Reflections — dating lessons learned in ’06
- While my dating quantity has slowed, my quality has improved. I continue to meet some wonderful men and enjoy their acquaintance. Some have become romantic dalliances, others valued friends, while some are just a fleeting memory.
- While I believe in giving people grace and realize some men are nervous in first dates, I’ve also learned to notice how your date treats you and how you feel around him. If you don’t feel great on the first few dates, it probably won’t get better, as people are usually on their best behavior in early encounters.
- As hard as it is, work to not build up expectations before meeting a guy. It is easy to be blinded by his great characteristics over the phone and email. It is what happens face-to-face that matters most. I would not have been as surprised by Rocket Man‘s fizzling if I hadn’t had such high hopes for him.
- Have the class to “break up” clearly, even if only after a date or two. If you aren’t drawn to him, let him know gently in an email or phone conversation that you want to be friends. If you just disappear, you are stooping to the behavior women often complain men do. When I’ve let someone just drift away, I’ve not been proud of my own behavior.
- If you have parted amicably, allow him to come back in your life if you’d like. He may now be a treasured friend, or perhaps the time is better to see if you both want to rekindle your connection. Dreamboat recently reentered my life and when he gets back from abroad this week we are going to see if there is the spark that we felt before he started travelling extensively several months ago.
- Go into any potential relationship with your eyes and heart open. If you are not blinded by what you think you see and are willing to look at the good and the bad, you’ll make a more informed decision whether to continue. And an open heart does mean it might be bruised or even broken, but a closed heart does not allow for any possibilities.
- I will be even more discerning with whom I agree to even a coffee date. Once you have met someone face-to-face, I believe you have an obligation to be clear with him where you stand when you decide it isn’t a match. So if I know there is no way I could see us together, then why toy with his emotions and waste both of your time? While I believe in broadening your parameters for a potential suitor, if you know there’s no way you’d be interested in someone like him, why even start the process?
- I will clarify expectations and make my desires known — especially before spending a weekend together. I should have asked specific questions before agreeing to a weekend with Golf Addict. Frankly, before this I wouldn’t have imagined I needed to ask some of the questions that now I wish I had.
- If something isn’t working, say so in the moment, or soon afterward. Don’t suffer in silence. I know I let Golf Addict hang himself by his self-absorption, but if I care about the relationship, I will speak up about what is bothersome.
What are your dating resolutions for ’07?
Got a dating-after-40 topic you want Dating Goddess to address? Send your issue to Goddess@DatingGoddess.com.