I was raised to have high standards. My parents always expected my best effort and knew when I was slacking off. They were not afraid to call me out on it either. I was expected to make all A’s in my classes, have a job each summer to pay for car related expenses, and help out with things around the house. It wasn’t always easy meet these high standards, but it challenged me always do my best and it taught me to create my own high standards in life. High standards for my education, for my career, for my life, and for the people who I surround myself with.
When it comes to dating I try not to have this checklist of standards that a guy must have. I hate to admit it, but in the past I have used a checklist, and it has gotten me nowhere. I try to date with my feelings and my gut instincts. I need to explore the journey of getting to know someone instead of racing to the destination of a decision. I’m usually quick to cut things off. Who truly enjoys putting themselves out there and being vulnerable when more often than not it ends in disaster? I can’t remember the last time someone made it to more than five dates. I don’t like to waste my time on something that I “know” isn’t going to work. So how do I know when it’s going to work? I know when the conversation is flowing both during a date and over text/communication prior to a date and in between dates. There aren’t awkward pauses, you have things in common, it is all just easy.
But even when things are going great people get in their own way and end up messing up a good thing. Why are people afraid of going after what they want or coming out and saying this is not what I want? How hard is it to be honest with someone with how you feel, either way? You can’t help how you feel. I get it, these conversations are hard. I’ve been on both sides of them. But I’d rather be honest with someone and in turn someone be honest with me so that I know where things stand. I’m not afraid to ask someone where they stand, I don’t like to assume things. You only get a finite amount of time where “I don’t know what I want” is acceptable. After a while “I don’t know what I want” is an answer which means either “I’m too chicken shit to tell you I don’t like you” or “I like you but I’m too afraid to pursue this for whatever reason.” As much as I need to learn to live in the gray and embrace it, I can’t waste time waiting for someone to figure their crap out.
This experience has taught me a lot. I do have high standards for the people I surround myself with, and that’s okay. I want someone who is mature enough to own their feelings, say what they mean, and acts like a man. I don’t want someone who acts childish and is afraid to say what they feel. I mean we’re almost 30 here! I am not afraid to go after what I want and say it, even when it conflicts with what the other person wants. There were a couple of guys I “dated” at the beginning of the year who wanted to “hangout.” I vowed I was not going to “hangout” with another guy after reading this article, here. People use the word “hangout” when they are afraid to label things for fear of getting hurt. Let’s call a spade a spade. When you are meeting up with a person of the opposite sex for drinks/dinner/date like activity (bowling, shooting range, go karts, etc), call it what it is. IT’S A DATE! I can’t go from dating to “let’s hangout and see what happens” while you “decide what you want.” I’m not the kind of girl who sits around waiting for life to happen. For the first time I truly put all my cards out on the table. I’ve been afraid to do that for fear of how I would feel if/when things didn’t work out. I thought I would be miserable, but the reality is that I feel at peace by not holding anything back. I would much rather someone like me for being real and 100% me, than a fake impression of myself.
I’ll leave you with a clip from Hitch. It sums up how I feel about everything.
So when something that had the potential for greatness turns into just FINE ….. I’ll hold out for extraordinary…