“Love and marriage. Love and marriage. They go together like a horse and carriage.”
Ah… can you hear it? It’s the sound of little hearts falling for other little hearts on college campuses across the United States.
Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, pitter-patter.
The opening weeks of school are blissful! Every day of class provides an opportunity to scope out whether that there cutie is single… wearing a ring… interested… interesting,, what if they are…
During these critical weeks people make romantic decisions that will haunt them for the rest of the year. Collegiate Folklore 101 tells us only 1% of romantic hook ups last past the first six weeks of the new semester… the other 99% of relationships come on fast, furious and hot then flame out leaving steamy tears that morph into a chagrined feeling of, “What was I thinking?!”
Let’s put the disastrous love stories aside for now. Instead we’ll talk about how you sort through the rush of infatuation to know if the crush you’ve got is a keeper.
1. How do you know when you’re in Love or Strong Like? Simple! If you’re asking if it’s love or like… it’s like.
I wish I could put the deep-down knowledge of knowing you’re with The One into words, I just can’t. But here’s a tidbit of advice: when it’s LOVE your question changes from, “Is this it?” to, “Am I insane? I really love this person!”
Also, if you’ve been seriously dating for three months and still don’t know if they’re a keeper… they aren’t. Throw that fish back into the sea so it can find love with someone else and set yourself free to discover your own soul mate!
2. What type of dates should we go on? There are as many answers to this as there are people on the planet. (Can I get an “Amen”?!) BUT… if you’re dating to find The One, stick to opportunities where you can talk and get to know one another. Stay away from places that lead you into getting physical, also known as the “Stay Away From Any Date You Have Seen On The Bachelor”-principle.
The idea of talking for a date freak you out? Not sure what to talk about? Get a list together of the qualities you think are important in The One For You. Put your date in situations where those qualities can be displayed. If you want ideas, Michael the Romantic’s website, www.theromantic.com, is pretty interesting for the dating world at large. I particularly like his 1,000 Questions for Couples.
3. Is spending money on my date the only thing that makes them happy? Cold, hard reality: If your date is only happy when you’re spending money, find someone else. LIfe isn’t about money and you’ll probably not have it when you want it, so make sure you’ve got more going on between you than financial chemistry.
4. Why is it that women/men today always say they’re hurt and tired of trying because all guys/gals are the same? There are a bunch of awful people out there, aren’t there? We see them on movies, in t.v. shows, maybe they’re married to our friends, maybe we’ve actually dated a few! It’s easy to get burned then globalize the experience to believe everyone of that gender is to blame.
But guess what? There are a TON of “good guys” out there! There are many, many guys who change the mold, hold themselves to higher standards and are looking for a woman who will appreciate them. Women, if you keep getting the same kind of disappointing guy, find a different place to look.
Men… there are a TON of “good gals” out there! Look beyond the superficial and into their hearts and you’ll often find a woman who will treat you like a king. And that’s a good thing to have as you’re building your castle.
Men, be the exception. The girl will recognize it and fall in love… Women, be the exception. You’ll end up with more than you can imagine.
*Personal, firm belief: finding love in a bar is about as easy as teaching your dog to cross-stitch. The end.*
5. When is it the right time to be in a relationship? When can you be healthy in a relationship? Can you pull your own weight, be selfless, be aware of how to take care of yourself? You may be ready.
(Note: if you have no income except for student loans, this is not the best time to try to get married.)
Sometimes you find the right person but the timing is not right. For example, I crossed paths with my true love at least three times before we ever met. If we met earlier… we wouldn’t have dated or been interested in one another. Because the timing was right when we finally did meet we were emotionally ready, mature, settled in our careers… and married within six months!
Timing. Is. Everything.
What are your words of advice for starting relationships and looking for The One?