I have come up with a list of 10 things someone should know about dating someone who has their life together. (And remember, I’m only 21, so I don’t have my life completely together, but I’m getting there.)
1. I am often busy. It goes without saying that my schedule is jam-packed on a day-to-day basis, including advancing my education/career, working my job, working out at the gym, running errands, blogging, finding time to hang out with friends, and other such activities. Being busy doesn’t mean that I’m uninterested in having a social life or dating; it just means that I have other important matters to attend to as well. I might not always have time to grab dinner or a drink every weekend, but I’m free on occasion. Befriending or dating a woman with a busy schedule simply means you’ll have to be willing to understand that she won’t be available all of the time…and that’s okay.
2. I make my own money, so buying me material things does not easily impress me, but it is a kind gesture that does not go unnoticed. Just because you buy me dinner doesn’t mean that you’re automatically “the one”. Many women are easily swayed by such a gesture, making them appear vulnerable and weak in the eyes of a man. Yes, I make my own money. Yes, I buy my own things. Yes, I can (in many ways) support myself sufficiently. I do, however, find it very gentleman-like when a man offers to pay for said dinner. All I’m saying is, I’m not necessarily looking for it to happen, but when it does, I’m impressed my that behavior. Like I said, your kindness does not go unnoticed.
My Rule of Thumb: I believe that when dating a woman, the man should pay for a majority of the activities…and by majority I mean 90% or more. However, there’s nothing wrong with a woman treating a man on occasion. In my opinion, it’s just customary that the man court the woman, not the other way around. If the relationship is plutonic though, I think it’s appropriate that each person pay for their own activities separately.
3. Don’t have dinner with me with your phone on the table. And while we’re on the subject of dinner, please please please don’t have your phone out on the table texting your boys. Or your girls. Or GroupChat. That is one of the most inconsiderate actions that can be done on a date. As a grown woman, I expect respect. And such will be reciprocated. Having your phone out tells me that you are uninterested in me and are not mature enough to realize that what you’re doing is not respectable. I can understand if there is an emergency; otherwise, your attention should be focused on our personal interaction. Nowadays, everyone texts and snaps every moment of their lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I, too, am a fan of social media. However, there is a time and a place for everything…but not at the dinner table. So, put the phone away!
4. How you carry yourself should reflect how I carry myself. If you know me, you know I like to look nice. Period. If I’m going on a date, I am going to look elegant and graceful–just as a woman should. How I dress, whether casually flirty on a bright afternoon or more tailored on a summer night, it is a reflection of who I am. Who I am does not consist of overly exposing my body wearing very revealing clothes or heels so high that I can’t walk in them. That might be for some women, but not for me. I choose to carry myself in a manner that exhibits grace and maturity. (And a little bit of sex appeal when appropriate, because that never hurt anybody.) As such, I expect the man that I am seeing to dress and behave as a gentleman should. That being said, everyone has their “home life”. What you choose to wear and how to choose to behave in your home when no one is watching is your business. However, if you come around me or are in public, I am looking for a well-dressed, articulate man.
5. If you text, text in a timely manner. This is self explanatory. Untimely texting has to be one of the biggest deterrences for me. I think we can all agree that communication is important, whether it be in a friendship or in a relationship, right? If I see potential in you, I expect you to communicate with me. It’s that simple. I’m not saying that we have to talk or text every minute of every hour of every day, but I need to know that you’re interested in me or else I’m wasting my time. And I don’t date for fun. On so many occasions, I have (mistakenly) found potential in men who do not know how to communicate. I always say, “There is no such thing as being too busy.”I will stand by that statement for the rest of my life. You always have a moment in your day to say something to the person that you care about. So being “too busy” is an excuse in my book. If you don’t say anything else but “Have a nice day.”, then I’d be okay with that. Let me break it down:
-If you can go days without talking to me, you’re not interested.
-If it takes you 6 hours to reply to a text, then 6 more hours to reply to the next text, you’re not interested (unless you’re at work or something and can’t).
-If you’re on actively on social media, but cannot reply, you’re not interested.
-If you say you’ll do better, but don’t, you’re not interested.
…and the list goes on.
Some of you may be thinking that I’m talking about a petty subject. Think that as you may, how you allow a man to treat you is how you will be treated for all of time. If you condone this behavior, he will think that it is okay to not communicate with you. Don’t allow yourself to be frustrated. Move on.
I am guilty of this. Too many times I have been hung up on men, feeling like I should try to change their habits. You can’t change someone who either: 1) doesn’t want to change, or 2) doesn’t see any fault in their behavior.
When dating a woman who has her life together, there is no time to second-guess and triple-guess a situation. If you feel your needs are not being met, move on.
Listen to Drake…know yourself, know your worth.
(And the same goes for you ladies too. A man should feel equally as entitled to leave you if you’re not communicating with him. If you’re not interested, say so. Don’t leave him trying to piece things together. It turns into an awkward mess. Treat him as you would want to be treated.)
