There is no doubt that Valentine’s Day is one of the highlights of the year. Originally a celebrated feast in honor of Saint Valentine, who defied the prohibition to solemnize marriage between young men and women in the Roman Empire, Valentine’s Day has become part of every modern society. This is the perfect day to show your love not only to your lover, but also to your mother, father, siblings, friends, and all the people who matter to you.
If you and your partner have questioned whether or not you should be in an open relationship — I have a few things for you to consider. Humans were made for relationships as they get us to explore who we are and what we want out of life at any given moment in time. But what are the relationship goals you should strive for in order to make the relationship work, any relationship? The answer to that varies as each relationship looks and functions according to the people involved — meaning, you can create your relationship to look any way you want as long as both parties (or how ever many are involved) are in agreement. But before you go jumping on the open relationship wagon, here are 3 things to keep in mind.
The issue: I’ve overheard many singles say, “Oh, I’m in a dating rut.” But, I’m not sure what that means. I’m not sure if it’s an accurate statement that anyone other than a Sex and the City Character should ever say.
When I was single, dating was an adventure and yes you go on several dates and meet with the racists, the cheapskates, or even a republican or two–but it never felt like a rut.
The redirection: I’m sure at work you don’t claim to have ruts when you have to work alongside the racist, the cheapskate or the republican–you just work around them. You can’t go to your boss and say, I refuse to work with Andy, the project manager, because he has bad breathe and he doesn’t split the lunch tab equally. Unless you have a secret trust fund, you just shut the hell up, don’t get too close to Andy’s mouth and hold your breathe a lot–and strategically spill Altoids on Andy’s desk.
The Fact: The reason people claim to be in a dating rut is that, they’re stuck. And they’re stuck on perfection. You’re stuck in a cycle of bad dates. You’re stuck on the idea of the perfect person. You’re stuck on the perfect date. You’re stuck on the perfect _________________(fill in the blank).
And it’s okay. You will get unstuck by keeping it going. Keeping YOU going. We’ve all been there–so why do YOU get to skip this part of dating? You don’t. Welcome to stuck.
My advice: Don’t “rut out” on dating; instead, just work around it–the great part is that you never have to date them again–don’t you wish that were the same case with your coworkers?
I spend the majority of my time reading books + then applying their messages to my everyday life. If it’s a business book, I try something new with my blog, merchandise and take things to the next level–but because I’m seriously passionate about dating, relationships + helping others, I always relate the info back to dating + relationships. If it’s a book about marketing, strategy or even how to be the most likeable in business, my mind always filters it into…you guessed it–dating + relationships.
As I finished reading my last book, The $100 Start Up by Chris Guillebreau, in chapter 11, he dicsucces the idea of an upsell. We all get this idea. You sell someone a product and right before they make the purchase, you introduce them to another one of your products they might also be interested in. It’s like when Amazon.com shows you the “other related items” on the check out page. “Oh, I guess I will need this toothpaste that will pop in my mouth if I order my new toothbrush that glows in the dark,” you say to yourself as you click on Pop’n Toothpaste. Yeah, like that. But before you decide to make another purchase, you trust the site, the seller or the place of business, right? There’s also a trust factor when dating which gets you to the second date…and the third…and so on.
When people lie on their dating profiles about their weight, age, or even their hair factor, it’s because of an insecurity. Why else would a guy lie about how tall he really is? Or a woman fib about those extra love pounds she’s hiding inside a girdle? What people don’t realize is that you are ruining your DATING TRUST FACTOR. What people should really be doing is selling themselves “AS IS” online and on the date–go for the upsell. I went out with a guy once who had decent photos online. When we met, sparks, fireworks, passion overflowed. It was like my internal Mexican volcano irrupted when I saw him walking towards me. Was this the guy? It looked him, but not really? He was actually using bad photographs in his profile that didn’t do him any justice. Yeah, I’m talking about my current boyfriend, German Marin. He totally under-promised yet over-delivered! He was funny, an amazing listener + had a sweetness about him that to-the-date still makes my hear pitter-patter. That was the upsell. He was so much more than what I expected. Keep in mind, the upsell doesn’t have to be a sleazy situation, like having a magnum-sized condom fall out of his wallet or having her insert an entire beer bottle into her mouth. Side comment: The mobile pics German he was were taken by friends.
Don’t let insecurities ruin your business, job, or dating/relationship life. Always “Sell as AS” but then go for the upsell once you’ve built that DATING FACTOR TRUST. Keep in mind that you want to build trust while having fun when dating, otherwise, you’ll become a one-date wonder on the prowl with eventually no prospects but Asian escorts on the back of the Village Voice.
I read it in countless e-mails, facebook status updates and suspect that if smoke signals were still in fashion–I’d see it there too–the same question, “When will the hard part be over when it comes to dating and relationships?
The concept was birthed somewhere between the invention of marriage and the creation of the Hallmark Valentine’s Day card; the idea of love being simple and that anyone could do it–like bedazzling. The notion was romanticized to the extreme and we took the bait. “Act now: get married and be set for life.”
And for years we’ve seen it played out on the small screen as the main idea as with Sarah Jessica pioneering the way to love or in the form of a secondary plot on the big screen with flicks like SALT with Angelina Jolie. (The man she was in love with went to the depths of the Earth to find and rescue her–I can’t even get my boyfriend to close the kitchen cabinets when he pulls a glass out to drink water)
For many, the dating scene is rough; it’s competitive, frustrating and nerve-wrecking, but it will never go away–because we each have an idea of what being in a relationship is like–and it’s always sunshine and lollipops, right? I’ve never heard anyone say, “I can’t wait to get married in order to go through a custody battle and bitter divorce.” Or, “I’m so excited to be engaged to Mark–I hope he turns out to be gay and comes out 2 weeks before the wedding so we can cancel it and I can dive into a deep destructive tailspin of despair to get in touch with my inner alcoholic.
“And guess what kids?” The hard part isn’t over when you find someone–it’s just begun because you really get into the psychology of that person–especially after the 3-month love-bubble bursts. So the question remains, “Does it ever get better?” The answer–yes. But the real question we should be asking is, “Does it get easier?” The answer–no. And that’s not a bad thing. I say no because it’s work. It doesn’t have be to painful but it is work–you have to increase communication and make sure you don’t fall into a pattern of “the same old same old” and that’s hard when you come home tired and just want to rest, but instead you find that the laundry needs to be done, the dishes need washing and on top of that–they want you to listen as they retell the story of how they argued with someone at work. But if for that moment, you can bring the “big picture” into perspective…that it gets better, it can be a great relationship-saving device.
Dating will always be a challenge because we’re not bean pods sprouting on command; instead we’re evolving individuals with shifting ideas, concepts and emotions. “Will relationships ever be smooth?” No, but the ride you have depends on your character and how you choose to formulate your behavior and response to the ever-changing circumstances of a relation because in the end–it was never about them, it was all about you, wasn’t it?
Those of you in the dating trenches, do you ever think that once you get involved in a relationship, the fairytale starts? Leave a comment and let’s get Mexican in here!