Dating can be a maddeningly fun interview getting-to-know-yourself-and-what-you-really-want process. Done correctly, dating can literally rock your world. Relationships can be an exciting, loving, and irritating in-your-face reality check of all of your issues and baggage from the past. Relationships, if done right, can literally rock your world as well.
But to get to the “rock your world” part, you gotta undergo some pain-in-the-ass-oh-my-GAWD-I’m still-holding-on-to-that? releasing. You gotta unlearn some habits that may have been ok when you were single, but not so ok now that you’re with someone. Here are 7 core principles to dropping your baggage and enjoying the person that’s in front of you.
1. Before you confront/argue/nag/wish he were different ask yourself “Is this a real issue or an imagined one?”
I’d say about 90% of the time that you’re mad or frustrated with him, has very little to do with him, and everything to do with someone else from the past. You wanted to kill the previous person for their horrible behavior, but were too shell-shocked to really deliver the ass kicking needed. Now that you’ve had to time to move on, you’re stronger, and your defenses/paranoia is in full effect. The sad part is, you’re taking it out on your new boo, who probably doesn’t deserve it. The cure: Take a bird’s eye view of your situation. If it were happening to someone else, how would you advise that person to handle it? Then act accordingly. (unless it involves death…)
2. Appreciate what he gives.
The men we attract give what they have to offer. If all he’s offering is his penis and you want him to offer more, say “Thank you sir for the penis offer, it was very kind of you to be so generous with it. However, I’m seeking something that will penetrate my soul as well. Thanks.” And then walk away. If your man takes out the trash, changes the oil in your car, or remembered to pick up toilet paper at the store, tell him thank you. Saying thank you and “you’re the best” makes him feel good. When he feels good, he’s more likely to keep you feeling good.
3. Love his humanness.
He’s not your Mr. Perfect and he’s probably far from what you thought you’d end up with. And yet, here he is, in all his glory. I know your Mr. Perfect would never let one rip around you or would never leave wearing mismatched clothes. But Mr. Perfect doesn’t exist and even if he did, he’d probably want a Miss Perfect, which you’re not. So cut Mr. Human some slack and enjoy all of his perfect imperfections.
4. Know when to talk and when not to.
Talking during sports (unless it’s to playfully trash his team) is a no-no. Trying to discuss relationship problems while he’s out with the boys will annoy the hell out of him. Telling him all the ways he has messed up your day/week/month/year/life upon his arrival home from work is a California wildfire waiting to happen. Learn when it’s best to talk to your man and when it’s time to simply go mute.
5. Don’t bad mouth him to your girlfriends.
When you belittle or downplay your man’s attributes to your friends, you are putting yourself between a rock and a hard place. Your girlfriends will hate him and then when you don’t break up with him, they’ll get confused, and hate him even more because they’ll think he sweet talked you into staying. When he meets your friends, your friends give him negative energy and he won’t know why. He’ll think they’re bitches and won’t understand why you hang out with them. The best way to avoid having to choose between your friends and your boo is to leave your bad mouthing of his quirks in your journal.
6. He’s not a psychic.
The man in your life really does want to make you happy. But, he won’t know the best way to make you happy if you don’t tell him. You want tulips, tell him. You want to go to a movie? Tell him. You want more sex? Tell him (showing him can be fun too).
7. It’s not what you say, but how you say it.
More important than telling him what you want is how you tell him. Putting your hand on your hip and saying, “You never take me out!” will get you nowhere. Fast. If you instead say “Hey, how about we catch a movie this weekend?” you’ll get a far more receptive response.
So what do you think?