A few months ago, someone asked me what I would tell my 15-year-old self about having a “broken picker.” I thought it was a really good question and applies to so much more than just my bad taste in men – although that is definitely a good place to start. These days my advice for dating is one word – Don’t.
Now that it is the end of the year I feel like I have dropped the ball because of how long it has taken me to actually finish this list. In a way, I feel like I have let down the person who asked me the question, because it is now months after the fact. And the reason that it has taken me so long is because I couldn’t figure out how to make it funny. I am not very good at being serious, especially here, and I didn’t want to go “off brand.” I also think that my soapbox is pretty boring and the only good part is poking fun at everything else happening around me. I decided at the beginning of this week that I was going to publish it no matter what. So here we go…
Here are my words, not necessarily of wisdom, from years of making more mistakes than I can count and not learning enough from any of them to not do it again. Maybe seeing it all written down will help some other 15-year-old, 25-year-old or 85-year-old and everyone else in between.
- Just because someone shows interest in you doesn’t mean you have to date them. Standards are important and it is good to set them early. There is no need to be an equal opportunity dater if someone doesn’t meet the bar you set.
- Red flags are there for a reason. Pay attention to them. People show you who they are whether they mean to or not. What you think is quirky now may be a deal-breaker later.
- Go on a lot of dates so you learn how you deserve to be treated. Statistical significance – sample size is important.
- Be less oblivious so you see the nice people who are more reserved. They are probably better value than the loud, seemingly confident, walking red flags that you can’t help but pay attention to. Except for the serial killers…but those are another issue entirely.
- Listen to your friends when they tell you what they think about someone. And if one of them is avoiding the subject, they know something that you should probably know. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
- Timing is everything. Just because the people around you are settling down doesn’t mean you need to find someone and do it too.
- Don’t do anything because you think you should. Do it because you want to and it makes sense for where you want to go in your life. Regret comes in many shapes and forms. The sparkly handbag is a lot easier to get rid of than the wedding ring.
- Things happen for a reason. Not to get all “woo-woo” but sometimes the universe is sending you a message and it might take a few roller coasters (or deadbeats) to figure it out.
- When you course correct, make sure that you are looking at the big picture. Don’t choose someone because they are smart and the last person wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. I *might* be talking from experience… Think about all of the other things they do or don’t have to offer. (See item #2)
- No one else can complete you or make you happy. The onus is on you to do it yourself. You are the most important person and if you don’t see that, no one else will. Granted, don’t be a self-important waste of space who thinks the ground she walks on should be hallowed, but instead, know your worth.
And sometimes dating doesn’t make sense based on where you are in your life. That is ok. It doesn’t mean you have thrown in the towel or are choosing which convent to join. Although at times the Carmelites and their vow of silence seems so peaceful. But the grass always seems greener, doesn’t it? I am sure that dogs have pooped on that patch of it too.
2 thoughts on “If I had known then what I know now…”
11. Repeat from #1 as your knowledge improves! 🙄 Thank you for taking your time to answer. I’m going to share this with my fiancee’s teenagers, who have experienced a lot of patriarchal trauma. They are already showing signs of having broken pickers! The other issue is that they grew up in an oppressive church where they learned that their only ambition should be motherhood. You’ve made many excellent points. Thank you!