Another day, another blog post I find a way to incorporate Taylor Swift into. I should probably just change the name of my blog to “Like a Taylor Swift Song, but less Catchy” or something along those lines. So…today is Valentine’s Day, and while I am happily dating that guy named Jefferson I reference, you know, every so often, my love life has really had it’s ups and downs. As a serial monogamist I’ve had my fair share of dating experiences and for better or worse I’ve learned some valuable dating lessons.
1. Never ditch your girlfriends for a boyfriend. I think this is a lesson every girl learns the hard way, I learned in 10th grade after breaking up with my first real boyfriend and realizing I had lost half of my friends. Here’a the thing, your girl friends love you for you. There is nothing worse than a girl who ditches all of her girl friends as soon as she’s no longer single. Just don’t do it.
2. Get a life! As in…outside of your boyfriend. Couples who don’t maintain their own separate identities are not just annoying, but are more likely to fight. Speaking from experience I feel so much happier when I have time to focus on my goals, my friends and my hobbies rather than just on shared interests with my boyfriend.
3. Don’t rush into a new relationship. One moment your heartbroken and eating ben&jerry’s in the bathtub, the next thing you know your out strutting your sassy self around town with yor girls and soaking up all of the glorious attention being single brings. Great! Soak up the attention, flirt with that cute guy at the gym, spend late nights laughing over mimosas with your girlfriends and never miss your weekly manicure. Being single doesn’t have to mean constantly looking for your next boyfriend. Take your time and enjoy being alone (it isn’t so bad)!
4. Stop obsessing over that one guy. You know the one you’ve been hung up on for who knows what reason for who knows how long. It’s time to admit that maybe your happily ever after doesn’t involve Mr.Never-Calls-Before-10pm as your Prince Charming and it is time to move on with your life.
5. Don’t be afraid to fall for someone unexpected. So maybe you never pictured yourself with a guy with dreadlocks (my high school fantasy) or a sports fanatic or a man who owns more scented candles than you…it’s okay. Sometimes our hearts surprise us, and I think it’s okay to follow your hearts (as long as you take your brain along with you).
6. Don’t worry about making your love life appear “Perfect” to the outside world. It is so easy to get wrapped up in social media and girl talk and whatever. It’s important to take a step back and remember a solid relationship is between you and your significant other, not you and your 2000 Facebook friends.
7. Be willing to walk away from something that isn’t right. This lesson is the most difficult to learn because it is difficult to admit that some loves aren’t meant to last. Just because something was/is real doesn’t mean it is meant to be forever. Yet, I think it is so important to learn to recognize the difference between when it is time to work harder and when it is time to walk away. It’s a difficult balance and I can’t say I’m an expert in this category.
8. Love yourself! I know the age old self-love advice is cliche but I can’t stress enough how important it truly is. I remember in high school I was so desperate for love, for acceptance, for a boy to tell me I was “beautiful”, I was willing to loose part of myself. Once you learn to love yourself (with or without a boyfriend) you recognize your own worth without constant reassurance from others. Once you learn to love yourself, everything else sort of falls into place.
Since we all are guilty of practically ignoring all reason and common sense when it comes to love I think it’s important to just keep love advice you find useful in mind as you forge your own path. It is so easy to get caught up in the magic and butterflies and completely forget your brain, self respect, etc, etc.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you spend the weekend feeling loved and cherished by those around you!