My #1 Dating Rule From Now On: Actions Or It Doesn’t Exist

I couldn’t be more tired of empty promises and being sold a dream. I don’t want to hear about how many pizzas you’ve made in the past or how high you can toss dough; I want the finished product in my hand! Where are all the guys who actually deliver hiding? Here are 7 dating standards I’m adopting to make sure he’s the legal deal.

  1. I have a timeline and I’m sticking to it. Bad guys love to hit you with the “it’s only been [enter time frame] …” line. It’s a tired excuse. Love at first sight exists and they should act right from day one. It’s perfectly OK to set your expectations ahead of time for when you would like to see a progression in your relationships and to have a preconceived notion for when he should to able to make certain moves with his life and pertaining to what you two are doing. If he blows well past that time frame it’s your choice if you think it’s worth a conversation or if you should continue your search. One man’s “not ready” is another man’s long-completed accomplishment. Move on and find someone who has what you’re looking for.
  2. I’m waiting out the honeymoon phase. The worst guys out there know how to say exactly what they think you want to hear. The smartest, most manipulative, toxic of them all are studying their prey and intentionally spewing all the right words to get what they want. This is why some guys can give you tons of attention and be really communicative for days straight, getting all your hopes up only to suddenly go ghost or have a drastic shift in behavior seemingly out of nowhere. Their phony flame reached the end of their matchstick of deception and went out. The person you see after the switch-up is the true self they tried to hide to trick you into liking them. Don’t form any solid opinions about someone and your relationship with them until the beginning stage of bliss blows over and the rose-colored dust settles.
  3. I’m not coaxing guys into necessary conversations. There are no excuses for men over 25 years old. Their prefrontal cortex is done developing. Stop dismissing poor character for them “needing more time” to mature. Whoever they are after their brain growth reached a completion point is who they’re going to be. And no matter how shy or insecure a guy is, if he wants something, he will push past his difficulty communicating to make sure he has it. You don’t have to keep running back to him and begging for him to talk to you or explain himself when he does lousy things. Just accept that he did it and if he wanted to correct his mistake himself, he would.
  4. If a story doesn’t add up, I’m automatically assuming it’s a lie. One hurdle of dating when you’re older is most people beyond their mid-20s have kids. Dating a guy with children can be risky because there is potential for temptation and shady behavior when it comes to sharing with a woman, he obviously was intimate with at some point in time. I’m not saying it’s an automatic deal breaker, but my personal rule is if I’m around them a conversation and understanding need to be had with their mother. I dated a guy once who gave me the endless run-around about why he hasn’t told the mother of his kids about us yet or why I couldn’t speak to her and it eventually came out that they were still sleeping with each other! So, if every “t” isn’t crossed and every “i” dotted, I’m taking it as an omission or flat out fib until proven otherwise.
  5. I’m only giving first chances. This may seem harsh and it’s certainly going to end most of my relationships sooner, but when a guy shows his true colors, I’m taking the sign as permission to leave- and quick. I’m tired of catching a dude in a bold-faced inconsistency and leaving the door open for him to play me again in the near future because more than likely he will. I’m slamming that opening for opportunity in his face and leaving the entire prospect alone.
  6. I’m not making any changes in my life until said actions happen. Most females don’t wake up with a grown man child squatting in their living room playing video games and borrowing their car overnight. It took months and years of expectations not being met to get to that point. You could’ve moved to a new town for him, signed a lease, agreed to co-sign a loan, or put your life on hold to give him a child thinking he was going to hold up his end of the bargain only to find out when you’re deep in the consequence dirt pile that he was bluffing and stringing you along the whole time. Until a guy makes tangible moves and displays concrete measurable effort, I wouldn’t lift your finger too high. You should be growing together as a couple, not carrying your and his load alone.
  7. I’m cross-checking references. Any major commitment in life, be it a mortgage, car loan, career change, etc. requires research. Why shouldn’t the same apply to your relationship especially if you’re considering marriage? That’s a whole lifetime decision there. A guy could have all the dreams and supposed ambition in the world, and little would you know he’s been trying and failing his whole life at a new project every 3 days. Not saying his best friend is likely to throw him under the bus and give you a fair warning, but it’s definitely worth a convo with those closest to him and in his life the longest to see if you can read between the lines of their words and figure out if your man is a whole walking red flag waiting to be exposed.
I’m Cara, not to be confused with Carrie, although you could say I’m a Millennial Bradshaw of sorts. Pop culture connoisseur. Lover of all things creative and passionate about health and personal well-being. Follow me on IG @cara_vale_writer