The dating game. Oh, how confusing it is. It’s the game where no one knows the rules and everyone wants to win. So, how do you play this game called “The One.”
For myself, I’ve learned that:
The dating game all comes down to one rule: Know yourself
As I got to know people in the dating world, I also got to know myself. I took the time to examine myself and who I really am. As a result of this introspection, I came up with seven essential categories that help guide me in making decisions about who I want to invest my time and energy into. This helped me discern the men I encountered better and have made the dating game so much easier.
Dating Game Category 1: The type of person you need.
In this article I explained how after a relationship with a wonderful man, I realized that I NEED someone with a strong work ethic. When I started that relationship, I did not know myself; so I had to learn the hard way.
Now that I am more self-aware, I have narrowed what I NEED in my partner to 4 things:
1. Good character
2. Strong work ethic and life purpose
3. Unselfish and generous
4. Laid back and has a sense of humor
Dating Game Category 2: The type of person you want
While I need a specific type of man, there are also things I want.
I would love someone who eats vegetables. It is a negotiable, but it would make my life so much easier for cooking and joint grocery shopping (vegetarian speaking here).
I would adore someone who likes their house warm. I am comfortable from 78-80 F, any colder and I have on layers and sweaters. I don’t want to dress like an Inuit in my own home.
I want someone who likes to share food. I want to reach across to their plate and snag a fry without endangering a finger.
These are things I want, but are not mandatory. For example, if I meet the right man, and he doesn’t eat vegetables, but lives off of pizza and water, then I can happily make my own food and hope for the best for his arteries.
Dating Game Category 3: The compromises you can make
I know my comfort zones and my deal breakers. I cannot date someone who does not like dogs. This may seem a simple thing for most people, but a large chunk my life revolves around my dog and fostering dogs. While I may meet a great guy who has it all together, disliking dogs takes him off my list.
Dating Game Category 4:Your faults and areas of improvement
I know that I overreact. I see my pattern. And knowing this about myself tells me that I need to slow down. I make sure I give myself space and my partner space before I react.
I clearly remember too many times that I have sent a brash text, made a cutting comment, did not focus on the problem, and did not address my partner with loving kindness nor the benefit of the doubt. When I calmed down and heard the explanation, I had to apologize with my tail tucked between my legs.
I also know that I can be impatient (an only child speaking here). So, I make an effort to be aware when I am starting to see red because I want something to happen in my time. I slow down and examine what shade of red I’m seeing and why. I start a mental list for reasons to be patient in that situation, I pray, I count sheep. I do whatever I can to not make it all about what I want right then.
Through trying to improve myself, I have eliminated a lot of unnecessary hurts and problems in my relationships.
Dating Game Category 5: What you can put up with, and what you cannot
You might find someone you really like, but some of their habits might not be compatible with who you are.
Enter Antonio. I need a lot of communication. I text, I talk on the phone and Antonio does not. He likes to leave his phone in the other room and check it once a day. He likes to call or text to make plans as free time pops up. He likes to talk to me if I catch him and if he is free. And this is the polar opposite of me.
I had to decide. I know myself, I know what will satisfy me in a relationship. And what I was getting was not enough.
I was falling in love with Antonio. So I had a choice to make. I could follow what I knew I needed, or make compromises that would leave me unhappy in the long run.
I expressed my need to Antonio, and he made a simple adjustment.
However, had it been something he would not change, I would have had to walk away. Because I know myself. I know that I would not have been happy with his style of communication.
Dating Game Category 6: You know what a good catch you are
When you know yourself, you know the good, the marvelous and the spectacular that you are. You know what people gain if you chose to spend time with them. You know that you are calm, patient and loving. You know that you have your stuff together. You know that you are the complete package. And don’t you forget it!
Dating Game Category 7: You know what you are looking for
As I got to know people, I came across a lot of men that were looking for something casual. Dinner occasionally. A random text. They knew that they wanted casual.
I also met men who wanted something serious. They talked about what they looked for in a long term partner and were willing to open up.
I also met men who had no idea what they wanted. They thought they wanted something serious, but then freaked out as we moved that direction. Or the opposite, they thought they wanted casual, but were frustrated when we did not move forward.
When you know yourself you will know what you are hoping to gain from dating.
It all comes back to YOU.
The more you know yourself, your needs, your wants, compromises you are willing and not willing to make, your flaws and strengths in a relationship, all that you have to offer and the type of commitment you are looking, then you will be better at discerning whether or not a person is a good match for you.