5 things to remember when dating: Your dating playbook

Know what makes you special. Know what you bring to the table is valuable, even if you must sit at the table alone for a season.

If you are single, this is the perfect time to create your dating playbook. Your dating playbook is where you reflect on your dating history and layout how you want to effectively date going forward using your experiences as your guide. Here are a few things I want to share that are apart of my dating playbook that I believe other women can benefit from if they incorporate these things. Feel free to chime in with your dating playbook strategies:

  1. Have your confidence on a million– know who you are, no really know who you are, I know it’s been said plenty times before but get to know yourself and what makes you great! Understand that you are unique, and you deserve a healthy fulfilling relationship. That’s step one. If you must affirm yourself and tell yourself how bomb you are, then do that. It’s downright dangerous to hope or look for outside validation because you may not get it, and then start performing like a circus sea animal to get it. Not cool. And also understand just because you don’t receive outside praise doesn’t mean you are not important or valuable, tell yourself you are important and your needs deserve to be met and you will walk away if you begin to realize you are either not being respected or taken advantage of while dating or in a relationship, but to do this effectively you must know who you are and what you bring to the table. If you date without knowing who you are, then you give the man the power to shape you into the woman he wants you to be. If you don’t see yourself as a prize and see this man as one, you will spend time trying to fit in a mold for him to like you instead of being your true self. Know what makes you special. Know what you bring to the table is valuable, even if you must sit at the table alone for a season. 
  2. Let’s go with the flow you will not go– Know what you want before dating, if you are dating with the intentions of getting married, then why are you dating someone who says he doesn’t believe in marriage, if you someday want kids why are you entertaining a man who says he doesn’t want any? Oh and here’s my favorite, if you know you are looking for a committed relationship that may lead to marriage and you hear, “I don’t know what I want, let’s just go with the flow and see where things go,” then you may want to reconsider this potential suitor. Sure, he may change his mind and come around and eventually want the same thing(s) you want, but I wouldn’t put all my eggs in that basket, and when I say eggs I mean my emotions. The time and effort you put into trying to convince him to change his mind become an emotional investment into the relationship and I believe emotional investments are hard to walk away from, that’s why it’s best to “read the room,” early and bow out during intermission. 
  3. Have your strong “No’s” aka boundaries in place- Before you start dating again please have an unspoken list of behaviors you will not accept. You must be willing to walk away at blatant signs of disrespect, not misunderstandings but disrespect. I know for me, a man belittling me or comparing me to another woman is disrespectful and this is a hard stop for me, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable continuing a relationship with a person like this. What are those triggers for you? If you don’t know how to create boundaries just think about the actions of previous men you dated that made you feel a certain way inside, you know that uneasy feeling, the things that made you pause. Another thing I won’t tolerate is hot and cold treatment or confusion. If a man says he likes me but doesn’t show that with his actions, then I’m walking away. What are the triggers for you in dating? Don’t wait until your in the situation to try to figure out what you’re going to do. By this time, you may already be emotionally invested, and this will make it hard for you to walk away. Now you will not be able to think of every scenario you may come across but just have some boundaries in place before you start dating again.
  4. Let’s talk about sex baby, let’s talk about you and me…NOT– If the topic of sex is brought up on the first date run don’t walk away. I believe sex is a crass topic to bring up early on and if a man brings up sex quickly you know where his head is at and where he’s trying to head with you. This isn’t someone I believe is ready for a relationship but possibly a situationship situation or one-night stand, either way, if you are looking for something serious, I wouldn’t bother with seeing this man again.
  5. The ex-factor– If you know the name of his ex-girlfriend relatively early move on, he’s not over her and it’s best to move on. Men that aren’t over their ex may compare you to her in his head and you may not live up to the standard that he has of his previous girlfriend. This man didn’t come with a clean slate from his previous relationship and needs to work through that before starting something with you. We all know the saying goes to get over someone you must get under someone else, and who knows if that’s true or not either way you won’t be the test dummy for this theory.

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