Going from one-night stands to holding hands
It’s a hurdle most singles will have to jump. Some make it over, the rest land flat on his or her face.
The singles I’m talking about are the ones who have been labeled “good for now” girls or guys. Meaning: you aren’t Mr. Right, but you are Mr. Good Enough For Right Now. They live life day to day without rules or inhibitions and serious relationships are a thing of the distant future...or past.
How many of your married friends met their loving, “other half” at a bar or during a one-night stand?
We all do things we may regret later on, but we learn from them. We do things that may be embarrassing, but we grow because of them. We have to go through those self-discovery experiences, as I like to call them, in order to get to the point where we want to settle down, without settling.
The difference between being good for now and good forever, I’m discovering, is in your control...about 98 percent. Our actions make a difference (ie if you want to meet his mom, I would avoid sleeping with him on the first date.) But, what really determines the long haul is them. We need to be sure we have the right target audience when looking for love.
Putting time and energy into a man or woman who is not also looking for that special someone is like pouring your blood into a vampire’s mouth.
First of all, don’t drain yourself for someone who isn’t willing to return the favor. Be sure the person you’d like to see yourself with is looking for a right-hand man (or woman.)
It can be a challenge letting people get to know you on that emotional level, especially if you’ve led a physical life as a “good for now” girl or guy. My suggestion is to find your comfort zone, preferably without alcohol, and make sure you get to that comfy place every time you are with that person. Maybe your comfort zone is when you are part of a larger group to help carry the conversation and joke around with. Or maybe your comfort zone is hanging out on the couch talking, just the two of you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s a great way, if not the only way, to get to know someone. And, if they are willing to answer any and all questions you have… that’s a good sign.
Avoid the bedroom. This is a classic and common mistake I see among a lot of people. It may seem obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The last thing you want is to start a potential relationship in the bedroom. Worst-case scenario: that’s where it begins…and ends.
You can’t fake chemistry. If it’s not there, don’t try to force it. He or she may have great credentials and look great on paper; But, as a dear friend once told me, “Kate, you can’t live on paper…”
Be patient. I can’t stress this enough. Matters of the heart, especially the hearts of people who have been single for a long time, can take a lot of time to work themselves out. Who says there has to be an exclusivity talk after only knowing each other for a few months? Relax. Enjoy what you have in front of you and get to know them. So what if you’ve been together for six months and she still hasn’t introduced you to her parents? There isn’t a rulebook with a timeline in it. Every relationship is different and moves at a different pace.
The most important thing you can do is to be your own, confident person. No man or woman wants to have to babysit his or her significant other. If that’s what they were looking for they’d have a child or adopt a pet. What people are really looking for is someone they can laugh and have fun with, but also connect with on an emotional level almost effortlessly. If you have self-esteem issues and don’t see the awesomeness in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? It’s cliché, but true.