6. Be wary of your social media accounts, because I look at them and they say a lot about you. Back to the social media topic. I hate when I get on Instagram or Facebook and I think that the man that’s following me or friending me is going to be well-articulated and professional but all I see in their bios are the promotion of some sort of low-level mixtape and/or a ton of random emojis and/or incorrect grammar usage. That does not attract me. You should know that. You social media profiles should, again, reflect who you are. If using incorrect grammar reflects who you are, great. But that is just not the type of man for me. Everyone can’t be perfect. I understand that. But I think it goes to say that I like an educated man. That’s just my type, and I won’t apologize about it. Think about it: a lot of us meet people through social media. Naturally, if we do this, we do not know them personally. Our first impressions are through social media accounts. That is just the day and age that we live in. Let me give you an example of what I’m looking for on Instagram, for instance:
-When I click on your profile, I want to see your name/initials, not a made up title (#MoneyGang)
-Your bio should be short and simple, not overloaded with random details.
-Your profile picture should be of you. Duh!
-If I see any pictures of naked women or some overly promiscuous generic photography, then that’s a disqualification.
-I don’t know if this is just me, but I don’t like seeing a lot of “word pictures” on a man’s TL.
-Pictures should be tasteful.
(There are some very minor exceptions.)
You ever notice these things when looking at the opposite gender’s social media accounts? I’m telling you, these accounts say a lot about a person. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all want to be with someone that reflects the best part of us.
7. Make decisions with me. I like for a man to be assertive. Not aggressive, but assertive. I think one of the fun things about potentially being in a relationship is being able to make decisions together. A one-sided relationship is no fun and doesn’t teach compromise. Make decisions about where to go for dinner or what beach to visit next weekend. I believe that allowing this decision-making has multiple purposes. As I just stated, it teach compromise. It also allows both people to engage in open communication and does not allow monopolization of the relationship. As a woman, I look for this in a man. Tell me what you want. Tell me what you like and what you don’t like. A relationship is a two-way street. Don’t find yourself walking alone.
8. Be a decent person. And for crying out loud, don’t be an ass. I asked this one guy I was “talking” to a couple of years ago this question: “If your mom knew how you acted, would she be happy?” If you wouldn’t say it to your mother, don’t say it to me. That’s just a decency issue. And I’ll be the first one to admit that I curse on occasion. I’m around people who do that everyday, so it doesn’t really bother me. However, when it becomes excessive, that’s when it’s a problem and is distasteful. I don’t want that coming out of your mouth and as a grown man, you shouldn’t either. Everything in moderation guys. Everything. And along with that, treat others as you would want to be treated. Don’t be mean. For what reason would you even do that? Naturally, people can make you frustrated every now and again. That’s human nature. But how to treat other people is a reflection of how you will treat your significant other.
9. I’m not afraid of commitment, and neither should you. I am not afraid of commitment. I will be the first person to say it. I told you before, I do not date for fun. That’s a middle school mindset. At this age and at this point in my life, I’m looking for someone who isn’t afraid of commitment either. If I see potential in someone, I plan on being in it for the long term. Believe it or not guys, some people only want sex. That’s just the down and dirty of it. I’m not interested in those people. I remember being with a guy last year who started sporadically texting me after the first date. I went on to inquire about it, and he told me that he only wanted sex. Though I appreciate the honesty, for a (now) 24-year-old, that’s immature behavior to me. To each his own I suppose. But I’m a grown woman, and that is not the kind of relationship I choose to take part in.
This goes to both women and men, but don’t let yourself get taken advantage of. As a general rule, if you’re feeling one way and the other person is feeling another way, you probably need to explore those feelings and act accordingly. I simply speak from experience. I have been in a couple situations where I have liked someone more than they have liked me, and I was ready for commitment but they weren’t. What did I do? I decided to do what was best for me and let go of any romantic feelings that I had for them. As an intelligent, independent woman, it is important to think with your head and not with your heart.
10. I know where I’ve been and where I’m going. Every experience that I have ever had to go through in my life has made me the person I am today. I know the places that I have been and the places that I am going to. All of my knowledge and wisdom thus far has made me a stronger, more tough-skinned woman. It has also made me flawed. No one is perfect, nor will ever be. As a man, you must learn to deal with these things for the sake of the woman that you are pursuing. There will be emotional lability, highs and lows. I cannot stress the importance of women pursuing men that are supportive and encouraging. If you are dating someone or have the potential to date someone who does not support you and your endeavors, he is not the one. He should help you grow and should teach you. This goes for women as well. Both should be a resource for one another. I have witnessed toxic relationships and marriages, all of which stem from a rotten foundation.
I have said this before, but you cannot pour from an empty cup. You must first take care of yourself. Only then you can take care of others. As an intelligent, attractive woman, I am focusing on myself first. Then will I pursue or allow myself to be pursued by the right man. There are aspects of my life that I would like to improve on, just as I’m sure others have aspects of their lives that they wish could be better. I am a work in progress.
We are all on a path to somewhere…and sometimes we find what/who we are looking for when we just stop actively looking for it. I am enjoying the life that I am living and will continue to do so without fear of the future.
Know where you’ve been, know where you’re going, and live freely in the comfort of knowing that everything will happen for a reason and in due time.