Dating tip #1

Don’t question their decision not to date you.

I’ve failed at this miserably in the past. I’ve let curiosity (and the amount of time and effort I spent in the relationship) get the best of me and I’ve whined that horrible word, “Why?”

The truth is, the reason doesn’t matter because in 99% of the cases, it isn’t something that you can do anything about. If you ask why, you’ll just force the other person to produce an excuse for something that doesn’t need an excuse or is unexplainable. Maybe there is something about themselves that they just can’t change, like they are batting for the other team. It could be something that could change—like already being in a committed relationship, a difference they can’t surpass (race, creed, age), or they just don’t feel a spark—but you can’t make someone change. Only you can change.

And you should only change if you want to change. Maybe they think your ears are too big, they don’t agree with what you do for work, or they get annoyed when you ask for your salad dressing on the side. These aren’t things they can ask you to change. And you shouldn’t change them for anyone. If you are happy with yourself, then you shouldn’t want to change and they should love you for who you are. If you aren’t happy with yourself, you should be figuring out how to love yourself before dating.

Speaking of love, it is blind. Especially in the beginning. If there is something that someone is annoyed with from the start, it will only get worse with time. It is okay to recognize something that you don’t like in the other person, but you should be able to laugh it off. For example, two guys I know, both have terrible laughs. Around one, I will purposely not say anything funny because I cringe every time he laughs. The other, I’m appalled at myself because every time he laughs, I want to cringe, but instead I get this big, stupid grin. It is obvious which of the two I could date.

But I don’t ever want to tell someone that I don’t want to date them because I don’t like their laugh. That probably isn’t the real reason, just an indication that it isn’t going to work long term. A laugh isn’t something they should change. It is just something that annoys me, but that someone else will find endearing. Or at least will love him enough to not care about it.

As for making up excuses, I’ve done this a number of times when people press the question. Usually it comes up when friends ask why I won’t date so-and-so. I say that there just isn’t a spark. That isn’t good enough and they keep pressing until I say something stupid about the way he looks, or acts, or the car he drives. Seems people are more willing to accept failure of physical criteria rather than lack of emotional connection. Can anyone explain this to me?

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