true girlfriend!)
And if you keep your eyes open, you might learn something about yourself… something new that you can love yourself about. It’ll go into your next date.
And love yourself enough to stop dating if you feel chicks are starting to look mighty good to you about now… unless you have enough love to go around, of course.
The lesson is you have to give back to yourself before you have yourself to give.
STEP 6: Be your sexiest self.
When a girl goes out of her way to look good, or look sexy, it goes without saying he’ll probably be more attracted. But if you’ve done the first 5 steps right, then chances are he already knows how awesome you are on the inside.
And because you made sure he knows what makes you so special, being hot eye-candy won’t work against you. But just remember to take it, as always, one day a time.
STEP 7: Get out there more!
Don’t geek things up by obsessing with endless dating listicles (and by endless, I mean more than 7). Because you can’t meet someone from your couch…unless you’re on those dating sites, I guess. Which in that case, get a profile up and start swiping a few guys!
And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be one of those few lucky women out there with a guy you can “tolerate” this Valentine’s Day.
So Happy New Year to all you lovely ladies!
And remember that as long as you can learn something new, no moment is ever lost in the world of dating and relationships. :-)