I’m sure we all have lists – some longer than others – of things we wished we had done differently. Perhaps we should not done this or that. How about dating?
Once one is married, the lists from “the single life” become fixed relics – reminders of what not to do. We place them on shelves, waiting to be dusted off as advice offerings for our kids (who probably won’t want it anyway).
So, rather than wait for these lessons learned to expire, I’ll offer a few here. You’ll thank me later…
I mean, when we are single, we have ideas about what we think marriage is and what we are looking for. Once married, reality sets in – for better or for worse.
I so wish I could take this list back to the “younger me” and have a sit-down with her about the choices she was making.
Without further ado…
#1 Putting my entire life on Facebook never paid off – it cost me actually. One really needs to monitor the content and quantity of postings on Social Media. Employers look at that stuff. Unless you are in a select job market, it’s not a smart thing to do.
#2 Finding the romantic life partner is just one of many goals. Being obsessed with finding “the one” is not a good plan. Get an education and a job. Be the person he wants to be with too.
#3 Go places by yourself. This is a huge one. Independence is a huge thing and builds self-confidence. Go to the movies, museums, parks, etc. Just because you are not attached does not mean you don’t have a life.
#4 The first date is not the audition for marriage. A first date is exactly that – a date. There is far more room for error than anything else. Just relax and be yourself.
#5 How does he manage his time? Is he on time or late? How do you manage your time? Decide if this in an area that is really important to you or not.
#6 Is he good with his money? This is something to look at for the potential long-termer. Team up with someone who is compatible with you in this area. A lot of disagreements in marriage stem from this. Get it right while you are still looking!
#7 How does he treat women? Does he treat them the same way whether he finds them attractive or not? This is a sign of maturity or lack thereof. Also, how does he treat his mom? Whatever that looks like is likely what will be reflected in a marriage years later.
#8 How does he solve problems? Is he an emotional reactor or a fact-finder? Is he a stress case or calm? However each of you is wired in approaching challenges is something to nail right away. Pay attention to an issue while you are dating – like, say a discrepancy on a bill at the restaurant or a flat tire on the way home. How smaller issues are managed are a pretty good indicator of how larger ones are.
#9 What is his definition of closure? After a hefty discussion or a spat, what is “closure” for each of you? Do you both sweep it under the rug or need to talk it out? This is another key one I wish that I had known much sooner in life. I can see it now with my friends and co-workers – the patterns are the same.
#10 Sorry, I don’t fly bags for free. Look out for baggage! Those mommy and daddy issues come in small, medium, large and oversized. You are carrying precious cargo – don’t fly his junk for him!