I’m probably the worst person to be handing out dating advice. I have dated two people in my entire life at 14 and then 15. I don’t have any tips for bagging someone and I don’t know where all the single people are. I only really go to Aldi and Kmart so if they aren’t there lurking between bedding and laundry hampers, I’m sorry sis. I don’t know where they are hiding.
Dating, relationships, and things people look for in others are so diverse. I think we all want generalized things like kindness, respect etc but we each have things that we love or hope to find in another that are very nuanced and individual. What might be really important to me might not be for the next person. So I gathered my intel and I wanted to create a mix tape blog of all the important stuff I would look out for when searching down your special person you want to stroll the aisles of aldi with.
A is for all of you
I think your partner should embrace you for you, and want all of you. Not all our qualities are favorable because we are human, but if we didn’t have certain quirks we wouldn’t be ourselves.
B is for bed time angst is never a good idea
Ever heard of that saying, ‘never let the sun set on an argument’? Yeah there’s a lot of power and truth in that. We have tried to go to sleep angry at one another let’s be honest, no one wants to sleep on the lounge compared to a bed. You don’t want to wake up with a sore back AND to have to finish off the argument/discussion from the night before in the morning before your morning coffee. Ain’t no body got time for dat.
C is for communication
It’s a cliche but all cliches are cliches for a reason. Clear communication is really important for so many aspects of your relationship. It impacts boundaries, wants, desires, preferences, expectations and it also promotes a deeper understanding of each other.
D is for don’t forgo your values
No person is ever worth you forgetting or walking away from your values. Don’t get me wrong – values can evolve. But our core values are what makes us who we are, and for one to put themselves above that is not someone you want in your life in any capacity. Thank u, next.
E is for ew to flakiness
You want your person to be invested in you and interested in you. It’s super easy to tell if they aren’t. If they don’t care for spending quality time with you I’d say they aren’t worth your valuable time.
F is for friendship
Not that I think this is a hard and fast rule, but being friends with your person before dating them is helpful. I totally don’t think it’s a must though. I think in an honest and safe relationship there will be values of friendship there too. I do think it serves as good launchpad into the relationship though.
G is for go at your own pace
Who’s ever been questioned at how slow/fast your relationship is going? It’s annoying. It’s unhelpful. It’s imposing. I get annoyed when people put a time limit on phases of the relationship – this is how long you should date for, this is how long you should be engaged for, this is how long your should be married for before you have kids, this is how much traveling you should do before you settle down, x, y and z. I know a fantastic couple who dated, got engaged and married and had their first baby all within a few years max. I also know of an awesome couple who had a long dating period, a long engagement, and also had a lot of time before having their kids. Guess what? Both couples are happy and solid and it’s no ones business the time frames they do things in. Please keep this in mind when handing out advice but also when you are on the receiving end of unsolicited advice. There is no right or wrong!
H is for honesty
Be honest always. About past relationships. About your childhood. About hopes and dreams. About things that you love about each other. About things that tick you off. About whether you like the sauce in the fridge or pantry (team fridge here!). About your opinion of his new hair cut. You can be honest and kind and tactful in one sentence. I promise! Maybe the compliment sandwich strategy would be good for the hair cut scenario.
I is for is it fun?
Your relationship should be fun. It might not be fun all day everyday but you should enjoy them and enjoy your time together. A bit of a no brainer but I think it’s important.
J is for judgement free zone
I don’t think anyone should judge anyone else actually, but creating a judgement free zone early on in your relationship will benefit you tenfold and create intimacy. It allows guards to come down and for you to be yourself around each other. Even if you keep the sauce in the fridge and they keep it in the pantry. They’ll come around.
K is for kick possessiveness, manipulation and over the top jealousy to the curb
Bye Felicia to anyone wanting access to your messages, emails, social media accounts, bank accounts and also an immediate bye Felicia to anyone who tries to convince you they ‘own’ or ‘have rights’ to any part of you physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. Ew nah.
L is for love languages
Are you familiar with the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman? I would highly recommend not only doing the online quiz to find out your preferred love language but actually giving the book a read – it’s not long. In a nutshell, Chapman believes that we as humans have 5 primary ways we show love and like to be loved. The theory is we all have preferences and once we know our preferred way to be shown love, we can communicate that to our loved ones and they can work on showing us love in those particular ways. It’s a game changer particularly for long term relationships!
M is for make the effort.
Good relationships require effort and work. I think the more effort you put in, the more you get out of it. Doing things like spending time joining in your partners hobbies, talking over the dinner table, giving them a hug randomly, putting on a load of washing for them, or bringing them home a coffee are many small things that show you are making the effort and investing into the relationship. These small things add up.
