#Love: 10 rules for dating a 30 year old

I know I keep going on and on about being 30, but age inspires me. There's no amount of money I would ever take to go back to being in high school, or even my early 20s. Yes there may be a handful of gray hairs, and a few lines ... but I wear all of it in pride. Even after living in the land of superficiality for nearly a decade, I can't tell you how GREAT it feels to be in this exact moment.

Turning 30 was like flipping a switch; I suddenly stopped giving a fuck.

My "confidence" on Talk Nerdy wasn't confidence; it was overcompensation to mask complete insecurity.

I was scared shitless ... of everything ... for nearly 5 years (actually, most of my life). Scared to be liked, scared not to be liked, scared to let people close, scared to be alone.

I thought I was moving to an island on the other side of the country two years ago to find this idea of a "happily ever after." I didn't find that, but I did find love. Tremendous tremendous love, and friends, and things I've been searching for my whole life but had no idea how to actually achieve, or attain.

I'm still very dear friends with both of those loves, and it's funny to get insight into who you were while you were dating someone, while you are in a theoretical "better place."

Love #1: Jen, you were like a working dog without work. I'm not sure you knew what to do with yourself.

 

He was very right. I eventually adjusted into island life but to go from 100,000 mph to .100,000 miles per hour caused some uncomfortable whiplash.

Love #2: (We actually just had this conversation) It took me a while to understand why you left. I get it now.

Me: I hope you understand that it really wasn't you. I just couldn't do it anymore. There wasn't anything you could do to "fix" it. That's my job.

I went back to the Keys this past Friday to hang out with a dear friend, and wound up bumping into an acquaintance from the gym.

"I never understood why you were here. You just seemed like you were searching for something."

I was, I said, but I found it and now I have to move on.

It's very hard to let go of things, but recognizing that something no longer serves you is a fact of life. To love someone means to truly embrace who they are, and accept that some relationships/ dynamics will evolve into something you've never expected. You may think you are going to marry someone, but the reality is that sometimes you truly are just better off being friends. Loving someone means to honor them - honor and protect their heart. At all costs.

... I think they call this "adulthood." Shhhh ... don't tell anyone.

I've been publishing a lot of updates on Facebook re: "I can't date you ..." and today, I was asked this:

Without further adieu here are the "rules" ...

1. Be yourself.

I'm weird, but that doesn't mean you have to be. I like more than anything strong willed people, and a solid debate. Disagree with something? Speak up!

2. Be a gentleman.

These three books should be required reading for women everywhere:

a) Think Like A Man, Act Like A Lady

b) Why Men Love Bitches

c) (and the slightly more outdated but still relevant) Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

Life. Changing. in the dating department.

A woman sets the expectation from the very moment she meets a gentleman on a date. Does he open the car door? Or are you a "chirp chirp girl?"

I clearly emasculated guys for so long, hence why it was always so "hard to find the right one."

I'm naturally very driven, and a hunter (makes sense as to why I get along with boys so well) - but to actually find a descent guy to date, I had to retrain my brain on how to be a girl.

Take a few deep breaths. Step back, see how he does. (It is difficult at first, but it  makes the vetting process A LOT easier.)

Dating has a vibe, and a rhythm to it. If I'm constantly taking the lead, how is that going to make my date feel? I used to get so pissed off about guys "not stepping up" but the fact of the matter is, I never gave them a chance.

3. Please don't own a selfie stick.

I was just having this conversation the other day ... the fact that we have to have laws and regulations surrounding "selfie sticks" and "revenge porn" COMPLETELY blows my mind.

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I ... I ... just can't ...

4. I've always dated guys with trucks, and or big SUVs.

I drive a super small hybrid station wagon, so it doesn't make sense, but I'm going with it. Apparently I'm into a guy with a big car - who knew.

5. Family matters

Family is important to me. You don't have to love yours, but respect them. Can't respect them? Totally get it ... but have respect for someone, somewhere, and place value in the time you spend with them.

6. Must love dogs

I am hopelessly in love with animals (slightly shady about cats).


We sincerely won't get along if you're not an animal lover.

7. Work very, very hard. Play very, very hard

The movie The Counselor was god awfully horrid, however, it holds one of my favorite quotes from a movie:

Men are attracted to flawed women too of course, but their illusion is that they can fix them. They just want to be entertained. The truth about women is that you can do anything to them except bore them.

8. Have your own life.

I never realized how precious "space" is in a relationship until I didn't have it. It goes for both parties, but make sure you stay true to your needs, wants, and have enough of your own thing going on. That part is tricky - but the lifeblood to any relationship.

9. The rule that started this entire post:

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10. There are no rules.

I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.

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