Monday, October 27, 2014
To all of you women, especially young women who are hoping to find the man of your dreams and get married one day, this is for you.
1. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO SETTLE.
You are beautiful and smart and have gifts and talents. You are unique. You do not have to settle for the first guy that pays serious attention to you, or kisses you, or likes you. You don't have to settle for the first or second, or even third guy that pays serious attention to you, even if you like him too. If you remember the analogy of the cream, in the post "Why, Becoming Cream?", you will know that cream does not ever settle--it can't. It must rise to the top.
2. MAKE HIM CALL YOU.
And, don't take calls or answer messages after 10 p.m. Your time is valuable. You shouldn't be spending all day texting or snap-chatting a guy. If he wants to take you out or see you badly enough, he will call. If he doesn't get the hint, tell him you would like him to call you. You could prove your point by not messaging back so often. Teach him that you don't want to be controlled by your smartphone. That you would appreciate some old-fashioned chivalry. Don't go out with someone who asks you out over texting or voice mail. That's unacceptable. Back in the day, not that long ago, when I was your age, we didn't have smartphones, just the dumb ones attached to the wall with a 10-foot cord. There was one phone number for the whole family. We didn't even have an answering machine. If you wanted to talk to me, you had to call back until you found me at home, and then you had to exchange a few pleasantries with whichever member of my family that answered the phone. Now, we are all so attached to these devices in our pockets that we've taught each other that we're available 24/7. Don't be so available. If he wants to see you, he will figure it out. Make him figure it out.
3. DON'T ACCEPT A SECOND, OR ESPECIALLY A THIRD DATE WITH SOMEONE YOU DON'T CARE FOR.
If the first date didn't impress you, you might consider what went wrong. Some guys deserve a second chance and clearly others do not. You need to make a list of what your deal-breakers are and stick to it. Did he treat you with respect? Did he look at his phone while he was with you? Did he talk about the other girls he has dated? Does he hate his parents? Was he late picking you up? Did he ask questions to try to get to know you? Did he seem genuinely interested in you and not just your pretty face? If you told him you are a math major, did he freak out and get intimidated? Did you have an opportunity to get to know him a little? Does he smile? He is a happy person? Did he admit to any bad habits? Does he have goals in his life and if so, is he working toward achieving them? Did he respect you enough to come nicely groomed? While it's true that it takes a while to get to know someone, there are some things that are very revealing up front. If he doesn't try to make a good impression on the first date, he never will. If he isn't cleanly groomed on the first date, unless he had to change a flat tire in the driving sun on the way to pick you up, he will never be cleanly groomed.
4. DON'T BE TEMPTED TO DRESS IN A WAY THAT DOES NOT REFLECT WHO YOU REALLY ARE.
This means, be yourself. If you don't typically wear Taylor Swift-thick-as-mud eyeliner, now is not the time to try it out. If you don't normally wear high heels and tight pants, don't do it now. You don't want to be guilty of false advertising. You want to present your best self, but also your real self. You don't need to copy anyone else you know or anyone that's famous. You are beautiful just the way you are. Put on clean clothes that are modest and stylish, do your normal hair and makeup, and smile. Make sure you smell good and have clean hair. Then walk out the door ready to be yourself.
5. DON'T POST DATING SHENANIGANS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
You shouldn't be posting pictures of you and people you are dating for all the world to see. Talk about awkward. What if the other party is not as excited about the post as you are? What are you saying to all your other social media contacts? That you're a couple? That you're dating this person exclusively? That you get around the block and date 100 times a month? Be careful with what you post. It's my opinion that you shouldn't post pictures on social media with another person until you can officially say you are now a couple, that your relationship is serious, or better yet, that you're engaged to be married. Otherwise, you close yourself off from other opportunities. Other people might not be interested after your posts, and still others will get their feelings hurt. The world doesn't need a play by play of your dating life.
6. IF THE GUY HASN'T KISSED YOU AFTER TWO MONTHS, HE ISN'T INTERESTED IN YOU ----REALLY.
Listen, it sounds sexist to say this, but it's pure biology. When a man knows what he wants and wants to kiss you, he will kiss you. It doesn't matter how shy you are, he will find a way to kiss you. If he hasn't kissed you after several dates, he isn't going to. Run away from this guy. Either he isn't attracted to you or he has some strong perversion to physical contact and is afraid of going too far, thus withholding this important part of a romantic relationship. Please don't misunderstand. Both my religious and my high moral standards are that we don't have sex until we're married, and that physical affection before marriage should not be the kind that is overly sexual and certainly not promiscuous. But, kissing, in a non-passionate way, and hand holding, and appropriate demonstrations of physical affection are important. It lets you know that you care about each other. Plus, why would you not want to know how someone kisses? What if they are messy kissers, or kiss too hard, or don't even like to kiss? If he hasn't kissed you after several dates, he only sees you as his friend. Run far away because guys and girls can't be friends, especially not if one of you has feelings for the other that are not reciprocated.
Here are some things that I think constitute dumping your "boyfriend."
He has been dating you for several months, but the relationship doesn't progress.
You don't or can't talk about deep and serious things.
He has no sense of humor.
He has a criminal record.
He has a problem with pornography.
He shows any kind of tendency for violence.
He keeps you on a short leash---he always wants to know where you are or who you are with.
He has a temper or becomes angry easily.