N is for no one is perfect
If you are looking for Thor or Simon Basset or Khaleesi and are going to turn your nose up to anyone but them, I can tell you now you’re not going to get far in the dating realm. Your partner is going to mess up sometimes and so are you. Don’t hold them to God tier standard. Expect them to be awesome, but also expect them to show their very human qualities simultaneously.
O is for openness
I’m a firm believer in openness in relationships. Probably because I can be a chronic oversharer, but I think being open with the person you are with creates so much safety and intimacy. Being open about things that we like, things that we don’t like, about what we want out of life but also open to new ideas that our partner brings to the table are all good things. Closing ourselves or our minds off creates a barrier to growth and cuts off communication which we don’t want in our relationships.
P is for proof of pursuit
You want to feel wanted and desired. For me, pursuit is a big deal. And not just in the beginning but in all seasons of your relationship. If the person you are talking to or dating is showing minimal effort or doesn’t seem bothered to make plans and spend time with you, they probably aren’t a keeper.
Q is for quality will always trump quantity
There’s no point sticking around someone for the sake of it or so we can say we have been with our partner for x amount of years. I’m just gonna call it – if it’s an unfulfilling relationship, the length of it means nothing. Going through high and low seasons together is normal, but when it becomes the constant and nothing is changing or helping your relationship to move forward, I think it’s time to seek help or reassess.
R is for respecting who your person is and where they have come from
One of my pet peeves in relationships is seeing one person try to change the other person. I don’t like it when people try to manipulate or change their partners opinions on things (outside of reason, I mean), their personality, their values, or just who they are in general as a person. Should we grow together as a couple? Yes! Should we discuss major things like our careers, family life and aspirations and help each other achieve shared goals? Of course! Should we ‘fix’, ‘correct’, ‘mould’ or ‘change’ our partners because certain aspects about them as a person annoys us? Absolutely not. Unless we are communicating to our partner that an aspect of how they are doing life is toxic (I’m thinking an addiction issue or an unhelpful way we try to resolve conflict like the silent treatment etc as these are things that the person does, not who they actually are!) we have to love our people and accept them for them.
S is for safety
A relationship should be a safe space. It should feel safe, it should exude safe. Safe for you to say what you want to say, safe for you to do what you want to do, and safe for you to be who you are. Safety = trust = deep love, connection and intimacy.
T is for ‘treat em mean, keep em keen’ is a myth
I’ve seen this one play out a few times and none of the relationships lasted long at all. It’s rude and it’s doesn’t build respect. It just builds resentment. Playful banter is for sure a part of our relationship but banter is different to being awful to your special someone in hopes that weirdly wants them to come back for more? It’s a no from me.
U is for ultimatums never work out
If you need to give someone an ultimatum to love you, or care for you, or do something you want them to do, it may be a sign you need to reassess the relationship or find a healthier way to communicate. Ultimatums usually breed resentment, are manipulative, and are the exact opposite of safety, trust and intimacy. If you’re finding yourself being given one and you are not comfy with what is being asked, or if you are the one handing them out to your partner, it may be a sign to find healthier ways to communicate or evaluate if this person of the person for you.
V is for Valentine’s Day is every day of the year
Why only buy her chocolates only one day of the year when you could buy them everyday? Being an attentive and loving partner should be our baseline everyday, not just on specific holidays or on our Instagram pages. It’s nice to make someone feel good or special everyday, even if it is just a ‘hey, how was your day today? Also here are a twin pack of Tim tams.’
W is for when you know, you know
I can’t explain this, but I am a believer in when you know you’ve found someone you want to be with forever, you know. I knew very early on that I wanted to grow old with Josh, even when we were in high school. There have been hard times, obviously, and it hasn’t been rainbows and butterflies everyday since we’ve been together, but I’ve always just felt he’s my person. And I still feel that way. I don’t know how I know. I can’t describe when it even hit me. But I just knew. It’s something in your gut.
X is for x-ray vision isn’t a thing
Our partners aren’t mind readers and nor should they be. Even if we think ‘they should just know’ or ‘it’s been xyz years come on bro’ or ‘I’m sighing really loud so he should be picking up the hint that I don’t want to unpack the dishwasher’ (all of which I have been guilty of thinking/blurting out!), I think it is a safer bet to just communicate out loud what your thinking. You can’t resent someone for something they don’t know.
Y is for you can’t help who you’re attracted to
I don’t think we choose who we fall in love with. And that’s okay. Be open to the unexpected, be open to someone who wouldn’t be an obvious choice. Love is special when it sweeps us off our feet and takes us by surprise.
Z is for zero time for for anything less than best
You know deep down when you’re being treated well. You know deep down when things are right. You know deep down when you are happy. Relationships should be great. Relationships should be awesome. Please, don’t settle for anything second best. You are worthy of a fulfilling, deep, safe and extraordinary relationship!