From the minute I could date, I did and quite extensively too, whilst sneaking around behind my parents backs. This led to quite a few dating mishaps.
If a guy looked at me, I perked up and looked back at him. I made sure he knew I was interested.
When I got into relationships, I played the role of “wifey” so that things could become official in no time at all. Sadly, that didn’t work but let me stay on track.
When a relationship eventually broke down, I threw myself straight back into the dating market so that I wasn’t single for long.
I guess a part of me was scared to be alone. How would that look? Certainly bad in my head as most of my friends all had their plus ones.
Do you know what it’s like to turn up at hangouts as the single girl?
People are sometimes sitting in each other’s laps, cuddled up next to their beau and you are sitting on the armchair as the singleton.
Now, don’t get me wrong. No one intentionally made me feel out of place but I did. I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb.
It was the phase we were in; career girls who wanted and were getting married.
Well, I didn’t like being the one who stood out in that way. I wanted to turn up at our gatherings/events with a nice, yummy looking guy on my arm too.
Then I met this good looking guy. He seemed to hit all the right spots for me and I thought, yep! This is it! He was charming, well versed and seemed to think I was amazing. Did I mention he was good looking too? Oh yes, I did.
Floating on cloud 9, I could hardly wait to show him off, which I did. Oh, it felt good to have such good looking arm candy 😂
However, I didn’t stay on cloud 9 for long. Eventually, I came crashing back to earth with a rude awakening and no arm candy. It was at that point that I asked myself the kind of questions I ask my clients.
From those questions, I saw where I should have done better and what I needed to do next time.
As I got used to facing the answers to these questions, I saw where else I had been messing up with other men.
Here are some of the lessons I learnt after dating extensively and I know they will help you on your dating journey:
- If you don’t stand for something and someone, you’ll fall for anything and anyone. You must first take a stand for yourself (your desires, values, purpose) and second for your future. You might be getting the pressure from inside and outside, but please let your stand, not pressure, guide your dating experience.
- If you don’t know what you like, you’ll like what you shouldn’t. I grew up in a home with siblings who are way older than me. I automatically thought more maturely than people my age based on my background. What I didn’t know was that immaturity was a huge turn off for me until I liked an immature guy. Then I knew it was.
- How you present yourself determines how you are treated. In my wild days, some guy tried to sleep with me and I refuted his advances. On reflection, I had dated two guys he knew so he thought, what’s one more right? It might not be sex for you but how you show up determines how people show up to you.
- You must be clear on who you want. If you don’t have a target, you won’t know when you’ve hit it a.k.a, if you don’t know the qualities you want in a man, you won’t know when you’ve met him. It’s one of the easiest ways to recognise when you’ve met your husband; with the Holy Spirit confirming it of course.
- Healing is important. Dealing with your previous relational baggage, whether that be from your family or men, clears your eyes so you can see better in the future. Trauma can be a filter that makes your lens dirty. Deal with it so that your lens are clear.
- We are relational beings but not knowing how to relate with people, men inclusive, will mess up your dating experience. Social skills and social norms guide human interactions. Learn and apply them.
There are many more lessons from those days. If I recounted them all, you would be here for a while.
Now, here’s an exercise for you. Which of these mishaps have affected your dating experience? What are you going to do to change?