Well folks, it’s almost Valentine’s Day…the day where DM (Direct Messages via social media) activity increases by approximately 700%, Hallmark sells a ton of cards and you can cop a Bear/Candy/Balloon combo at just about any stop light, parking lot, your local carryout or the barbershop so I figured I’d share something.
Over time, I’ve had tons of conversations about how tough dating is in this area and I’ve compiled a list of some of the advice and tips I’ve given. I KNOW you didn’t ask, but you’re reading so off we go…
(In no particular order…)
1. Get out of your normal comfort zone. Too many men and women spend their entire adult lives in the same basic circle and wonder why they seem to continually date the same person with a different face/name.
2. Be clear on your core values and date accordingly. If you’re big on travel and seeing the world, you may have trouble seriously dating somebody who never wants to go anywhere. If you’re in church every Sunday, date someone who has a similar level of spiritual devotion and focus. If you don’t want children, maybe someone who has expressed wanting seven isn’t the best match.
3. Don’t date potential…date people WITH potential. Too many people date people who you think suck currently, but would be dope to you if they got themselves together…date people who you think are dope now, but still have room to be better (we ALL have room to be better, but you get my point).
3(a). Potential is based on how THEY see themselves, not you. It doesn’t matter if you think somebody can rule the world if they only care about running the block.
4. Physical attractiveness matters. They may not look like your favorite IG Dude or Chick…but they should be hot to YOU (not just your homies).
5. Just because you would like to sleep with them/find them attractive, doesn’t mean you should date them. Some people are MUCH better to just look at from a distance.
6. Ask questions. LOTS of them. How did they grow up, how they feel about their parents, how they want to raise kids, how they think about money, political views, social views, religious views, etc. You should gather as much information as possible before taking someone seriously. Relationships in and of themselves are a journey of discovery, but always make the most informed decision possible.
7. Go SLOW. Date someone through all 4 seasons before you consider a permanent situation with them. You want to see how they handle adversity and different things that life throws their way before you decide they can stay.
8. If you’re SUPER serious and you think they’re “The One”, get some kind of premarital counseling (a class would be awesome) before you even get engaged.
9. Make sure a parent, someone you consider an authority figure or an OG in your life sees and can sign off on your relationship before you get serious. All of us have blind spots, people who know us and hopefully have a bit more wisdom and experience can see some things we may miss. I know you’re grown, but I don’t know it all
10. If you have kids, and they don’t think they can be serious with someone who has kids, move on. Don’t try to convince them. Period.
11. (Bonus). MAKE SURE you can connect with them on a basic level that has nothing to do with physical. If at ALL possible, hold off on the physical as long as possible (I’d say until you’re married but that’s another conversation) to be SURE you vibe with them. Sex clouds judgment because it emotionally bonds you to someone (MEN TOO) and CAN lead to you overlooking things you really need to pay attention to in the mix.
This isn’t an exhaustive list but I hope you all find something here helpful.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!