He is disrespectful to you, his mother, other women, the elderly, or children.
He doesn't respect authority.
He is irresponsible with money.
He has no goals and no plans for his future.
He doesn't know how to work (he is lazy).
He just keeps you on the bench for when other girls are not available to play.
He acts like he is your boyfriend, but he's on Tinder, dating everyone in sight.
He only wants to see you during the week, not on the weekend (weekends are for dates and who he sees on the weekend is who is most important to him).
He doesn't acknowledge your birthday.
He doesn't acknowledge Valentine's Day.
He doesn't try to cheer you up when you're sick, are in a fender-bender, or have a really bad day.
Everything is all about him: You always go get his favorite food and see his kinds of movies.
He doesn't try to surprise you and make you happy.
He hasn't kissed you yet. You would like him to, but he hasn't even tried.
He just wants to hang out. He doesn't take you out on real dates (spending money is not what is important here--it can cost nothing, but should require some effort).
Here is what girls can do:
1. Invest time in yourself. You only want to get married once, if you can help it, and so don't be in such a big hurry. Use this time to discover who you are and become the best you can be. Make sure you are doing something with yourself. You should be in school, or learning a vocation, or working at a job you enjoy. Pursue your hobbies. Get really good at your talents. These things will make you happy and because you are happy and satisfied with yourself, it will radiate out of you and attract the kind of man who will not be intimidated by your brains, beauty, and talent.
2. Make sure you are healthy. Get enough sleep. Eat right. Exercise. You don't have as much to offer the world if you're frazzled from always pulling all-nighters to study, or partying late with friends every night. You will feel better when you take better care of yourself.
3, Go to church. Exercise your faith. It is important that you are grounded in God's love for you, that you know that you are important to Him and that He is concerned about you, that He hears and answers your prayers.
4. Give service. Get involved in your community, on your campus, at your church. Do something for others on a regular basis. It will soften all the corners of your life. When you are having a rough day, helping others will lift your spirits. It takes the focus off of you and helps you to be grateful for your life, all your blessings, and the unique life you lead.
5. Spend time with your family. They love you. They miss you. You are at a busy time of your life. You are an adult now, but you still need your parents and family. Include them in your life when you can. Keep in touch with them. Talk to them. Here is a reality check. Friends come and go. Family is forever. Don't be a stranger now. And when you start dating people, bring them around your family. Sometimes they see things in people that you don't because you're blinded by your affections. If they point out things that are alarming to them, listen. I know lots of girls who could have been spared the heartache of a short-lived marriage and later divorce if they had only listened to their parents or an older brother who had the 'belly alarm' go off when she brought home her boyfriend.
6. Make plans for the future. Go on that study-abroad trip. Save your money and buy that car. Work seriously toward getting your college degree. You need to be prepared to have the best job possible, either as a contributing member of your future household or if you end up being alone. Life throws curve balls to us all. Spouses get sick or die, husbands lose jobs, recessions hit, children get catastrophic and expensive illnesses, and the list goes on. Please take your education seriously or at least learn a good and marketable skill, so you can be prepared to be the sole breadwinner if that should be required of you. Better to be prepared and not need to work than need to work and not be prepared to.
7. Love yourself. You are beautiful and special. Stop comparing yourself to other women. Have you heard the saying, "you can be the juiciest peach in the world and still there will be someone who hates peaches?" It's true. You just need to be your beautiful self and in the right time, the right man will come along and love you for exactly who you are, just the way you are. And, if you're dating someone who wants you to change the way you dress, or lose weight, or wear your makeup differently, the only thing you need to change is him--get him out of your life. Tell him to find that girl somewhere else.
And a final word to the guys:
Grow up and stop being so selfish. Commitment and marriage are not dirty words. It's what you're supposed to be striving for. It's part of God's plan for us. The Bible says, "it is not good for man to be alone." Listen! When you find a girl that you're attracted to, loves you in spite of your weirdness, is willing to forgive you when you screw up, and is working hard to be her best and help make the world a better place, don't let her go! Kiss her. Stop dating everyone else. Stop looking at everyone else. Save a little money and buy her a ring, and ask her to marry you. Get going in your life. Things will fall into place. You'll find a place to live. You can get a grant to pay for school. You can buy a beater car. You can figure it out together. Stop being so afraid of life. But please, I beg you, stop leading these girls on. If you have no intention of being in a serious relationship, then put yourself on ice until you figure yourself out and don't date anyone. It's false advertising. Get your act together! Stop looking at porn. Stop spending all your money on video games. Take your schooling seriously. Be a man! You are wonderful, too! You are brilliant and yet worry about things that you don't need to worry about now. Have a little faith. Talk to your parents instead of to your friends. Spend time with some elderly men and ask them the secrets to a happy marriage. Ask them what to do. They know--your friends don't. Get off social media. Pick up the phone. Allow yourself the freedom that comes with being a little old-fashioned. It might surprise you how happy you can be when you realize you don't need that much to be happy. But, I don't think you can be truly happy until you find that special girl. She is waiting for you, patiently waiting. Stop making her wait!
I'm an artist and writer. I love to cook. I love good shoes and sweaters and always wear jeans. I love to read and believe books and reading are important investments. Creativity is important, even essential. I am a joyful wife and mother of two children. I am a happy member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My faith is central to my life, marriage, and family.