I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve totally screwed up a lot in my dating life. I haven’t always had the mentality and strength that I have today about what I think relationships should be, and I know I’ve behaved irrationally towards some guys in my past. As much as I’m truly sorry for the mistakes I’ve made, I don’t actually regret them. After all, if I didn’t make them, I wouldn’t have learned these very important lessons:
- Acting crazy isn’t sexy, nor does it get your point across. I’ve been that batsh*t crazy girl who’s power called a guy incessantly and showed up at an event I knew he would be at uninvited — and that’s just for starters. Although I look back and cringe at the girl I used to be, I know that making those insane mistakes and facing the reactions from guys for my behavior caused me to reassess how I approach relationship issues or things that upset me. Sure, some guys might still behave like jerks and call me crazy regardless because it’s a scapegoat for many of them, but I’m happier knowing that I’m a much calmer person when it comes to addressing conflict.
- Using guys for material gain doesn’t lead to genuine love. For some reason, women are conditioned to seek out a Prince Charming who will provide them all the shiny and pretty things in life that they can’t or don’t bother to work for themselves, but f*ck that nonsense. I’ve dated successful men who have spoiled me rotten, and let me tell you, it’s an empty life to be living most of the time. I’d rather be rich from real and genuine love than rich with material possessions any day.
- Sex isn’t a weapon. Using my sexuality to bait a guy is not only completely against what I stand for, it also sends guys the wrong message about what I’m looking for in a relationship. Sure, getting a guys interest might be easier by sexting him and eluding to sex right off the bat, but if I want respect from anyone, I need to respect myself first. I want real and genuine love, not to be someone’s flavor of the week.
- I’m responsible for the terrible treatment I let into my life. If a guy is treating me like crap, complaining about it to my girlfriends or hairdresser isn’t going to accomplish anything. In fact, if someone is treating me poorly, it’s up to me to correct the situation, even if it means walking away from it entirely. I refuse to go back to being that girl who complained about relationships that I was terrified of leaving. I can handle myself now and I don’t depend on bad relationships to define who I am. I’ve learned to define myself.
- A good man who isn’t right for me deserves my honesty instead. Good guys get screwed over a lot too and I used to be someone who took those good guys for granted — not more. If a genuine guy in my life just isn’t the guy for me, I’ll tell him straight up. Not only because he deserves the truth so he can move on but also because I refuse to contribute to the collapse of good guys that turn into a**holes because they’ve been burned a lot by love.
- Without my self-worth, I’m nothing. I’m embarrassed by the way I used to behave with guys, but when I truly look back and think about it, I know it’s because I didn’t really love who I was. I didn’t have a career, a goal or plan for my life or the confidence in myself to be in a relationship from a place of strength. So, I made it my mission to fix everything that I hated about who I was. Now, I’m a strong, successful and capable woman who’s proud of who I am, and that sense of self-worth makes my relationships so much better.
- Jealousy comes from a place of insecurity that I need to work on within myself. There’s a difference between being a healthy level of territorial and a crazy level of jealous with a boyfriend, and freaking out at a guy or hating on other girls isn’t the way to address anything. If I’m feeling jealous without any real reason, it’s because I’m not completely secure within myself and in order to be in a great relationship, I need to get there first.
- Communication is everything. Telling a guy “I’m fine” when I’m actually erupting hot lava on the inside or avoiding talking about how I’m feeling doesn’t ever end well, so it’s up to me to communicate like a grown-up before sh*t starts hitting the fan. I’ve been the girl who drove a guy insane because I never spoke up for myself, and all it led me to was Lonesomeville much sooner because of a massive blowup that could have been avoided.
- Real and once-in-a-lifetime love is worth waiting for. The biggest mistake I’ve made in my dating life is staying with guys who clearly weren’t right for me for longer than I should have just to avoid being alone. Even if the road gets rough sometimes and I’m challenged with bad guys or mistakes of my own on the way, I’d rather journey solo for as long as it takes and remain patient in finding the perfect person for me. Love isn’t a game, nor is it a race. If it’s genuinely real and amazing, it’s going to be worth waiting for. There’s no rush.