…who also writes love stories.
Let me preface this by saying I know there are about a million other articles and blog posts that are similar to the one I’m about to write. In spite of that, I am taking the time to write my two cents on romance just because it seems like people can never get enough of that particular subject. I want to write this because I’ve been the lonely single girl, the un-lonely single girl, the girl with a boyfriend, the girl with a fiancée, and the girl with a husband. The only things I haven’t been are divorced or a lesbian, but I think what I have to say can apply to those situations, too.
Please do not take this as being preachy or pitying, it’s not. It’s just a few things I’ve picked up on the way, so feel free to take them or leave them.
Tip #1: Stop making lists.
I made lists too; many many lists. I admit it can be fun to dream about what your future partner will be like. However, setting too many standards or being too picky can cause you to pass up the right person really, really easily. He doesn’t have to have the exact eye color on your list or play the guitar (although I got lucky, my hubby plays the guitar and also has my favorite guy name of all time… Which is HUGE to me as a writer. Plus his eye color is super cool and nothing I would have thought of on my own… But I digress). The most important thing is love, regardless if he or she matches all of your ideal qualifications. Look for something that feels right and the rest isn’t even going to matter.
Tip #2: Be honest.
When going on a date, the best thing to do is to always be yourself. Let your prospective lover see you for who you really are. If you present yourself as anything else, it’s not really you they’re falling in love with. One thing I have found is that guys do not like gallons of perfume and makeup. A little bit goes a long way and does not interfere with your natural beauty. Oh, and guys? Making up stories to impress girls does not work. When they find out you lied, you’re likely to have a PO’d woman on your hands. You’ve been warned.
Tip #3: Love on yourself.
If you cannot say out loud that you’re worthy of love, you’re not ready to be in a relationship. Chances are that if you don’t value yourself that much you won’t be able to value anyone else that much either. You don’t have to have an inflated ego or become self-obsessed (that won’t help you either) but try showing yourself a little love before you start looking somewhere else for it. It probably won’t work out too well if you don’t.
Tip #4: Don’t sweat it.
If you’re single and feel like you’re forever alone, you are not truly alone. There are millions of other people who feel just like you do. If you haven’t met the one, you haven’t met the one. It doesn’t mean you never will and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. The best thing to do is take this precious alone time and use it to better yourself so that whether or not you ever find him/her, you will be your best self and be able to live life to its fullest potential. Do not devalue yourself or loathe yourself, that will not get you anywhere. Also, little known fact, a lot of the best people end up single for a very long time just because nobody else they meet is worthy of them. Truth!
***These last few are for those who are already in a committed relationship, but IMHO they’re good for anybody to keep in mind.
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to have a few fights.
My husband and I were so impressed with ourselves during the first year of our relationship because we never fought. Like, ever. But the truth of the matter was that I was unconsciously burying a lot of anger and resentment under the rug. Getting your feelings out and flushing conflict is healthy and normal. Fighting all the time is not healthy, but if you have the occasional “heated discussion,” it’s okay. Stuff happens, people get their panties in a twist, life goes on.
Tip #6: Do the date night thing.
I believe in date nights more than I believe in gravity. As a committed/married couple, fun alone time is going to be your salvation, otherwise life just becomes too hard and depressing. Take time to gush over how handsome your babe is in the romantic lighting of your favorite restaurant. Enjoy how his or her hand feels holding yours while seeing a movie together. Rock out to your favorite songs together in the car on your way to and from. Basically, just have fun with each other alone. Doesn’t matter where or when.
Tip #7: Blow things off sometimes.
Let the dishes sit in the sink while you cuddle with your SO. Let the laundry stay unfolded in the basket. Let a phone call go unanswered. I’m not saying be lazy or shirk responsibilities, but don’t be so obsessed with keeping things perfect that you forget quality time. When you’re on your deathbed you’re not going to care that you didn’t make all your meals in advance or always keep the floors pristinely clean. You’re going to remember the good times you had with the people you love.
Tip #8: Pursue goals together.
Example: my husband and I are currently following a plan we came up with between ourselves to help us lose weight. It’s something we’re both invested in and we’re doing basically the same things in order to achieve the same goal. Not only does it give us each built-in accountability but it fosters a sense of unity in our house, which is just incredibly crucial to our survival as a couple. Someday, when we each reach our goal weights, we will cry and hug each other knowing that WE did it and our journey was a team effort. It’s those things that will help us trust that the other one has our best interests in mind for the duration of the relationship. (Sorry… Awkwardly worded sentence alert)
I’m sure there’s more I could add, but my little munchkin just let me know that my blogging time is up for the night. I hope this was at least a little bit helpful or reassuring for someone. Have a great weekend!