A Few Safe-Dating Rules
A short time ago, someone with whom I was involved spent about an hour ranting on Twitter about an incident that happened between us. I, as well as a number of other people, found it to be amusing, but looking back on it now, I kind of feel sorry for her. Not because of what happened (which I’ll mention shortly), but because of the mistakes she made as we were just casually dating. Since I’m such a good guy, I’m sharing this experience hoping other women won’t make the same mistakes. The references below denote mistakes and will correlate to the lessons that follow.
About five years ago, I worked at an elementary summer school program with several of my peers from college. It was a relatively small program with about 15 people working alongside me. There were two girls working there who caught my eye. One of them (the same one referenced above) immediately made it known the feeling was mutual, so we began spending time together outside of work; nothing too serious. A few weeks later, I decided to make a pass at the second girl and learned she took an interest in me as well. To make a long story short, I talked to both girls for the remainder of the summer. However, neither of them knew I was talking to the other until shortly after the fall semester began.
When the two girls found out about each other, they got upset, with which I sympathized and apologized for it. The second one moved on and we never spoke again. The first one eventually forgave me and decided to give it another shot . In my defense, I NEVER lied to either of them about who I was seeing. I also never led either of them to believe I wasn’t seeing anyone else. The first girl asked very few questions about who I was seeing , which I interpreted as a lack of concern with knowing whether she was the only one. But instead, she just assumed she was .
In addition to her assumptions, her attitude was somewhat carefree which led me to think she was content not knowing about my dating life. Again, I never lied about who I was or wasn’t seeing. In fact, I even told her a couple of times when I was going to see the second girl and she chose to disregard it . I know how easily excited we get when we first meet someone. We sometimes act against our better judgment, overlooking certain behaviors and giving more than we should in an effort to keep their interest. What we forget is it’s more important to act in our own best interest .
If something happens between you and someone you’re dating and you feel you were wronged, you’re free to decide whether you want to give them a second chance. If you don’t, then so be it. But if you do, harping on it and continuing to play the victim doesn’t bode well for either of you. You don’t have to forget what happened, but it is best to move on – with or without that person.
Lesson 2: Ask Questions
If you want or need to know something, ask a question. Questions are your best friends. It is your own responsibility to look out for yourself. Yes, there some people who will lie and there isn’t much you can do when that happens. But if you think you know something and fail to inquire, then you only have yourself to blame if you find out otherwise.
Lesson 3: Never Make Assumptions
This goes along with Lesson 2. The one thing you never do, especially in dating, is make assumptions. Unless you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, never assume you’re the only one someone is dating. In fact, it’s best to air on the side of caution and assume you’re NOT the only one. That way, you don’t set your expectations too high, minimizing the potential to be disappointed.
Following up on Lesson 3, don’t be unmindful to the world. There are warning signs everywhere to help you; don’t ignore them. When you notice something that looks iffy, make a point to address it – in a mature manner of course. If his phone consistently rings during the non-Christian hours of the night, chances are it isn’t his mother. If he seldom makes time for you and frequently has an excuse for it, well…let’s just say people will make time for what/who they please. I’m not saying such behavior is never excusable; I’m saying don’t let it go unnoticed.
Lesson 5: Keep Some for Yourself
A mistake some women tend to make is being too available to a man. Men are users; plain and simple. If he wants it, he will accept anything you offer, be it quality time, sex, food or just overall convenience. But remember, a man can only get away with what you allow.
As a single man or woman, you’re free to date whomever. Is dating more than one person wrong? In and of itself, no it isn’t. Was it wrong for me to date two people within such close quarters? Some say yes; I say no but I can agree it’s debatable. At any rate, that’s not where the issue lies; the issue was how she carried herself; carefree and presumptuous. If you choose to date and live like that, so be it. Just remember to hold yourself accountable for your actions or inactions. It’s your life and your choices, meaning you suffer the consequences.