Monday, February 9, 2015

What I learned about love through dating


The dating years of your life -- however long they may last -- can be some of the most fun, random times you'll ever have! Those same years though can be heartbreaking and lonely ones.
There will probably be waves of both, but overall, your dating experience can make up some of the best years of your life!

That being said, here are a few things I learned from my dating experiences.

Don't travel in a pack
This one is easiest done if you're on a university campus during a chunk of your dating years. I spent a lot of time walking from class to class, studying in the library, and generally just being on campus during my time at BYU. Because I was often alone, I think it was easier for others to approach me and just strike up a conversation. This led to some of the most wonderful dates I went on in college! Sometimes I hear girls rag on guys for asking them out in public places like the library or a restaurant, and unless the person is acting really crazy, you should probably be flattered! Plus, that takes some guts on the guy's part. You don't ever have to accept a date from a complete stranger, but if you think you might be interested and you feel good about it, go for it!

Dating is personal, try not to take it personally
Now this one is hard. When someone breaks up with you, or stops asking you out, they're basically saying, "I don't want to be with you, at least not romantically." It's personal, there's no way around it! And it can be devastating. Just try to remember in those painful moments that there is someone who wants to be with you more than anyone else, it's just not that person. Bounce back, keep dating, keep putting yourself out there. Keep smiling and being approachable, and more opportunities will come. Also, when you're the person ending a relationship or declining another date, be as kind as you possibly can. Be honest about your feelings, but do it with compassion.

Smile
I think we can all agree that everyone looks more radiant and beautiful when they are smiling! When we smile, we immediately appear more warm and inviting. Even if you don't feel like smiling, try on a smile anyway. The amazing thing is that just the act of smiling can change your attitude from glum to happy in a matter of seconds. I've heard from countless guys that one of the main things they're looking for is someone who radiates happiness, and while this comes more naturally to some than others, we are all in control of our attitudes and the best way to start is with a smile!

*A side note on this one... Jason's favorite memory of us dating happened when we had only been going out for a week or two in Washington, D.C. We were walking around the city one evening and in the middle of a crosswalk we heard a guy say, "Woah, she's happy." We laughed so hard, and Jason reminds me often that my smile and happy demeanor is the most attractive thing to him about me.

Don't bring social media into your relationship prematurely
Once you do, it will never go away. If you aren't in an exclusive relationship, you probably shouldn't post photos of you kissing him on the cheek or going on a romantic date (#datenight). This will always make your relationship/non-relationship look much more serious than it is to the ladies back home who like all your photos. If you don't want to be asked about "that guy in the photo you posted two months ago" then don't post that photo! Also, in most cases it's probably not appropriate to post photos of first dates, especially without the consent of the other person. I know that sounds overzealous, but in the dating world you're always better off safe than sorry.

Give blind dates a chance
I know, I know, you've been on 35 blind dates and none of them have worked out! In fact some have been terribly awkward and weird. Well, you've probably heard this before, but none of them are going to work out until one of them does! Jason and I were set up, and before I met Jason I had been on probably a dozen blind dates. And guess what? None of them worked out. Some of them were a little uncomfortable and most of them didn't lead to a second date. But would I go on a dozen blind dates that don't work out all over again to find Jason? Of course I would! All it takes is one good blind date to never have to go on a blind date again.

Be careful with the phrase "I love you"
This is a powerful, beautiful phrase. When you say "I love you" you're saying a lot of things, the most poignant of them being that you don't want to be without that person anymore. With Jason, the thought "I love you" crossed my mind many times before I actually said it. I wanted to be sure that when I did say those words, there was no doubt in my mind that I loved him. Once you say I love you, the love train can really pick up speed and it's much harder to stop and get off that train when it's already headed toward the future. So make things easier on yourself and recognize that saying, "I love you" will change the course of your relationship, which can be blissful!

If a guy wants to ask you out, he will make it happen
As girls, we have a tendency to come up with a slew of scenarios explaining why a guy isn't asking us out. He lost my number, he dropped his phone in the toilet, he got appendicitis, he had a family emergency, it's "bad timing". The painful reality is, in most situations, the guy isn't asking you out because he just isn't that interested. Yes, his feelings can change, he can suddenly notice you, remember you, or have a stroke of inspiration to take you on a date, but it's best to move on and not count on it. This can be so hard, because as a girl it makes you feel so helpless in the dating world. In these difficult times where you feel like you're developing patience you never knew existed, remember that there is someone who wants to be with you more than anyone else, and there will be no convincing necessary.

No matter what phase of dating you may be in, stay optimistic, be patient, and don't give up hope! Sometimes things don't work out how or when we hoped they would, but one day we'll look back and connect the dots and recognize there was a reason for every moment.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,


4 comments:

  1. Love your blog! These are spot on. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Im loving all your posts my little sister! So wise :) xx

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